M.A.D. – Mentoring Artists Digitally
Most artists, especially the introverted ones, work in a solitary bubble and that is particularly true of digital artists. We spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, sometimes working with a blank white screen-“Canvas” and sometimes with collages of photos ready for a photo-manipulation wondering “Where do I go from here?”
Few artists who only work traditionally (oils, watercolours etc) are sympathetic, and more than a few believe digital is
- “cheating” OR
- Consists entirely of a photograph, perhaps one that has not been taken by the artist, and is simply painted over, possibly in an automated way requiring no skills at all from start to finish!
There are communities where digital artists share ideas, show work, and receive comments – some helpful and some we could live without, including quickly typed meaningless comments. However there’s little chance for individual attention and encouragement.
Available mentoring is actually coaching and revolves around how to be an artist who also knows how to
- Run a business
- Recognise your ‘target audience’, OR
- The latest available equipment.
Nothing wrong with that but…….
But what about the actual ART?
How does a digital artist keep going, stay true to their own vision, and not succumb to –
- Being overwhelmed by the thousands of images on the WWW
- Giving in to a particular commercial demand, which is fickle anyway
- Getting lost in all the learning required, to sell, market, network et al
- Or worse still, give up their own artistic voice and start copying successful digital artists
That’s where a mentor is invaluable
- A mentor provides critical observations that are not – damning, derogatory, or empty flattery
- Rather – healthy critical commentary sees talent and nourishes it
- Looks for strengths and encourages their development
- Sees the weaknesses and asks questions re composition, colour, placement, meaning and interpretation.
Perhaps most important of all a mentor becomes
- A detective listening and watching carefully for clues
- An archaeologist digging for meanings, directions, foundations and that elusive treasure
- AND ESPECIALLY –
- Uncovering the real treasure – YOUR VISION – Your unique way of seeing and presenting your message via your art form.
Works 1 on 1
Encourages without flattery
Keeps you and your vision grounded
Pushes your limits (without pushing you off a cliff)
And keeps clients to a viable number so you never feel “just a number”.
If you would like to know more contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information