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Here at the Deviant Mentor program, we pair newer artists up with seasoned ones to give advice, critique, and encouragement. We're here to support new or growing artists of the deviantART community and to make a difference in their art lives.
Founded 5 Years ago
Jan 10, 2010


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306 Members
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You’re probably well acquainted with the old proverb “practice makes perfect.” And while I don’t fully believe that perfection is attainable, because the very notion of perfection is somewhat subjective, getting better at anything requires both time and effort. I’m going be very blunt here; if you want to improve your artistic skill you need to actually practice.

My heart goes out to everyone here who is struggling to improve so don’t feel that I’m purposely singling you out here. However throughout my time on dA (and in real life) I’ve met artists begging for advice on how to quickly improve and sadly when I tell them to begin practicing the excuse is always ‘well, I don’t really have the time for that.’


And I ain’t got time for yo attitude.

:bulletred: You do have the time

Inb4 “you don’t know my life!!!1one1!!” Listen here young padawon, everyone is busy, everyone has responsibilities, everyone has non art related stuff to deal with everyday. You’re not special because you’re swamped with different things than I. Here’s a little secret: if something is important you will make time for it. 

Referencing Star Wars and Star Trek in the same paragraph ftw.

:bulletred: You are in charge of your success

There comes a certain point where you can no longer blame lack of time, lack of inspiration, other people, etc. for why you aren’t getting where you want to with your artwork. This advice applies for any goal; it’s not unique to artists.

High fives for everyone!

:bulletred: Art block, art schmlock

We’ve all been there. A stifling of inspiration, creative juices, this that and the other. An art block is not a sufficient excuse to stop making art if you’re trying to improve. If I am in the block mode, rather than try to sit there and ‘come up’ with something to draw, I’ll do a still life. I’ll practice mixing colors. I’ll do thumbnail sketches from people watching. Sitting there glowering because I can’t think of anything to draw on my own is not only unproductive, but also depressing.

Kick that art block right in the fayse.

:bulletred: You don’t need fancy materials

That’s one of the oldest excuses in the book. You want to paint but don’t have top grade oils? Train yourself on the $1 pan of kiddie watercolors from the drug store. Want to sculpt but have no clay? Make homemade playdough from water, flour, and salt. Want to draw, but you have no paper? Doodle on junk mail, envelopes, and napkins. Want to do digital art, but alas Photoshop is too expensive? GIMP,, hell even MS Paint are there for a reason dude!  Before I got a graphics tablet I did digital painting with my laptop track pad and fingers. You’re apt to be even more creative with a lesser amount of materials.

There are no limits to your creativity!



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Carressa Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student Digital Artist
mentee looking for a mentor 
Anatomy (human) I usually do traditional art though. Would that be a bother? 
I don't need a hardcore professional, but at least someone who knows what they're doing and has some experience. 
Haven't heard from a mentor yet 
Xiaooyu Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
please resubmit a member request with this information included in the message.
Carressa Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Student Digital Artist
Okay :) 
PageOHaraWriter Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I would love to be a digital art or drawing mentor, my strength lies in portraits. I would also be happy to be a mentee if anyone is interested. Thanks!
DaggersnRoses Featured By Owner Edited Jun 25, 2014  New member
Hello Deviant-Mentor admins,

I understand how to join, but I was wondering if you would be able to explain how the mentorship works.

The mentor and mentee would communicate by private message, but does the mentor critique the mentee's work? Or do they offer generic advice through the private messages? Does the mentor give the mentee particular tasks to do?

I know the specific method of working with each other may depend on the mentor/mentee, but I would like a general idea of how the process works. Mentors in particular, I imagine, would be very busy people, and I wouldn't want to waste any of their time due to the fact I'm not sure how one goes about doing an online mentorship.

Also, would the mentee already have to have a gallery of works in place for the mentor to look over, or would they be able to add works after they've decided to do a mentorship?

I hope this all makes sense and I appreciate the assistance. Thank you.
ninebark Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
These are some really great questions. Unfortunately (and as you guessed) it's really up to the mentee and mentor to navigate what works for them.

I've been on both sides of the relationship, and as a mentor, I've supported some artists through positive encouragement, others by sending them tasks and mini assignments along with tutorials, and yet others with critique, redlines, and resources. People are different and they grow and learn in different ways at different times in their lives.

One thing I will say is that it's super important to talk about all this stuff when you invite someone to be your mentee or mentor. Laying out your expectations can feel a little weird, but it's the best thing you can do (ie, "I think the most helpful thing for me right now is having someone who can tell me how I can get better with critique" or "As a mentor, I can offer resources and links based on what I think you need to work on, but my busy schedule makes it that I can't do in-depth critiques.")

Does this help?
DaggersnRoses Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  New member
That's exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much :) Your response was very helpful.
ninebark Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good luck on your hunt!
(1 Reply)
MakarovJAC Featured By Owner May 27, 2014
Anyone looking for a mentor in anatomy?
ChiaroscuroAngel Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Quite a nice idea!
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