Mentorship, the conclusion: An ending to a new beginning.

Creativity isn't linear. It's on a pendulum.

I've created more work in the past six months than I have in the past 5 years. And looking back, I'm a different person than I was at the beginning of my mentorship. I used to think progress was linear. This frustrated me because many times it would seem like I was right back where I started. I felt like I wasn't progressing. Through experiences in this program, I now realize its more like a pendulum. Situations seem similar because as my work evolves I revisit the same questions. Each time the bar swings to the right or left I am back in the same place. But now it's with new perspective through working so hard during that last swing. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And every time, (in theory) my work gets better.  

It's ironic, but the things I deem successful on this side of my mentorship are entirely different than that of my original agenda. The real magic wasn't in perfecting my painting, or even finding my voice. It was forming this wonderful community of writers and illustrators, people who know what I have to say before I speak. They know because they are experiencing the same things, fear, anticipation, anxiety and joy. There are no words for how important they are to me. Knowing my fellow mentee's have my back is so empowering. It's through their support I have rediscovered confidence in my own work and have acquired such respect and admiration for theirs. 

David Diaz, our mentor extraordinaire!

Me with David Dias.
Our discussions and exercises have been informative and insightful, graciously lead by our fearless leader, David Diaz. He has a way of posing questions and situations that allow us to discover what we need to know for our own personal journey. Nothing condescending, nothing preachy and always with utmost respect. The past six months have been a time of taking risks, pushing the envelope, and not being afraid to get my hands dirty; all things that came quite easy at age seven. So I'm relearning, reprograming and the most important having fun again.

(Illustrator Mentees) Sylvia Liu, me, LoriAnn Levy-Holm, Steve Roe, Sidne Teske, Heide Sheffield,
 (Our Fearless Mentor) David Diaz.
That support from my creative community makes me realize what I was really looking for I have had all along, it's just that I didn't see it in myself. It's with the support of the entire group I have gathered strength, confidence and an appreciation of what I do and why I do it. I see now that it's been my insecurity that's held me back, not my technique.
The tables turn when mentors David Diaz and Jim Alverbak, take a lseeon from mentee LoriAnn Levy-Holm.
I am drawn to this industry because of my love of storytelling (pun intended), but I stay and continue to do it because of the people, their support, their similar struggles and the sense that we're all in this together! I love this community and the gift of learning from their perspective; new things, old things, scary things and amazingly happy, wonderful things. Great memories and a great ending to our new beginning.

So the official mentorship is in the books. But this is just the beginning. Who's to say what the future holds. No matter what, we're all in it together.

Thank you Nevada SCBWI, we appreciate you!

The epicenter of our group was in the kitchen of our haunted hotel in Virginia City.

"Hey Cathy, have you tried this Granola? It's the bomb."
"No David. But thanks,  I think I will."


Popular Posts