Tina Essmaker is a New York City-based coach, speaker, and writer who helps individuals live into their possibility.

As a coach for the creative community, she partners with clients to reach beyond inspiration and take action. She works with entrepreneurs, business owners, in-house and agency employed individuals, and executive leaders. Her practice addresses themes familiar to creators of all levels: managing self-doubt, prioritizing opportunities, maximizing effectiveness, planning for transition, balancing personal and professional roles, and the search for fulfillment.

Previously, Tina cofounded The Great Discontent, a publication of in-depth interviews with artists, makers, and risk-takers. As Editor in Chief of the magazine she spoke with more than 250 notable subjects for the web, print, and audio, including Cheryl Strayed, Debbie Millman, Reggie Watts, Tavi Gevinson, Leon Bridges, and Krista Tippett.

Tina’s coaching practice is enriched by insights gleaned from intimate conversations with hundreds of creators via The Great Discontent as well as formal training through Coach U and her roots as a social worker. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit and spent a decade working with runaway and homeless youth in her home state of Michigan.

In 2017, Tina was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine. She also served as Chair of the 2017 AIGA Design Conference, curating an unforgettable lineup of mainstage speakers and gave this talk to remind us of our humanity and the importance of vulnerability and empathy in our work.

In 2018, Tina was included in Graphic Design USA’s People to Watch and spoke on the main stage at HOW Design Live about her mission to abandon the hustle and embrace the great contentment. 

Tina shares her knowledge and experience with the creative community via Asking Not Asking, her bimonthly coaching column for Working Not Working Magazine, and by volunteering as a mentor for NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator for ideas. 

Subscribe to Tina’s monthly coaching newsletter, Doing the (Home)Work.

Email Tina about one-on-one coaching, scheduling a training for your group or company, or speaking opportunities.


Photo by Julia Hembree