Kathryn Green (textile designer) has been mentored by Lynne Dick (Director at Making Space) since March 2016. In this blog post they share some of what lies behind, and at the heart of, this arrangement.
KG: When I joined Making Space I was lacking direction and confidence. Lynne offered the option of mentoring sessions and I agreed with alacrity. I had little experience of how helpful this process could be, however, previously it has been very impersonal, with no connection that allowed me to discuss my feelings and weaknesses as well as my strengths. As soon as I met Lynne I felt I could trust her and talk honestly about how I truly felt about the various aspects of my business and creative practice.
LD: Kathryn started to hire our large studio for her textiles work, which gave her a much needed space in which to design and make her work. As we chatted informally, mentoring came up as an option that might work for her. Mentoring is about communication, an exchange; involving listening, questioning, learning, guidance and exploration of options. Building trust and honesty allows for a true reflection. As the mentor, it is Kathryn who directs and makes decisions about the next steps she feels are important for her work.
KG: Building a relationship is an important part of the mentoring process, for it allows an open and honest dialogue. Lynne has become a critical friend and in that context any criticism is constructive and supportive. At no point will Lynne tell me what I should do, but through discussion, questioning and objective evaluation, helps me to move my business forward. I know she will support me in working through various stages of my development. It is like someone going with you on a journey, but you keeping hold of the map.
LD: It is rewarding, as I can see a forward momentum and huge changes in how Kathryn is working – both in terms of her confidence with textiles, design, colour and mark making and how she wants to approach her business. The effort, the creative drive and the results are all down to her sheer tenacity.
KG: As a mentor Lynne facilitates my development, building my confidence and enabling me to accept accountability for my work and decisions. The mentoring sessions have allowed me regular contact for guidance and feedback, giving me direction and focus.
LD: We meet as and when Kathryn needs to get an external and objective perspective either on what she is designing/making or about her business direction. More lately we have been setting more detailed targets as she works on her business plan, which – yes – has meant considering the sticky side of budgets alongside her creative ambition.
KG: As a creative person I find looking at the business side of my work one of the hardest things. Lynne has helped tremendously with this, assisting me in learning to create a business plan and develop strategies and targets for the growth of my business.
LD: Supporting Makers has always been an informal part of my role here at Making Space, so for Kathryn to place her trust in my skills and experience and to support Kathryn in the development of her textiles practice is a privilege.
If you would like to see more of Kathryn’s work please visit her website.
If you would like to speak with Lynne regards mentoring please send her an email (information on the Contact Page)
Images: Deimante Meiline.