For the past two months, I’ve been working with a small group of artists in my Artist Mentorship Program. It’s been a really great experience on both sides and I’ve gotten lots of great positive feedback from those involved. I’d never done this before: teach more as a mentor than an instructor via a long-term skype-meeting-centric relationship. I was a bit nervous at first as to how it would go. Would people be open to critique? Will they keep up with the pace? Will I, a person who eschews too much in the way of schedules, be able to keep up with the pace? So I’m happy to report that, after a couple months, it is inspiring, energizing, and has a definite momentum that I love.
It takes time to make a painting, to explore themes, to get frustrated with an idea enough to be able to look for a new perspective, to turn it into something that you WANT to get up and work on everyday. It’s that process which we work with. It’s nice, I think, to have a second set of eyes that can look at your work as a whole, find themes and associations that you might not have considered, and help push it into new territory and new perspectives.
The nice thing about just meeting once a week is that it gives each person plenty of time to explore ideas on their own. It’s tough to just sit down, on the spot, and find a thread that is worth following. Tapping into one’s own creative flow takes patience, thoughtfulness, and spontaneity. It takes sitting with it for a while and letting ideas stew and simmer. The long-term mentorship allows each person the space to go suss out ideas on their own and then come back to our proverbial table with what they’ve come up with. Then we can talk about it. We can cut away the chaff. We can work together to find the best line.
I’m only here to act as a guide – to help others to push their work to a new level of expression – and find a new level of satisfaction with it. I really enjoy teaching and the mode I enjoy the most is this one-on-one experience. Each person is unique in their ideas and execution and, I think, that makes it even more interesting for me. It’s like watching several different movies play out at once. What will happen next!
In the next month, I’ll post some pictures of some of what we’ve been working on (with their permission of course!). None have been shared yet because I want each person to focus on their work without the chatter of Facebook Instagram Tumblr whatever. This allows for, I think, a more personal flavor to develop and to work a bit more in the silently personal creative space.
This work we’ve been doing as been invaluable to me and I can’t thank this first group of artists enough for taking the chance and working with me on this first go round.
Find out more about the Artist Mentorship Program
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