Mentorship Program Spurs Budding Artists Forward

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Many aspiring artists struggle with creative blocks or making time for their art. Simply knowing how to paint, take photographs or sculpt doesn’t necessarily mean artists know how to structure their time and lives in order to cultivate a successful career. California artist Michele Théberge started her online mentorship program to aid those who are perplexed when it comes to the practical side of being an artist.

Aspiring artists who previously struggled alone can now receive support to propel their art career forward by following an 8-week online mentorship program. The Mindful Artist Mentorship Program provides structure, practical tools and strategies to keep creativity flowing, create a schedule and prepare to get their work out into the marketplace.

Typically, art students learn the skills, theory and history of art in school but learn later that they don’t have all they need to keep it going on their own. What many find they lack is information on how to be self-employed and self-motivated in beyond the classroom.

“After school, I slowly began to create less and less until now, where I create almost nothing,” says Eric Trondson-Clinger. “It took me awhile to realize that, without an audience, I wasn't nearly as motivated to do my stuff…One of the things I wished I'd worked on was finding a way to get my work out there when I didn't have a class full of fellow students to show it to.”

“I left school determined to be an artist, but had no idea how. I also suffered from huge self doubts,” says Oakland artist Michele Théberge. “I think the same kind of sensitivity to tune into new ideas that enables artist to be enormously innovative can also be crippling when it’s time to bring the work to the marketplace.”

A professional artist for 23 years, Michele floundered early in her career and turned to books and classes for advice. “The thing was, I would read these books and then I wouldn’t have the guts to follow through on what was recommended. Or I would do a little bit but not follow through completely. It wasn’t until I began to fuse what I had learned from my meditation practice and personal growth work with the career advice that things started to shift for me.”

These days, Michele exhibits her work around the world and has dedicated herself to teaching others what worked for her. She developed The Mindful Artist Mentorship (http://www.mindfulartistmentorshipprogram.com) to aid aspiring artists in developing a regular practice and organizing themselves as professionals.

“I really feel there is an inner component to living an artist’s life that gets overlooked. Artists can be pretty sensitive folk, making it harder to put themselves out there,” says Théberge.

Laurie Miller is a professional gardener and calligrapher who felt her art studio wasn’t “being used at all.” After completing the Mindful Artist Mentorship Program mentorship program she reports, “I now have what I consider a regular practice, I feel more confident and more appreciated.”

Millicent Zimdars met Théberge when the artist gave a talk on her work at her college in Portland, Oregon. “I went from working irregularly, with minimal output, to working daily, completing projects that had been works-in-progress for years,” Zimdars explains of her experience in the mentorship program.

Patricia Churchill was a television producer who made art on the side, but longed to devote herself more fully to it. She found it was harder than she expected. Realizing that the skills she had mastered in the television world didn’t translate to the solitary pursuits of an artist, she enrolled in the mentorship program. “Michele’s crystal clear vision of the artist’s life shed a full spectrum light on my quest to become a more productive artist and an engaged member of my local community of artists. I am now on that road full-time.”

Théberge says, “I just want emerging artists, budding artists, even people who are afraid to call themselves artists to know that someone cares and that their work is valuable and it matters. It makes me sad when someone gives up on their dream because they don’t have the wherewithal or the support or the proper mindset to keep it going. When you are creative, it’s not just for you, it helps lift everyone around in ways big and small.”

Michele Theberge is an internationally exhibited artist (http://www.micheletheberge.com) whose paintings, drawings and installations have been shown and collected in New York, Osaka, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, DC, Chicago and the United Arab Emirates. Her popular online Artist Mentorship Program (http://www.mindfulartistmentorshipprogram.com) helps up-and-coming and established artists tap into their creativity at a deeper level, and develop and maintain an effective studio practice. For more information about Michele and how she helps artists, visit http://www.themindfulartist.com

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