This blog post by Mike Vaillancourt recently got me thinking about mentorship in the fantasy illustration field. I think it is something that seems to have become neglected in the modern age I think to people having so many commitments to so many people via forums, blogs, networks, email groups etc. It seems a huge investment of time to dedicate your full attention to helping one individual try and reach their potential. However it alsmost seems that it is required to be able to grow and develop as an artist. Almost every successful artist/illustrator I know can attribute some giant steps in their career to some kind person further along the road taking the time to guide them on the path.
It also made me think about where I stand in the chain? I know I could definitely benefit from some guidance from those above, but at what point should you start volunteering your advice to others? I'm not sure if I am there yet, but maybe all artists have that sense of self doubt and explains the reluctance to put their hand up for the task.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, please comment. If you would like to discuss a specific mentoring relationship further, I'm open to the discussion either here or via email as firstname.lastname@example.org.
And just for fun, here are some quick sketches I did while chatting to friends in the ArtOrder Community. Some reference used...