Preparing for a mentoring session
Mentoring sessions usually take place in your studio, or with a laptop if you don’t have a studio. Meetings outside of your studio can be arranged with your Mentor. If you would like your Mentor to travel to see you, they may request travel, expenses (e.g. lunch or dinner, accommodation if necessary) and costs will be additional to their fee.
They will begin the session with you talking through your work and career path to date, providing context and showing images that you think best represent your practice from the start of your career to the present day. The Mentor will feedback on your work and discuss your challenges and agree an action plan. Please bring a statement and CV if you require feedback on them specifically.
This usually involves you addressing some things post visit (homework) and then either meeting again, or follow up via email, Skype or phone.
You can discuss if your work is exhibition ready and appropriate for contemporary commercial galleries. The Mentor can shed light on what it means to be represented by a Gallery, pricing and how your work relates to the market. It will depend on how long you choose for your mentoring sessions, as this will dictate how much strategising you can do.
The Mentor will spend time with you to help address your specific challenges, discussing your drivers, motivations and inspiration for your work. They will listen to you talk about your work and ideas, how you have promoted yourself to date and unpack any particular problems you want confidential support with. The work and you yourself combined provide the whole picture, and from this they can assess the best short, medium and long term goals and action plan.
You can book as many or as few sessions over any period of time that’s appropriate for you.
In half a day you can hope to achieve, for example:
• A review of your work and career journey to date
• Objective feedback on the work, with a curatorial overview of where the work is currently and how it can potentially develop
• Support with overcoming creative blocks
• Support with contextualising your practice
• Suggestions for making the work more accessible to a wider audience
• Suggestions for improving your marketing and networking strategies
In a full day you can hope to achieve all of the above but in addition, for example,
• A full critical discussion about your work
• Tips on pricing your work
• Some suggestions of art world insiders that might connect with your work
This is, of course, a guideline as everybody is different.
Depending on the nature of the support required, follow up sessions can be conducted by phone, email, Skype or in person and be paid for at an hourly rate. This is usually reserved for feedback on applications, competitions, prizes, new work or one specific problem for example.