Discover New Insights By Mentoring Others

Discover New Insights By Mentoring OthersDiscover New Insights By Mentoring Others

Mentoring others. This is something we can all do no matter what stage of life we are at or what our life path is. Mentoring is a great way for us to understand what we know about ourselves and the subject at hand. If you have never taught I believe that mentoring is invaluable in discovering more about your own journey. Here are some key points about mentoring…..

  • If you are a creative who teaches, then you are already mentoring others.
  • Traditionally mentoring was a non paid activity, where you took  someone under your wing and showed them the ropes.
  • It is not dissimilar to an apprenticeship. However, apprentices are usually paid a small amount and in return they perform some of the more menial tasks of the job.
  • If you cannot afford to pay an apprentice you may still find that there are those new to your profession who will appreciate a hand in learning the basics, and who are willing to help you with the tasks of your art business in return.
  • The fact is, that you are teaching them what they need to know from the invaluable perspective of  where you have been. You are able to help them through the minefield of mistakes you have already made so they do not have to make them.
  • All importantly, you are showing them what works and what doesn’t.

Not only should you consider mentoring others, I would ask whether or not you have a mentor yourself. Sometimes a mentor may be found not in a single person, but rather, within the supportive environment of an online group. There are many of these on Facebook. Obviously you will need to test the waters so to speak, for  while where are some amazing groups out there, there are also many that are not so good. The other thing these groups are good for is extending your network and increasing your own support system.

Mentoring Others

Mentoring Others

For an in-depth analysis of the benefits of mentoring others I suggest you take a look at this page on mentoring others.  Although it is written from a business perspective, it gives you many ideas to think about.


This Weeks Question: Do you need to find a mentor for yourself or to become one?

Next Weeks Post: Exhibiting – how to find the perfect space?


Pic Credits: Photo by leovalente

You may be interested to know that Michael Masterson, whom I mentioned in the previous post, still works with mentors and coaches, even though he is incredibly successful at what he does.  I think this in itself speaks volumes!

So what is the other type of coach he recommends? This is someone who works with you at a closer level .  They may not be the best in their field but they understand the mechanics of it and they are, more importantly, able to teach that to you.  For example if you want to learn artistic technique, a brilliant artist may not be a good teacher.  Rather, of more value to you,  would be someone who knows the techniques and how to get the best out of you, someone who has the tricks and tips and how to pass them on even though they may not be a hugely selling artist.  A great teacher/coach  in this vein is a rare treasure and if you find one, hang on to them until you have learnt all they have to share with you.

In terms of techniques there are so many different sources of information available to us these days  –  but the problem is that many of them give us no feed back.  How am I doing? What might I do next – related to my own artwork?

A coach or mentor on the other hand, will hold you accountable and push you to greater things than you thought possible.  When you are ready to give up they will give you a reason to give it a go one more time around- and wow are you glad they did! They will cajole, encourage, and get tough when you most need it.

Next post I would like to put forward one more level to the coaching triad which I believe is indispensable…… see you there

Previous posts on this topic:

Mentors and Coaches for Artists

Art Mentors And Coaches – Part 2

Mentors and Coaches-Part 3

Do you want to be a successful artist?  What does success mean to you? These are just two of the questions a coach might ask you?  Have you asked yourself these questions lately and what were the answers?

At the beginning of February I did a couple of posts on coaching and received a request for more on this topic.  So just to let you know,  this is a continuing topic I will be pursuing over time, as I believe it is critical to our success in any endeavour – no matter what our field is.  One thing creative people are often accused of is being insular hermits, stuck inside their studios.  Well If you want success as an artist its highly unlikely that it will find you there.

This morning I was listening to an interview with Michael Masterson, successful entrepreneur and founder of Agora Publishing. During this interview he touched on the subject of coaches and mentoring and I would like to share some of these insights with you.

He was saying that it is essential that we have a mentor and not only that, but we really need two different kinds of mentors or coaches.

Shadowed - by Judith White

Shadowed - by Judith White, a mentor of mine in my early days as an artist

Firstly we need a mentor who has been very successful in the field we are interested in, which might be a living artist who sells well.  You can get a certain amount of information from autobiographies as well, but this is not a coaching/mentoring relationship.  You need to think about whose success you would like to emulate?  To define this he recommends only choosing someone who has had repeat success e.g several sell out exhibitions.  In other words, they are not a one hit wonder.

This person you might only see or interact with once a month or so.  However what they posess are the insider secrets to success in your industry.  So if you are an artist, having an art gallery owner as this type of mentor would not work because they are only one part of your industry.  You would need to go to a successful artist and ask them to mentor you.  They can provide you with both artistic input and business insights as well.

My next post will outline the other kind of mentor you need to find.

Previous posts on this topic:

Mentors and Coaches for Artists

Art Mentors And Coaches – Part 2

Here are some thoughts about mentors and coaches which I am going to look at in a bit more detail:

  • Why do I need a coach?
  • Are a business and life coach the same thing and if not why do I need either?
  • How serious are you about your art career?
  • How is a mentor different to a coach?

In the next few posts I want to discuss all of these ideas.  However so it doesn’t get all too wordy and boring let’s kick off with a photo…..

Singing Tui in Pohutakawa tree

Singing Tui in Pohutakawa tree

I captured this gorgeous fellow on a bush walk at Stony Bay while I was away.

Now where was I? Mentors and coaches….  Why do I need one?

I have a couple of questions for you.  If you have either a mentor or coach,

  • Why do you have them?
  • What do they do for you?
  • Is that person still serving your needs or have you moved on?
  • Do you now require a different kind of support?

For today let’s focus on why it’s actually essential to have a coach.  Yes I did say essential! There are 3 main reasons.  – I give you 3 words:


1. The first main reason is CLARITY.  We cannot see what we cannot see.  Meaning that the hardest thing in the world is to be objective about ourselves.  We are part of the problem so to speak and it often takes an oputside point of view to help us see what we cannot.

2. The second word would be FOCUSED-ACTION.  Once we have clarity, a coach then helps us to focus on what is important, and act upon that.  This could encompass a whole range of activities from breaking through personal blocks to upskilling in a needed area.

3. Thirdly coaches and mentors offer us ACCOUNTABILITY.  It’s so much easier to find excuses as to why we can’t or won’t do things if we only have to speak these reasons to our selves.

‘I can’t make that phone call to the gallery because………..’ fill in the blank.  But if you have to tell some one else that reason, suddenly it might not sound quite so valid, especially if that person is someone you look up to and admire, perhaps an expert in their field.  Suddenly we find a reason to reach a little deeper and go a little further.

In the next post look for:

  • Are a business and life coach the same thing and if not why do I need either?

PS. Please be encouraged to make a comment, share your insights and experiences on this topic.  We all help one another through sharing. The comments button is at the top of the page.

Get Adobe Flash player