Whether your first great art mentor was your kindergarten teacher or whether you did not meet him or her until later in life, we can all agree that there is someone that has had a substantial impact on our talent. As you hone your talents and become a true professional artist, you should consider the importance of paying it forward. Artistic ability is a rare talent, and it is one that is sometimes discouraged because it isn’t viewed as resulting in a lucrative career. By serving as a mentor for a young artist, you can impact the lives of a new generation of artists. Here are 5 reasons you should become a mentor:
1. Comic Relief
If you have spent any time with a young person recently, you are probably very familiar with their ability to bring you to laughter. Cheesy knock-knock jokes to crazy imaginations, children are full of joy. Even those living in less than ideal situations have an outlook on life that we lose as adults. Spending some of your free time working with a child can provide you with an opportunity to loosen up, take off your shoes (literally!), and relax. Laughter is a proven stress reliever, and it is something you are sure to do in the presence of a child.
2. Fresh Eyes
As natural artists explore techniques for the first time, there is inspiration to be found. As your mentee works on a skill that you have shown them, ask them questions about the technique. The answers that they come up with can be extremely insightful. Whether you get ideas from the creations of your mentee or the way that he or she looks at the world, having a set of fresh eyes to help you fall in love with the process of creating all over again is priceless.
Even a glance through an Art History book reveals that many of the world’s great artists were often students of other greats. You have a unique style and a combination of methods that you use to create that are special. Sharing those skills with another artist provides a great sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. As you see the craft you have developed being implemented by another person, you can’t help but be proud of them and of yourself.
4. Social Responsibility
We all need to give back to society. Whether we volunteer with worthy organizations or pick up trash to clean up our neighbor, we all have a duty to leave the Earth a better place than we found it. By fostering a skill in another human being, you are contributing to the social good.
While the appreciation you receive isn’t going to be a reason that you choose to mentor a child, it is still worthy of mention here. The fact that you, as an adult, took time out of your busy life to invest in the growth of a child means more to that child, and their family, than you will ever know.