How will Guildhouse support me in the mentorship?
Guildhouse offers $5,000 per mentorship and acts as an advisory support for both the mentee and mentor. Guildhouse will also provide staff support to both the mentee and mentor should they require advice throughout the project, however it should be noted that the mentorship is self-directed.
What should my aims and goals of a mentorship look like?
- Think about your current practice and where you want your practice positioned within the industry.
- What goals do you need to fix in place to attain that position?
- Be prepared and welcoming of critical dialogue around your practice.
- Ensure you have time to dedicate to your mentorship goals.
How do I choose my mentor?
Catapult is an artist-led mentorship, your mentor will be independent, with a strong arts practice. A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor and will both challenge and support you.
When selecting a mentor you might like to consider the following:
- What experience can the mentor bring to my practice?
- What qualities within the artist or their work would my practice benefit from?
- What are my own career goals and how does my proposed mentor fit within them?
- Does the mentor have time in their schedule to dedicate?
- Choose someone who is not only supportive, but challenging.
What should my mentorship project look like?
- YOU are your Catapult mentorship. The outcome of your mentorship will be the growth and development in specific areas of your creative practice that promote sustainability through skill development or professional practice. These goals will be defined by the mentee and mentor and will be specific to the mentees practice and skill/career goals.
- With the artists growth as the outcome, it is not expected that a public outcome (such as a catalogue, exhibition or public facing program) will be undertaken, as these public outcomes can be distracting from the mentee’s learnings.
- It is advised to consider a mentor who you view as being a few steps ahead of where you are currently within your practice, to ensure that the ambition of the project is achievable and to facilitate a relationship between the mentee and mentor that is balanced and allows for a vulnerable exchange.
How do I approach my mentor?
- If you do not personally know your mentor Guildhouse can assist in introducing you – or if you are comfortable in reaching out yourself, send a brief but succinct email/message inviting the potential mentor to chat through the mentorship over a coffee/phone call and go from there.
- If you do know your mentor present a short but concise plan for the mentorship to them.
Outline what you would like to achieve and what you hope their role as mentor will provide to them. Let them know from the outset the structure (ie contact time) and their fee.
Advice for being a great mentee
- Be clear in your needs, but be flexible with outcomes.
- Respect your mentor. Be committed, show your mentor that you value their time and yours.
- Your mentor will critique your practice and methodology, be open to feedback and feel comfortable discussing your work in this manner.
- You may not agree with all of the advice a mentor gives you. It’s ok to disagree, discuss the things you disagree on and be open to the other persons point of view.
Advice for being a great mentor
- Be genuine and generous. Provide advice that supports and challenges the mentor.
- Research the mentee and check that their professional practice goals are in line with your experience.
- Respect your mentee. Be committed, show your mentee that you value their time and yours.
- Be clear in your expectations and what you both want to deliver over the course of the project.
- Be forthcoming about the trials and tribulations in your practice, including your own mistakes.
What does a mentorship budget look like?
- The budget should include income and expenditure.
- Expenditure will include the amount of hours work from both parties, travel expenses, material expenses.
- Income will include the $5,000 from Catapult and any other additional income streams (grants or personal monies) dedicated to the mentorship and associated artists practice at this time.
- Guildhouse believe in the payment of artists time and expertise, therefore a budget that does not allocate payment to both mentee and mentor will not be considered by the Selection Panel.
- Consider building the size of your creative ambition based on the amount of hours within your budget.
If my mentorship is not going to plan how do I navigate this?
Keep in contact with the Artistic Programs Manager at Guildhouse throughout your mentorship. We have engaged hundreds of artists in mentorship programs over the duration of our 50+ year history, and are best positioned to provide advice on any aspect of the mentorship – from budget, to communication between artists to project reporting. Although the mentorships are very much self-directed, we’re here to assist you.
How do I report on my learnings?
Mentors and mentees are given the opportunity to reflect on their learnings and methodologies through progress reports at the mid and end points of their project. A template is provided to frame the feedback, reporting on the activities undertaken and the impact on artistic practice. This process not only allows the artist to observe the goals they hoped to achieve, but allows them to build on those goals and identify pathways to expand their practice further. Data from the report arms the Guildhouse team with stories and statistics that assist us in securing the longevity of the program through funding bodies and private donors.
Catapult is bolstered by an important research study in partnership with the University of South Australia to examine the longitudinal impact of mentorships on an artistic career. An interim report from the study can be found online here. Participants of the Catapult program contribute to this ground breaking research.
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Images (L-R): Elyas Alavi, One Hundred Thirteen (installation view), 2018-19. Photograph: Sam Roberts.