Mentorship is a great way of being able to not only continue to develop your craft, but also to feel empowered with the creative decisions that you make in your career. Mentors can provide valuable advice to what they believe would be valuable in your own individual development. I’ve had a variety of different mentors that guided me to where I am today and am so thankful for those people. However, I have also had some terrible mentors that have almost destroyed my outlook of my career throughout the journey that I continue to live today.
Empowerment. Mentors help empower you to develop the confidence in your field. This is something that a lot of people forget. Sometimes when people are in that position of hierarchy, they often forget the difference between teaching and mentorship. Teaching is being able to help a group of individuals or individual to develop the skills they need to become experts in their field. Mentorship is about being able to guide those people to become confident in their artistic voice – be it music, visual arts, theater, writing, etc. and empowering those people to become successful in their career path.
Follow the people that inspire you to be better. This is also something that is important. A mentor doesn’t have to be a person that you interact with every day and can be in the form of books and people that inspire you that you may not be directly connected to. One of the people that I find inspiring is Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx, and her entrepreneurial journey. I’ve also found Gary Vee motivational and along with Dr. Wayne Dwyer when it comes to the growth mind-set. Even though we strive for mentorship and guidance, there are a multitude of resources out there that can help guide you.
Recognize when it is not working for you. There was a time in my career where I thought I was going to be able to grow as a musician, but that was not the case. It got to the point where I felt like I was getting worse at music and that I actually – believe it or not – started to consider quitting the clarinet despite having traveled the world and recorded two albums. Sometimes people who are in a mentorship position take out their complexes on others that are detrimental to the profession. That is why it important to recognize that if you have a mentor that is damaging who you are as an artist, to keep your ground and to instigate change.
Seek mentors who you can work with that can support you. While there are a lot of professionals in the field that are excellent at what they do, that sometimes does not translate to the best teachers and mentors. It is important to be able to have that level of transparency with your mentor, in how they can guide you in your journey and make you feel empowered. Being able to have a working relationship with a mentor also inspires growth and that you feel supported in your journey.
The role of mentorship is so important to the development of artists in all creative disciplines. This is a crucial element of keeping the profession alive and vibrant. While it is important to seek individuals who are respected in their field, it is also important to take advantage of the unlimited resources available on the internet that you feel can help your career. The Modern Artist Project works hard to empower all creatives in all disciplines to pursue their dreams. If you want to learn more about artistic growth, schedule a free consultation with us today!
Kristine Dizon is a multi-faceted performer, teacher, writer, author, linguist, and entrepreneur. She is Founder & CEO of the Music & Language Learning Center, The Modern Artist Project and co-founder of the Gran Canaria International Clarinet Festival and American Single Reed Summit. She is an artist for Uebel Clarinets and Silverstein Works. Learn more at www.kristinedizon.com.