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I am part of the AOI 2022 Mentorship Scheme

The title will be a bit of a giveaway, Okay, maybe a huge giveaway. I have very exciting news to share!

How I introduced myself to the other mentees

Back in November of 2020 I applied to be part of the Association of Illustrators (AOI) mentorship scheme. I cannot deny that I had a lot of self doubt going through my head at the time, I felt it was such a long shot. When applying I spoke from my heart, with my covering letter expressing my fear of losing my way and falling into the gaps. I am very pleased to say I worried for nothing, I found out I was one of the

mentees at the end of last year. I spent a lot of time when I first found out in fear saying anything just in case it was a case counting chickens before my eggs hatched, so I kept this quiet until now. There has been so many times in my life I have gotten so excited for things and it's fallen through.


So I've waited until I met the other mentees and my own mentor. The mentor I've been partnered with is the amazing Caroline Thomson.

Caroline Thomson (Screen shot - AOI) [Accessed] 25/01/22

I had my zero meeting and the first official meet. The zero meeting was really for us both to get to know each other and a bit of a feel for what I would like from this. After just the zero meeting I came away with a clearer area of how I want my illustration career to go and also a hint of how I can make this happen. We had so much to talk about as well. The whole hour quickly passed in a blink of a eye and spoke of the books and illustrations of Pam Smy and Levi Pinfold.

Collection of books we talked about. Photo by Emma Clements

Caroline gave me a lot to think about. Questions such as "What is your ideal job" to think about as homework. I had to think about the goals I wanted from this mentorship and how we could achieve this. Another area we are looking at are ways for me to hold myself accountable and keep up a daily practice.

I had a week to reflect upon my dream jobs and really asked myself what is the dream job. What I know so far my dream job isn't linear but has some core values. I want the challenges and connections to others via commercial work, in areas such as picture book, fictional book, character design/concept, character based editorial. I would also need the balance of self directed projects via my own books, zines, webtoons to give myself creative freedom to push myself in unknown directions. Next is to look how am I going to achieve this and how I measure it's success. Keeping a daily practices is a good way for me to start. I will be drawing everyday spending around five to ten minutes on a small square drawing in my sketchbook of anything and everything.

As much as there is so much I want to cover, the reality is it there are only six sessions and I have to use this wisely so I can benefit from it the most for what I need now. I will aim to cover everything within this blog as I dive deeper into this mentorship, after all this blog was one of the things I mean by measuring my accountability. I aiming to update on a more regular basis and will be keeping a notepad/journal at hand to help myself be able to do so. I am so excited and humbled to have this opportunity...


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