The application process for the mentoring scheme allowed me to identify the areas that I wanted to develop most. Applying allows you to take stock and assess the direction you really want your work to take and make the necessary steps to move forward.
Whether you’re a seasoned illustrator extraordinaire or just starting out, the profession can be quite a solitary experience. One of the most useful parts of the mentoring project for me, as well as the amazing tips and insights that my mentor, Debi Gliori, passed on, was having that face to face meet up time with her. I was able to bounce ideas back and forth with her and sometimes it helped just to blether away and clear my headspace.
As well as the insight and support of the mentors, the scheme also brought me some other amazing opportunities. I’m still in shock over the realisation that my work featured as part of an exhibition at the National Galleries. Also, throughout the project, we had the chance to meet with a range of publishers, art editors and agents. What are you waiting for? Apply, apply, apply!
When I was selected for the mentoring scheme in 2014, it wasn’t the first time I’d applied. If, indeed, like me, you weren’t selected the first time around, don’t be put off!
I was delighted when I was chosen to be a part of the programme in 2014, but it wasn’t all tears back in 2012. A friend of mine, who works in theatre, liked the story that I had developed for the first submission and so we decided to create a piece of children’s theatre around it. If the mentoring scheme doesn’t work out for you this year, the work you do create for the application may lead onto something else and it will undoubtedly benefit your folio for future applications.
So, in short, do apply to the mentoring scheme….and good luck! If the outcome isn’t what you wanted this time, make sure you don’t give up and continue to develop new material for the next round!