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  • Writer's pictureEileen Noyer

Becoming an Art Mentor

For the artist who is fascinated by the creative process, the natural next step would be to consider mentoring others. Mentoring is a powerful way to hold yourself accountable to your own learning process. Why? Because helping others to clarify their artistic vision involves a good deal of self-reflection and study of your own attitudes, assumptions and habits that enable or hinder the creative process. So for those aspiring for #artmentorship I have come up with a list of topics that would be valuable to explore in the mentoring process.

The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding you're not going to stay where you are.

John Pierpont Morgan

So here are the mentoring jumping off points that I have come up with so far:

  • Determining how much you want to share with others about yourself and your process, and the things you prefer to keep private.

  • Being in the habit of journalling, and to let it be as messy and ugly as you like. Personal growth and ideas often arrive when allowing ourselves for a few moments of mental clarity and reprieve. And when those ideas don't arrive, there is still something you achieved that day. To journal means to say 'no' to everything else in the world for just a few minutes, which is hard to do. But once the habit has started, the experience and outcome is invaluable.

  • Focusing on the engagement and conversation that you have with the artwork throughout the creative process. What thoughts and emotions are you putting out there, and what is the canvas saying back to you?

  • Developing your own personal checklist for a painting to be finished, such as light entry and exit, colour balance, focal point, sentiment, points of rest and points of movement, intention, and use of patterns and lines. Adding questions to this could also make the task simpler, such as does the light gently guide the viewer across and around the canvas, or does it coerce and push the viewer?

  • Developing a healthy relationship with social media platforms. For example, writing down (in your journal haha!) the qualities that you appreciate in a particular post and reflecting on its impact. There is as whole world out there of incredibly talented individuals, and so being constructive about how you absorb this information can make the experience of using social media one of learning.

The world lights up with possibilities when we harness motivation and tie it with concrete action.

Eileen Noyer (me hehe)

  • Revisiting assumptions of oneself and one's artwork. Imagine that an alien (who speaks English) came to planet Earth and was desperately keen to learn what it means to you when you create an artwork. What would you say? How would you describe your process and how that translates into your art?

  • Getting into self-reflection habits will accelerate the growth process. What are you willing to lose in the exploration of your art? What techniques, ideas and colour palettes are you willing to let go of in the process of trying something new? And if you've just found your groove and are exploring within it, which directions do you feel most free?


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