News


Why mentoring is essential for artists

Sheila Chandra - Monday, June 05, 2017

We all grow up with the idea of the ‘true’ artist as the ‘lone wolf’. Someone who’s driven to create even in the face of everyone else’s scorn. While artists of all kinds do tend to be self-reliant and independent once they’re established, this isn’t the whole story.

 

At the start of their careers, mentoring is essential for artists

Virtually all the artists I’ve ever spoken to had at least one knowledgeable person who recognized their artistry at the start of their careers – often even in the face of the artist concerned’s disbelief. Not many young people have the chutzpah to call themselves an artist without encouragement. Many deny it, or minimise their belief in their talent because what they do feels ‘easy’. They forget that it isn’t easy for others, and that ‘easy’ is the way it’s supposed to feel. Or they may deny because they find their chosen craft difficult or agonizing while they’re still learning. Or because there’s no one who looks like them in their field – especially where the artists getting most of the attention are white, male, mature and able-bodied.

 

In a way, mentoring is essential for artists because they need to be ‘recognized’

Artists and creative people do not seem to be able to ‘name’ themselves – at least, not initially. This inability is to do with their huge humility and awareness of just how much they have to learn in order to measure up with other artists. Often, it takes the encouragement of another writer, painter, gallerist, producer, manager, dancer or whatever, to make them believe that they have what it takes to work as a creative professional. This recognition process and gentle encouragement is essential, as without it, the nascent artist may simply give up and become something else.

 

Were you mentored as an artist at the beginning of your creative career?

Chances are, someone helped you – either with just a comment or a great deal of support. Think back to who that was, and how crucial that support was to your growing sense of self as a creative person. Think about whether you’d have taken so many risks or thrown yourself so completely into a creative career without that conviction in your own artistic powers that those people helped you develop? Or whether you’d have taken the right steps at all without their insights and advice?

 

Mentoring is essential for artists making changes to their careers too

It’s not just new artists and creative people who need support. Artists making any kind of change of direction, either of discipline or change of level also need perspective. The kind of perspective that only a life coach or another experienced creative person can give. In fact, whatever level you’re at, you never grow out of needing perspective and support and advice.

 

It’s time to pay it back. Mentor the nascent artists you know

Dear reader, it’s time to pay back the kindness that was shown to you. If you have a thriving creative career, think where you might be now without that kindness, recognition and support? Make the effort to help artists at all levels. Be kind, suppress your competitive instincts and nurture the talent around you. In particular, encourage people of real talent to see what they have to give. Especially if they’re having a hard time recognizing it. You’ll be helping another artist to be ‘born’.

If you want to know more about the kind of support you’ll need as a creative person throughout your career, read chapter eight of ‘Organizing for Creative People’. It’ll help you assemble the team you need to make your career thrive.


Comments
Patrick Glassel commented on 09-Jun-2017 01:08 AM
Thank you Sheila, helpful encouraging theme/ article

Post a Comment




Captcha Image


×

Recent Posts


Tags

artist materials clear desk cupboard of shame emotional resilience good art work wind down grief business interface to creative businesses lifetimes temperament pop music slow and steady inconvenience home care artistry creative spark network social media networking goals stardust confident in clothes being tripped up writing funding campaigns tidy desk ‘stories’ about your possessions good creative habits cleaning housework much quicker buying youth new year critical acclaim pop culture jealousy making decisions long-term artistic development vocation working class artists emotional support platform creative ambitions trope too busy Sheila Chandra author to do list mess celebrity endorsed products living mess free guilty purchases letting go business clearing as you go business-speak creative people culture peacefulness stay on top of email control much better friend good friend hoarding cry options organizing for creative people motivation creativity diary lazy working class culture bulk buy storage buying stardust brilliant creator warm down chaotic subconscious mind productivity fine art clearing feel like creatiing sacrifice precious memories emotionally secure artist visualising theft mornings imagination friends domestic life brands sheila chandra coaching tidy people feeling creative just in case tips for clearing friendships artist workspaces copyright getting ready for work buying hope crowdfunding binge peer-to-peer networks clearing in short bursts : clothes hijacking creativity tidiness in living spaces clear outs inspiration low maintenance strategies great art elevator pitch how to be naturally tidy under-confidence efficient work patterns green room commitment clutter partners ‘creativity’ appointments double standard fall of innocence disorganization collections career strategy funding introverts slim-line wardrobe clean desk home organising professional encouragement multiple lifetimes hotel room stop hoarding stuff touring clearing clutter how to work efficiently resentment VIPs home life compulsion well curated closet time clutter procrastination successful artist tidier streamlining routines artist mentoring why organise clutter addict tension myth morning routines magic smart artists clarity of thought card well organized professional mentors diagnosis artist absences organisation creative wellbeing email bankruptcy networking criteria for letting go of stuff creative person work efficiently cleaning your desk work priorities nascent artists artist goals hostile clutter creative career coaching low maintenance effortlessly tidy living clutter free staying in control dynamic spaces static spaces artistic chaos creative culture stop cluttering how to save time buying happiness creative magic social media car buy fewer clothes parent nurture creativity tortoise and hare business-like mature artists too many commitments exhaustion work/home life balance loving your audience display items stay tidy automatically organise saving time emotional balance the void loss missed opportunities overwork tidy proposal writing creative identity email overload email diary symptoms of creativity wardrobe artists anxiety concentrated creative time focus creative commissions buying wealth self promotion creative organising popular culture great artists quality branding work life arrogance boredom hobbies workspaces spree artistic conviction being organized professional creative career minimalists artist mentors innocence 2018 goals creative confidence normality nipping things in the bud childhood proposals networking effectively creativity nurturing creative work creative career vulnerability work trips

Archive

×