How to get free artist mentoring
Tis the Season! Nope, not THAT season, funding season. The real Santa Clause for artists. A wide selection of funds are open for applications at the moment. The focus of many of them at this time of the year is professional development. The monies available can cover activities that contribute significantly to the advancement of your practice. From learning new practical skills to supports that help you grow your profile as an artist, like mentoring.
A mentor can be a huge benefit to your art business. They bring not only a wealth of expertise to the table but also a fresh, unbiased pair of eyes and strong sounding board for your ideas. They offer support as well as advice and will work with you to bring your art business to the next level.
In my experience as a mentor I have worked with artists who want to get a true handle on their studio time and develop practices to always be working with a purpose, artists who are just starting out exhibiting their work, artists transitioning from part time to full time or introducing a new income stream to an established practice, all of the above at once even. I share this with you to illustrate the point that it’s always a good time to have a mentor. It’s tough to manage and make all the right decisions on your own. It’s tricky to learn the industry and shape your art business into what it needs to be without supports and learnings. A mentor is a secret weapon for all of this.
Mentoring comes with a cost and these funds are a superb way to cover or part cover those. With this financial assistance you can work with an mentor that’s just right for you without putting your annual budget on the line.
If you do want to make an application for funding for a mentor. Here are three questions to address before you start that will improve your chances of being awarded the bursary.
What are the biggest things I struggle with in my art business? These might be connecting with curators, getting into galleries, staying motivated, choosing a direction for my work. You’ll use these answers to devise the basis for the purpose of the application.
Do I know or where can I find a relevant mentor or mentors to assist me with this? You’ll need to reach out to them to arrange an agreement to work together ahead of time so that you can include those details in the application. The mentor will also need to provide you with some supporting materials. It’s a good idea to leave some time for that in case you need to wait for them to get back to you.
How much do I need to apply for? Choose how much of the maximum allowed request are you going to apply for. Remember, the application process will expect you to account for all that you are requesting but you can also apply the funds across different supports so you could include the costs of technical courses like photoshop or etching as well as the cost of mentoring.
Of course the answer to the first part of question 2 is yes, you can come to me!! I’d be delighted to chat about the kinds of supports you’d like and let you know how I can help. Just book a free 15 minute consultation with me here and I can provide any necessary support materials for your application.
If you’d like some extra tips on making funding applications you can read my previous blog post on that here
Having a mentor will undoubtedly help you and your practice. Having someone in the know and who understands where you are coming from is invaluable to your progress. You’ll find that working with a mentor is one of the most reliable ways to propel your career forward.