Once again an excellent podcast! I enjoy learning from these while I draw.
Crazy concept on mentorship that I just enacted this season: has anyone ever approached their customers as mentors? I select 10 past customers and ask them to critique my newest work. Customers are rarely artists themselves, and this limits their visual literacy, but, ultimately I am producing art for a particular market and it's surprising how willing that market is to tell me what they don't like or what they really want. For example I drew a friendly bird and one reviewer said it looked "sinister" - that's some important feedback right there! And it's good to see when everyone loves a piece, or laughs or whatever reaction I was hoping to get! I think some of them appreciate being asked their opinion and are happy when I edit the piece with their suggestions incorporated. Plus then they actually want to buy the piece, sometimes.
Another thing I do, instead of directly emailing THE person I wish were my mentor, or the company I wish I could work for, is to find interviews with them online. My mentor creates tutorials, has been on art podcasts, in magazines, and wrote their own books so I buy those and learn from them. I'm surprised but typically she always has a response online somewhere to all those nagging questions in my head.
Also, twice I have Facebook messaged questions to a couple of would-be mentors, and they both got back to me with short but helpful responses, so if you're looking for something real quick and it's not on their FAQ or books, you never know, that famous artist may reply after all!