Starting a career in the creative industries is a daunting experience, a little like skydiving out of a plane. If launching your career as a creative is skydiving, then consider a creative mentor your parachute. A mentor is an experienced professional in your creative field who will guide you through your early creative career with invaluable insights, honest feedback, and introductions to industry connections.
Luckily for you, there are a vast amount of amazing mentors covering all aspects of creativity, so finding one is just a digital networking platform away.
Having a mentor as an emerging creative is invaluable. They provide guidance, wisdom, and industry insights only experts know. Mentors also offer support, share experiences, and help develop crucial skills, all of which help you navigate difficulties and locate opportunities.
Follow this guide to connect with the right creative mentor for you.
What is a creative mentor?
A creative mentor is someone who is "a few steps ahead of you" in the industry. They are well established in their chosen creative field and have first hand experience of all the industry has to offer—the good and the not so good.
Just like the cheat code in your favourite game, a creative mentor helps you level up faster in your career. Creative mentors help you to use your existing talents to your advantage, whilst expanding your overall skillset. They can offer guidance and emotional support when you face challenges and can help break down barriers into the creative industry by introducing you to a network of connections.
In a way, the relationship between you and your mentor will be a collaborative one—they share their expertise and you share your passion and fresh ideas.
How do I choose the right creative mentor for me?
There are many factors to consider when looking for a creative mentor. A suitable advisor should be a good match on a personal level, as well as professional. Here are some questions to ask yourself before searching for a creative mentor:
- What are my goals for this mentorship? Be clear on what you want your mentor to help you achieve.
- What are my specific areas of interest? It is wise to pick a mentor who has experience in this niche.
- What makes me work best? Do you respond well to critique or are you looking for a more nurturing mentor?
With the right pairing, you and your mentor can work collaboratively towards your long-term vision and bring your creative career to life. Above all, remember to listen to your intuition when selecting a mentor.
Discover the best creative mentorship programmes
Find your dream creative mentor in one of these digital networking platforms:
Creative Mentor Network
Creative Mentor Network supports socio-economic diversity by connecting young emerging creatives to dedicated mentors.
The Creative Mentor Network exists to provide support for under-represented creatives in the industry. Their mentorship comprises three programmes:
- Bespoke: for larger enterprises
- Break the Wall: for small businesses and freelancers
- Accelerate: 1-1 sessions for entry-level talents.
The mentorship programme promises to equip mentees with a network of professional contracts, a growing portfolio, an enhanced skillset, and an understanding of the creative industry landscape.
Shadow to Shine
Shadow to Shine is a London-based charity networking platform that offers training and mentoring programmes for young creatives. Shadow to Shine empowers emerging creatives aged 16 to 24 as future leaders of the industry.
The mentorship programme is conducted virtually and can be flexible to allow for a range of schedules.
Re:create is a straightforward networking platform, allowing young talent to connect with "super talented mentors" from all around the world.
Re:create hosts a huge bank of industry experts from a diverse range of creative fields, comprising everything from food stylists, to copywriters, to game artists. Whatever your aspirations, you'll find a role model eager to support you on Re:create.
If you're a creative working in the tech space, Merit is the platform for you. Merit mentorship programmes includes career advice, interview training, industry insights, helpful feedback, and potential employment referral.
Find a creative mentor with ADP List.
Finding the right mentor is easy with ADP List. Smart filtering capabilities allow you to browse mentors by their field of work and other important factors such as experience level, specialities, and language. Get to know each of the suitable mentors using their in-depth profiles and reviews from previous mentees.
Engaging with a creative mentor is a great way to take your career in the creative industries to the next level. Whether you're a budding event stylist, or an aspiring interior designer you'll find a wealth of industry talent willing to show you the ropes.
When deciding on a mentorship, be sure to consider your personal goals and the learning style that works best for you.