Saturday, October 18, 2014

On Mentorship

lining lining4

The rain has come in for the fall. Yesterday I spent the afternoon sewing together my jacket lining, marking seams with white chalk and easing charmeuse into itself. Next week I go in for another private class with my tailoring teacher, and I'm preparing what I can before then.

Lately I've sensed a sea change in my creative life. Graduation is close and I have a backlog of design ideas; at the same time, I'm feeling a pull to words that I haven't felt in a long, long time.

In another life, I had a daily notebook and would go on frantic two-day long binges, writing short stories. I had an English teacher from my community college who became my unofficial mentor after I started dropping off short stories in his office for critique, months after my creative writing class had ended. I still find myself writing a sentence and wondering what he'd think of it.

It also makes me think about mentorship in general; although it's common among young creatives to have a mentor in their craft, some of the sparkle of mentorship seems to fade once we've crossed the threshold into adulthood. Yet, it seems that encouragement of growth and reflection is such a positive force for any creative person - or really, any person, in any field - that it seems a shame to leave it behind just because we're no longer young or in school.

It's part of why I like to tell all of my knitting students that I believe in them, as cheesy as it is - because anyone, of any age or skill level, can benefit from knowing that someone is on their side. Because it can, and does, make all the difference.

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