About the artist
My life as a coach started at thirty when I began to develop students at The University of Arizona. Thirsty to learn new printmaking techniques, I worked at print shops in Europe and the US to build my skill set and to teach what I learn to undergrads and grads alike.
In 2013, I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree. My wife, Meg, and I moved from Arizona to San Jose, California. Together we brought Ila, our daughter and the first "California Coates" into the world. During this time, I was creating and selling artwork to cities like Boston and Palo Alto.
I continued learning traditional methods by traveling to rural Japan, then taught Woodblock Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute and in my Palo Alto Art Studio.
With Karen Shafts as she purchases my work for the Boston Public Library (2013)
As my clientele grew, I noticed new students approached the straightforward nature relief-printmaking process in diverse ways. I founded Block Paper Print as a way for them to make prints together and build a collection by trading art with one another.
The one-size-fits-all teaching method didn't work for everyone, though, so I looked for a way for people to learn printmaking on their terms.
At Meg's suggestion, I took Gallup's CliftonStrengths Assessment. It was then I discovered five words that would change my life forever: Input, Intellection, Learner, Context, and Restorative. I clearly remember the deep resonance I felt as I read the personalized Insight Guide. After reading my results, I spread decades of personal artwork across the floor. Instantly I saw connections between my report and artmaking career. From that point, I became a CliftonStrengths Evangelist, using my Strengths to make art, and telling everyone I knew about this key to revealing what makes them successful.
I decided that the best way to teach printmaking was through Strengths. I got a coaching certification through Gallup, thus becoming the only StrengthsCoach with an MFA.
MFA in Printmaking University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
BFA in Sequential Art, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
Clifton Strengths Certification For Individuals, Managers and Teams, Gallup
Mokuhanga Certification - MI-LAB Mokuhanga Innovation Lab, Lake Kawaguchi, Japan
City of Palo Alto, CA
City of Krakow, Poland
Boston Public Library
Center for the Science of Human Endeavor, Tokyo, Japan
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