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Catching Fireworks

Deborah Henry-Pollard: Creative Coaching

"I attended an arts in business seminar by Be Smart About Art in January 2016 - Deborah Henry-Pollard was a key member of the panel of speakers. I was really impressed by Deborah's presence as a speaker (and I have seen many, many speakers) - she exudes sincere confidence, warmth and great passion for her subject(s). I found her captivating and would highly recommend her for public speaking events!"
Emma de Polnay


I have spoken at events for: West Dean College; Be Smart About Art; Art & Design Employability; University of East London; Artsmart; The Design Trust; Forum Arts; Creatives Hub; Association of Women Art Dealers; Shape Arts; Four Corners; Secret Subterranean London symposium, Illumini; Wellcom Collection.  


A Vision and Why You Need One

What is visioning and what is the point of it in your creative career?  

Do you want to choose where you will be in 10 years or just allow yourself to drift and hope for the best?

Knowing what you are setting out to achieve and how to articulate that so you will stand out amongst other similar professionals can seem like one of the hardest things to do when you set out on your independent career. 

I use personal experience, case studies and relevant examples to show the benefits of creating a vision for yourself. These include self motivation, proactivity, engaging others and keeping focus. I will also lead you through an exercise to look at where you want to be in 10 years time.

The session is participatory and people should come prepared with pen and paper!

“I still feel as if I've had a caffeine injection from your session. It was quite extraordinary.”

"The energy in the room has been tremendous...I felt totally lifted"

Workshop participants

Format: 1 hour

Demystifying Business for Artists

Any of us can go online to find out how to do marketing or pick up a book on running a business. All the information is out there, along with courses and workshops.

So what stops some artists from really thriving and succeeding in their vocation?

This talk, based on my forthcoming book, What’s Your Excuse for not Succeeding as an Artist, addresses some of the mindsets, fears and myths which hold people back, even when they know the practical steps. Is business planning really a total set of different skills? What is success? Are you just too right brain?     

This isn’t about how to fill in a tax return, register for VAT or run an Instagram campaign; you are intelligent enough to find sources of information for yourself. It is about those moments when, for example, you know how to network, know how important it could be for your career and yet you stay at home watching cat videos or box setting ‘Game of Thrones’. 


(Booking now for dates after October 2018)

“This was such a success. Your presentation was wonderful. I learnt so much too which was great.”

Workshop participant

Format: 1 hour

Business Model Canvas workshop

Do you have negative thoughts about business plans - you don’t understand them; you think they will constrict your creativity; you are frightened of them….?

The Business Model Canvas is a one page tool for creating, understanding and telling the story of your business/career and is used by organisations of many sizes from solopreneurs to global corporations. 

This is an interactive session using a fistful of sticky notes where you will start creating the canvas for your own business; get clarity for your professional practice; picture who you want to work with or how you want to be working. It also allows you to see what you already have in place. It will give you a document which you can use on a daily / weekly / monthly basis to move you into action and help keep you on track.

“Loved the canvas work,

given me so much structure”

Workshop participant

“Ploughing ahead and using what I learnt from your Business Model Canvas session at West Dean to do my business plan. So all in all, that course and coaching you did in an hour with me has been amazing.”
Workshop participant

Format: 3.5 hour workshop