We have "critique week" how about "Mentor Month"
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    We have "critique week" how about "Mentor Month"

    I've noticed that the mentor section is pretty dead, filled mostly with pleas for a mentor.

    What if for 1-2 months out of the year we promote "Mentor Month" where people who feel they're able take on a few students create a basic program of studies and practice pieces. It might get the section more active

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    There are several sadly almost defunct sections of the site like this. It would be nice to see a resurrection of some of them.

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    I'd love to do it, except I don't think I'm qualified. Encouragement and nagging is what I presently do. Can't we target those that post in the Finally Finished section to take on at least one?


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    That seems like a really good idea. Would you be organizing it, and if so, how would it be run?

    I might be interested in both being a mentee and mentoring (although I don't know how qualified I am for the latter).

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    Yeah I'd be up for it as well. I just never figured out how to go about it really. I love helping with what I can =D

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    I don't know if I'm going to organize it (or if it needs much organizing) but I am curious to know if December or January is too busy for people to have a go at this. December is busy what with the build up to Christmas, but I'd think January would be more busy with the return to school

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    If this happened over summer I would join in for sure.

    During the school months, though...

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    January. Dibs on Jason!

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    You could get a thousand people wanting to be mentored before a pro who has the time might show up sadly

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    The mentoring section seems to be a little difficult to work with. You have a lot of help being asked, but very little work shown. A guy coming into this saying, "I need help with my digital painting," and showing no images is pretty useless.

    I'm never satisfied with my digital painting and always think I need help with it, too. This guy/gal could be my skill level, he/she could be better, he/she could be less skilled. These are the three options, and you JUST can't tell without artwork, and therefore any mentor checking that out doesn't know what he/she is working with and might find himself/herself reluctant.

    I know this isn't the "improve the mentoring section" thread, but I think making artwork/thumbnails mandatory (like with any other art section) and encouraging one displaying a BODY of work (not just, like one) could go a little ways into helping some people find mentors. I know I'd feel more comfortable approaching someone to offer them a little of what I've learned, or approaching someone asking for some of what they know if I can somehow gauge the skill level of the artist.

    I found a mentor once, it didn't last long (I think it was my fault- very busy). To do this I posted what I considered my portfolio at the time (like 6-8 images that I felt best represented my work, not necessarily a good, solid portfolio) and gave some background about myself. It didn't take long at all for someone to pick it up, and at that time he also provided me with a link to his website. This "artist's handshake" really helped us to reach a mutual understanding of where we stood and what I could be helped with.

    tehmeh- I don't think one necessarily needs to be a pro to help out. The pyramid of skill has few at the very top, yes, but more in the middle. The hard part is that the base of this pyramid (like with any skilled ANYTHING) has the largest population- less skilled. The more we can pull from the middle to help out the guys on the top helps us all out, if you also agree that teaching someone helps you.

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    This would be absolutely amazing! I know that over the x mas break people are really busy, but the fact that there is no school then (for me anyways I have a month off from about the 7th of Dec. to 4th of Jan.) hopefully for most looking to learn would make it an ideal time.

    If I had someone that could shoot me some pointers every couple days on the work I'm doing it would help huge. We could even do it out of this forum. If someone who feels like they could help just sent a student a PM and then checked out their sketchbook every couple days I think it would work.

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    Yeah, December isn't so good. January on the other hand I could probably do.

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    I might be willing to try taking a few beginner/mid-level students. I'm certainly no professional but I think I could manage. That said I can't put forth too much of a time commitment, one month sounds about right though.

    Also I would love to study under a pro. Love, love. Maybe even if there were some kind of hierarchy: Pro teaches a few advanced students, each advanced student teaches a few intermediate students, each intermediate student teaches a few beginner students. That way the influence of the single Pro trickles down to a relatively large group of beginners, everybody gets personalized mentoring, and everyone (except for the beginners) has an opportunity to teach which can actually be a great way of learning. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liffey View Post
    Maybe even if there were some kind of hierarchy: Pro teaches a few advanced students, each advanced student teaches a few intermediate students, each intermediate student teaches a few beginner students.
    If this comes to pass I'm hoping it would organize itself into those groups. Personally I'd rather mentor people who have some of the basics down and lead them through some intermediate studies rather than help people who need an introduction to anatomy itself.

    basically I see it being more or less like crit week; everyone goes about it their own way. Some people would start a huge classroom where everyone is welcome to follow along with their studies and receive some feedback, others might want a really close group with intense feedback and panitovers. Some might only want to mentor people at a certain level, others might want to only mentor a certain subject. The only similarity between sessions is that they should go on for at least a month so that something can be learned.

    Even if only a few people decide to mentor it'd really help the section out I think.

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    So basics would be a prerequisite for mentoring, which is a good thing.

    In the Joe kubert school, back when I applied, they had a requirement of having the basics of sequential storytelling before they'd consider you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    So basics would be a prerequisite for mentoring, which is a good thing.

