Certified creative business and career strategist Chris Frampton

I used to think creative career success was all about accomplishment

After 20+ years of accomplishing things, I realized I was wrong.

Accomplishments matter, but to get off the career roller coaster creative people need sustainable success, and that means acquiring the business skills, emotional resilience, and financial support required to do their best work year after year.

Chris has helped me stay on top of the ever-changing creative landscape.
- Adam Bialo, Kontakt Films

The 5 forces of creative career stability

I help creative people build business and career stability in 5 key areas

Number 1

Income

The ability to make a living and overcome financial restraints in your work.

Number 2

Business Acumen

The ability to set prices, negotiate contracts, find opportunities, and navigate change.

Number 3

Emotional Resilience

The ability to deal with criticism, rejection, self-doubt, burnout, and societal pressures.

Number 4

Artistic Satisfaction

The ability to navigate artistic compromise, deal with blocks, and meet your own creative needs.

Number 5

Marketing

The ability to face increasing competition, gain recognition, and reach the right people.

Steel I-beams connected with rivets representing creative career stability

The I-BEAM Creative Career Model

The structure that holds up your creative work life

I’ve spent decades working with artists and creative folks at every level of career success, from students to Margaret Atwood. Literally everyone is struggling with something, but what I’ve discovered is that creative careers that provide the highest levels of satisfaction and freedom all have the same thing in common: They're sustainable, financially, emotionally, and artistically.

I developed the I-BEAM Creative Career Model to help creative people identify what's working and what isn't in their own careers, and to help move them towards sustainable success. 

“I’ve been lucky to witness Chris’s talents and collaborate with him. His passion for art and creative is inspiring.”

Adam Bialo, Kontakt Films

Creative business and career strategist Chris Frampton speaks at the 2019 Henry's National Manager's Conference

HEY, I'M CHRIS

I’m a certified business and career strategist who helps creative people figure out what to do and how to do it

But like a lot of creative people, my career path has been anything but straightforward.

I’ve been a terrible novelist (sorry Doubleday), pioneering digital content writer, PDN Award-winning photographer, viral short film maker, reluctant reality TV show judge, miracle-working commercial director, frustrated academic, and Ethan Hawke’s stunt double.

Despite a long list of enviable accomplishments, it was always feast or famine. In 2016, burned out and disillusioned, I put aside my own artistic ambitions and joined a brand agency as a full-time creative director and strategist. I thought getting a "respectable" job was finally going to let me strike a balance between creative satisfaction and financial stability. Holy shit was I wrong.

8 months in an Ivy League business school and 4 high-profile leadership roles later, I’ve lead creative teams across every discipline, guided editorial and creative on a quarterly magazine for photographers and content creators, steered product strategy on digital platforms with millions of users, spoke to national organizations about the future of marketing, built brands and campaigns for major international arts organizations, designed creative employee mentorship initiatives, and lead brand thinking for companies large and small.

It took years to realize the corporate world wasn’t for me, but in that time I learned a lot about how and why careers succeed and fail.

Now I use my unique set of skills and experience to give creative people the real-world support they need to identify opportunities, overcome obstacles, and build sustainable careers that meet their financial, artistic and personal needs in today's global economy.

Certifications

I blend business & marketing strategy and human-centred counselling and coaching

Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business Logo

Marketing Strategy, Digital & Data-Driven Marketing

Career Professionals of Canada Certified Career Strategist

Certified Career Strategist (CCS)

Planning Dirty logo

Lifetime Member: Planning Dirty Academy

Frequently asked questions

You’ve got questions. I’ve got answers.

Are you a creative coach?

Along with consulting, counselling, and teaching, coaching is a core discipline in career strategy (and a big part of what I do) but honestly the “C” word kind of gives me the ick. In my experience the coaching industry is a conversion-optimized swamp of hucksters, bullshit artists and multi-level-marketers, and while there are clearly some very successful coaches who get results for clients of all kinds, they often end up doing more harm than good by making you feel that the problems you’re struggling with are the fault of your motivation or mindset.

Trust me: Exploitative platform economics, slashed arts funding, and creative university programs that don't teach entrepreneurship skills are not mindset issues.

I’m a Certified Career Strategist with decades of experience working with creative people and their audiences, plus a deep understanding of the economic, technological and cultural pressures facing creative labour markets today.

What are your ethical responsibilities and standards?

I’m a Certified Career Strategist and a member of Career Professionals of Canada, and as such am responsible to both the National Competency Profile for Canadian career development professionals and the professional Code of Ethics set forth by the Canadian Council for Career Development.

In my 1-on-1 practice, it's my professional responsibility to maintain confidentiality, respect autonomy, and foster an environment that promotes trust and collaboration.

I’m trauma-informed, anti-racist, pro-sex work, and committed to a practice that prioritizes cultural sensitivity and racial equity. I work with people of all faiths, genders, sexual orientations and identities. 

What do you do for fun?

When I'm not trying to convince my freelancing friends their rates are too low I can usually be found elaborately doctoring Shin ramyun, dancing to music with lyrics, or exploring shipwrecks at the bottoms of lakes and oceans all over the world. I don’t have an ugly dog but I like to borrow them.

Where do you want to start?

Explore some of the ways I help artists and creative people just like you build more sustainable creative careers.

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Coaching

1-on-1 creative business and career coaching that meets you where you are.
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Education

Essential training for artists and creative people at every level of success.
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Resources

The best creative career insights, resources and writing on the web.