There are many ways to grow as an artist. Taking regular classes, attending workshops and most importantly, practise, practise, practise! But there is one way that can be invaluable to longer term growth, and that is having, or being, a mentor.

While I never had a true mentor during my painting career, I did have one when I was an accountant so I know how valuable that relationship can be. Knowing there is someone who can answer your questions or guide you through a difficult problem can be the difference between growth and stagnation. And being a mentor can be equally rewarding as being mentored. It’s fulfilling to share your experience and see someone learning from it. It can, and should be, a win/win situation.

The subject of implementing a mentorship program for PAC came up between myself and a few of the instructors at ICAN last year. It was interesting to hear the differing views on the subject, all of which are equally valid. Who would be the mentors? Who would be the mentees? What areas would it cover – technique, critique, business? Should there be a fee associated with it? How would the process take place – online, email, phone? How many members would be interested in such a program? Since that conversation, it has been brewing in the back of my mind.

Mentorship is something I’d like to see happening in our organization. We have many experienced artists in our midst who have a lot to offer. We also have many newer and less experienced artists who may not have access to artists and instructors who are knowledgeable in pastels. This is something we can look at and pursue if there is interest. And, as we are in the process of creating a new website, this may be something that could be incorporated into it in the future.

So, what is the interest level in such a program? Would you participate as either a mentor, a mentee, or maybe both? I’d like to hear from you as to whether you feel this is something, we as a group should pursue and if you would be interested in helping in getting it off the ground. Send me an email at president@pastelartists.ca

PAC President – Kathy Hildebrandt

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