    In the Joe kubert school, back when I applied, they had a requirement of having the basics of sequential storytelling before they'd consider you.
    Not anymore, at least not in the sequential/panel/comic sense. Now they just look and see if you can communicate any narrative qualities what-so-ever in your portfolio pieces - just looking for potential. Of course it's a comic centric commercial art school, not just a comic school now. That and class sizes are down. Need to fill seats.

    I knew shit about panel layouts when I applied - now they've taught me so much. Love that school. Best decision I ever made school-wise.

    Anyway back on topic... I just wanted to say why isn't every week crit week? This is CA.org!

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    You know - alternatively, and perhaps more manageable than a mentoring program is an organized "sketchbook ring" program or something. I've seen people develop their own amongst themselves, but perhaps a top level section for exactly that?

    Hmm. It's a very vague idea in my head. People of varying degrees of talent banding together and forming their own "studio," commenting and critiquing each other's work, perhaps even collaborating on projects.

    Perhaps there could be bands based on theme: "Looking for 3 - 4 other people working on figure drawing," or "Learn environment drawing/painting."

    Mentors are cool - if you click. Having a group mind, though, with different perspectives (especially if you're all working on the same thing and coming across the same/different problems and developing various solutions for it) might be cool.

    I would TOTALLY love to see these bands or groups become a "thing" on CA. Group shows (somehow), a joint sketchbook, or something. It would certainly give the quiet, fearful newbies something to latch onto (STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) and get some confidence (I'm TOTALLY not talking about myself. Ahem) amidst the cavalcade of mindblowingly awesome art that our top members materialize from the aether.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karmiclychee View Post
    I would TOTALLY love to see these bands or groups become a "thing" on CA. Group shows (somehow), a joint sketchbook, or something. It would certainly give the quiet, fearful newbies something to latch onto (STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) and get some confidence (I'm TOTALLY not talking about myself. Ahem) amidst the cavalcade of mindblowingly awesome art that our top members materialize from the aether.
    You see a few here or there. Every now and then one pops up in the critique center... something like "the unstoppable order of improvement" where there seems to be a hierarchy of skill, but all thought and critiques seem to be welcome and encouraged. There are also a ton of people like Pezzle, up there ^, who have study sketch groups and they all check each other's out and comment each other's.

    A place to meet people for this, stickied or whatever in the mentor section could help get more learning going, but I could also see it as a big flop of started groups that just don't keep up. Artists are BUSY people. Either you're doing art all day at work, or you work and come home to do art in your free time hoping that one day you'll do art for work all day.

    I really would like something like this though, personally. I find myself recently graduated, moved, and not quite ready for the work force. I'm in a strange town with no art connections and interactions and feel as though I'm flying a little blind sometimes. I guess that's why I'm here so much .

    Last edited by Quigleyer; November 23rd, 2010 at 03:28 PM.
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    So often do I wish I had a solid mentor to turn to for help and questions. One-on-one help, just talking can help immensely. When I was about 15 I hit up some random fella on polycount with my really really crappy art and told him I respected his stuff, and was wondering if he could give me some tips. He did a couple 30 minute paintovers of my sketches. And I never forgot what I learned there. I learned more in that couple hours than I did in the rest of that year on my own.

    Granted, I'm older now, married and working and the like. And even though I've developed a lot since then, and generally can figure out a lot of things on my own...still so often do I tell myself, if only I had a mentor - someone with a skill and experience like that I'm looking to achieve who wouldn't mind even occassionally just answering some quick questions, or doing a quick paintover, that I'd be learning so much faster.

    I don't know if that qualifies as a mentor, though. As I don't want explicit instruction and if someone told me to go do 100 hands I'd tell them to shove it up their ass. Not out of disrespect, it's just... Its the exploration of personal ideas and objectives that helps define me as an individual and an artist, and I'm not interested in straying from my chosen path of study.

    ...it's just difficult finding a way over all the snags by yourself.

    It's also difficult to find that mutual respect between mentor and mentee. Maybe it's pompous of me (probably so), but a lot of the people I see offering to mentor someone, I wouldn't generally want instruction from. I think, in all reality, I would more appreciate some good artist friends than someone seeking "mentees". And if they happen to be a lot more skilled than I, all the better. I occassionally hit up some people here I've come to respect with questions as they arise, asking for advice and such, but I've got such respect for them that I wouldn't want to waste their time asking for a paintover, or a new question each week.

    Which leaves me at the end of the day looking inward and doing my own studying and projects, hoping that as a result I'll somehow stumble into a nice enough place in life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pezzle View Post
    Not anymore, at least not in the sequential/panel/comic sense. Now they just look and see if you can communicate any narrative qualities what-so-ever in your portfolio pieces - just looking for potential. Of course it's a comic centric commercial art school, not just a comic school now. That and class sizes are down. Need to fill seats.

    I knew shit about panel layouts when I applied - now they've taught me so much. Love that school. Best decision I ever made school-wise.

    Anyway back on topic... I just wanted to say why isn't every week crit week? This is CA.org!
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    It was back in '95 when I applied. Figured by now they'd have expanded in some way.

