Why creative mentoring?

Now, I’m always on about living life your own way, on your terms, and how you don’t need anyone to tell you how or what to create.  So why on earth am I offering e-mentoring?  Isn’t that just preaching the gospel according to Jani at people (for a fee, no less?).

Well, not really, no!

I’ve just completed five sessions of e-mentoring with five lovely artists who came to me for advice and some encouragement.

The encouragement part is the most important, in my opinion.  There’s a lot of messages out there in the world telling us that we are inadequate, that art isn’t worth pursuing and that what other people think of us is more important than taking risks with our creativity.

I think these messages are pure bunk.  

Dangerous bunk, at that.

Now, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to scientific matters (though I’m super interested in science, don’t get me wrong) and I am hopeless when it comes to the TV or sporting section of a quiz.

But I do know my stuff when it comes to being creative.

I’ve been an artist of one kind or another since I could talk (which was early, and I haven’t really stopped since).  Painting, music, dance, theatre, all of these have been things I have done, watched and enjoyed my whole life.

And I do have a knack of spreading it around, a gift for which I am super grateful as it’s led to having an awesome job as one of the directors of The Art House (best arts cafe in the world, well I think so anyway).

I know what those struggling to get artwork from their heads into reality need to hear.

99% of it is just letting them know that their art is as important as everything else.  More so, in many ways.

Sometimes, what I have to say is fluffy, encouraging and uplifting.  Sometimes, I have to call a spade a spade.

But I do believe that mentoring is a powerful tool.  Actually PAYING somebody to help you be more creative makes a strong statement to yourself and the universe.  It says that it’s important to you.  It says that your creativity is worth something.  It says you are prepared to invest in yourself.

And that can make all the difference!

When I mentor somebody, I draw on the experience I have of teaching art, drumming, circus arts and crafts for over 10 years.  I bring my passion, my research and my personal struggle to get and stay creative. 

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