My Experience with Mentorship and the “Woo Woo”
My artistic process is primarily intuitive and as such, I have struggled to discuss my work with others. Examining my work and learning how to discuss it with potential collectors was the primary reason I began looking for classes, workshops, or anything that would help me figure this out. I worked with a local company that connects artists with Master Artists and that’s where I found the talented abstract artist Lauren Mantecon.
At the beginning of 2022, I joined an artist mentoring group with Lauren Mantecon. Lauren and I are very different people and it’s one of the reasons I have learned so much from her mentorship. Although my ADHD mind can be all over the place and I find unpredictable connections, I am also drawn to a linear logical list-making type of existence. I prefer having concrete answers that include visible evidence (which logically, I know isn’t always possible). Lauren is open to, sees, and experiences so much outside of this type of existence. She asks questions I don’t know how to answer but understand that I need to examine them further. She is spiritual, deeply grounded, and knowledgeable. This wasn’t an art technique group; it was a space where we could experiment and dive deeper into answering the questions of why we make art, where it comes from within us, and what it means to us personally.
I attended an in-person workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Lauren and our group of artists. I knew heading in that I might feel vulnerable and outside my comfort zone, and boy was I right! I am one of those people who does not feel comfortable being vulnerable with others. Give me anger or frustration any day, but raw vulnerability, uh thanks, but no….. However, I did recognize that this experience would push me to answer difficult questions and learn more about myself and my art.
The piece I created during the workshop was a blend of an older style used in the CATHARSIS collection (pictured to the left) and how I currently work. I entered the workshop with the intention of being open and receptive. It was a moving and powerful experience to paint in one large room with a group and to stay open to the energy. I am happy with the end result (pictured below), in regard to both the work I created and what I learned about myself and my art. The piece I made is currently unnamed, but it’s hung in my home, and I intend to spend time with it and continue examining and writing about the experience and what I learned from it.
I know this sounds very “woo woo”, and I agree. I have always shied away from the “New Age thing”, however, I am realizing that by doing that I have shut myself off from potentially very profound experiences. I have denied myself participating in true connection with others, and to an extent, with myself. With that being said, I am going to continue to undertake more “woo woo” things and attempt to remain open to what surfaces from them.
Thank you for being here! As always I encourage and love comments & questions. Feel free to reach out to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any social media channel.Gratefully yours,