How to Find a Mentor?

  • Hey everyone,

    I live in one of the least human-habitated travel corridors in the U.S. in a town of 3,000 people. We moved here from L.A. to escape the city, but it has its drawbacks - namely that there's a big group of artists here, but no structure, school, etc.

    I started drawing in Feb., 2011 and have been looking for a teacher or mentor ever since. Thankfully, I found SVS, but I find that I still desperately need some personal critiques to help me grow. I've tried to ask other artists about paid mentorships, but no one seems receptive - I don't know if that's a faux pas to ask or what...Does anyone know how to find a mentor? I'd really like to find someone to see the strides I'm making with what I learn here at SVS and let me know if I'm going in the right direction...I don't need them to be in person - online would work great, since I actually prefer not to leave my house anyway, lol.

  • SVS OG

    @amberwingart Giuseppe Castellano offers one on one courses here:

    They are really awesome, and Giuseppe connects with each illustrator in such an individual way that for me it was well worth it to pay for his time. I did the 3 week book dummy course, but he will tailor it to whatever your needs are.

  • Pro SVS OG

    And Giuseppe Castellano is fantastic!!! I did the portfolio review and the pb dummy

  • @amberwingart I'm not sure if this will work BUT when I was in college I had a mentor class and my professor told us to just email an illustrator we like/admire and ask them to be our I did, I emailed Dan Santat and he said yes and I also emailed Selina Alko and she said yes (but I had an in, in that mentor-ship with her as I interned for her and her husband Sean Qualls a few years earlier so idk if that counts). Now it might have been b/c I was in college or I wrote as really great email but either way there's no harm in asking. Please note that I'm not saying to email every illustrator and send multiple emails constantly asking for them to mentor you. If you don't hear from them after some time move on and use a different route to find a mentor. This just one way that may or may not be helpful...

  • SVS OG

    @Kekkerz86 Wow! Dan Santat is your mentor?! I wonder if he still does mentoring...

  • @natiwata Wow, awesome - thank you! I've never heard of his courses before - I'll check him out!

  • @lmrush Ooh, I might really benefit from a portfolio review, because I'm wanting to go in an entirely new direction as far as compositions...Thank you for the confirmation about him! 🙂

  • @Kekkerz86 Thank you for the suggestions! Unfortunately, that's what I've tried so far...I've emailed a few of my favorite artists (Omar Rayyan, Gary Lippincott and Halsey Swain, among a couple of others), but I never heard back from any of them. I didn't include any samples of my work in my emails, so I don't know if that was a mistake, but I'm Facebook friends with all of them and my artwork is on my Facebook banner, so they could easily have seen it. I interact with their posts a lot, so I'm not a complete and total stranger (although I'm mostly one). That makes me worry though, because it makes me wonder if I just suck so SO badly that they felt bad about even emailing back. 😞 I only sent one email to each...

  • @natiwata Hmm...I just checked out Giuseppe Castellano's site, but it looks like it's a little specific and short for me...I need someone to look at my body of work and tell me where I need to improve...Maybe I should contact him to ask if he does that? Or would that type of info be included in a portfolio review?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @amberwingart Honestly you will not regret it, he is a gem

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Not sure if you have been following the other thread about live classes/crits, but we will be offering a lot of live options starting in january. I'm running a portfolio class then as well as an AWESOME illustation class that focuses on generating creative and relavent content in your work. We will also be having individual image crits much more frequently too. : )


  • Pro SVS OG

    @Lee-White Aesome Lee, I love love SVS!!!!

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