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    great idea. I think if this is going to work we should make it simple and organized by subject. I think many of us have strengths to offer and weaknesses to improve on. For instance I am constantly harping on folks in the crit center because they didn't work out their composition first. So I'd love to mentor somebody composition. A good understanding of composition actually makes work easy. On the other hand I'm struggling to see the more detailed and advanced issues Like facial featured, fingers, tech and architecture. There could be different levels.

    basic level tutorials: composition/abstraction, 3 tone/ grey scale rendering, basic anatomy, perspective/essentials.

    intermediate tuts: color theory/limited pallets, head drawing, materials, environments/botanical studies, perspective/tech and architecture, human mechanics/body language.

    advanced tuts: facial features and expressions, visual story telling, intensive anatomy, full color rendering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    I'd love to do it, except I don't think I'm qualified. Encouragement and nagging is what I presently do. Can't we target those that post in the Finally Finished section to take on at least one?
    Encouragement and nagging is all some people need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karmiclychee View Post
    You know - alternatively, and perhaps more manageable than a mentoring program is an organized "sketchbook ring" program or something. I've seen people develop their own amongst themselves, but perhaps a top level section for exactly that?

    Hmm. It's a very vague idea in my head. People of varying degrees of talent banding together and forming their own "studio," commenting and critiquing each other's work, perhaps even collaborating on projects.

    Perhaps there could be bands based on theme: "Looking for 3 - 4 other people working on figure drawing," or "Learn environment drawing/painting."

    Mentors are cool - if you click. Having a group mind, though, with different perspectives (especially if you're all working on the same thing and coming across the same/different problems and developing various solutions for it) might be cool.

    I would TOTALLY love to see these bands or groups become a "thing" on CA. Group shows (somehow), a joint sketchbook, or something. It would certainly give the quiet, fearful newbies something to latch onto (STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) and get some confidence (I'm TOTALLY not talking about myself. Ahem) amidst the cavalcade of mindblowingly awesome art that our top members materialize from the aether.
    This sounds like it could be a more workable solution.

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    To further on my idea - it would make mentoring much more... effective? A single artist with enough time and expertise (and interest, perhaps in the given subject of an active study group) could then tutor/mentor everyone in the group simultaneously.

    Consider - what's our experienced artist to mentor-wanting newb ratio? Completely off balance, I'd bet. And then adjust that number to mirror actual free time available, the variables in getting a decent one-to-one teacher/student dynamic to actually get the most out of your experience... you get the picture.

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    I would suggest starting small. Find the mentor you want to do it. Get them approved by sending a pm to me and I will discuss with the team. Gather some students who want to do it. Jason you are welcome to moderate that forum if you wish. Make one thread per assignment. Once students can do the assignment they can guide others who come to the threads after the mentor is done. We can make a new Mentorship subforum and archive the stuff not being used. The information around here has improved since the early days as we all have been learning. If people want to use it they may of course.

    Just ideas...but I like the idea of seeing more learning happening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karmiclychee View Post
    You know - alternatively, and perhaps more manageable than a mentoring program is an organized "sketchbook ring" program or something. I've seen people develop their own amongst themselves, but perhaps a top level section for exactly that?

    Hmm. It's a very vague idea in my head. People of varying degrees of talent banding together and forming their own "studio," commenting and critiquing each other's work, perhaps even collaborating on projects.

    Perhaps there could be bands based on theme: "Looking for 3 - 4 other people working on figure drawing," or "Learn environment drawing/painting."

    Mentors are cool - if you click. Having a group mind, though, with different perspectives (especially if you're all working on the same thing and coming across the same/different problems and developing various solutions for it) might be cool.

    I would TOTALLY love to see these bands or groups become a "thing" on CA. Group shows (somehow), a joint sketchbook, or something. It would certainly give the quiet, fearful newbies something to latch onto (STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) and get some confidence (I'm TOTALLY not talking about myself. Ahem) amidst the cavalcade of mindblowingly awesome art that our top members materialize from the aether.
    The thing is, we already have sketchbook support groups that function the same way, where it's a group activity rather than a led activity. I'd see a bumping of the SSG thread to be a part of whatever "mentor Month" might be, but not the actual event. It would be nice though to have different types of activities for the month; standard mentor activities, a promotion of SSGs, maybe "follow-alongs" where pros post their studies and their students do a similar study with critique later on?

    on your more recent post; so basically a single mentor with multiple students? That's what I was thinking all along for the standard. I figure if you can handle one person you could probably handle 2 or 3.

    @Jason I don't know if it's because I'm tired but I don't know if i fully understood your post; find "the" mentor and get them approved? Approved for what? Make threads with assignments? I'm just not sure if you're building off of previous posts or not.

    As for being a mod, I don't think I have the time to do that. I was just suggesting an event that I thought would organize itself (much like crit week does) with mentors offering their services to one or more students, leading classes for all etc. Just the simple advertisement of "Mentor Month" I think would get more people in the subforum.

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    We haven't had a huge influx with Crit week and that's a lot easier than mentoring.

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