Mentoring

Would you like to work with me and feel more supported and inspired in your creative practice?

Are you feeling a bit unsure about your creative direction? Wanting a little bit of help to guide and support you in making the right decisions to take you forward?

I know just how you feel. Being an artist can be hard work, constantly challenging our confidence and resilience.

Support can make a huge difference and it’s something I really love to do.

Why I love mentoring

Being trusted to be part of a creative journey is a wonderful thing. I love being able to support, guide and share with my mentees through their development. I learn so much from each person I work with and it’s a journey of discovery and inspiration every time. And you are all doing such amazing things, it’s a joy to be part of it.

Am I the right mentor for you?

I can’t tell you that but if you are here, it’s probably because my work and my approach to creative practice resonates with you. I value honesty, connection and creativity in my mentoring work so if that’s what you are looking for, I am here to help. Any mentor should be a supportive guide, not a boss to tell you what to do. I want to help you figure it out yourself. I’d like to invite you to join me for a 10 minute Zoom call to help you decide if I am the right mentor for you. Book a spot here.

I mentor artists, makers, writers and anyone else with a creative practice. It doesn’t matter to me if you are a professional (making a living from this) or not. All that matters is that you have a creative practice that you take seriously and want to develop.

If you questions are about HOW DO I DO something, you are probably better to join my business support 1:1 programme which will be launched in the autumn.

How does it make a difference?

Having someone on your side, listening and reflecting back to you is a very rewarding experience. Often a mentor can see through the things you are stuck with and will help you work out what you need to do.

Is mentoring right for me?

If you are wanting to develop your work then mentoring is a good choice. Mentoring is most successful when you have a challenge you want to overcome, like a creative block or a change in direction or if you are just starting out and have a lot to learn.

I found it really useful to talk to someone who was not a friend who understood the sort of environment I was working in and could provide supportive, critical comment. Ruth provided insightful comments and direction. I think it is important that you feel personally in tune with any mentor.

Mentee 2021

What is a mentoring session like?

I like to keep my mentoring sessions really informal. Although its online, it should feel like meeting up for a coffee and chat. I want to know about your work and your motivations and where you would like to get to. I will send a short questionnaire in advance if I don’t already know your practice.  My role is to ask questions which delve into your challenges and help you work them out by yourself. 

I will keep notes which I will send to you and we can record the conversation for you to listen to later.

What is the time commitment?

My artist mentoring packages are either 3 hours in 3 months or 6 hours in 6 months – so once a month. You can compact this down and meet every two weeks for 6 or 12 weeks if you prefer. How much time you spend working on the stuff we talk about in between is up to you but I assume you will be thinking about things and taking actions between the sessions so you are able to feel progress and development.

I’m really happy for you to come back for more sessions or book more upfront if you are sure you want to do that.

Please note that currently I only offer sessions on Tuesday mornings UK time. If you want to discuss options outside of this time, please get in touch.

1P5B0758Made_In_Leicestershire_August_2019 © Rosie_Reed_Gold

Ruth has helped to calm the busyness whirling in my head, and drill down to what matters to me in my making.

Jane 2022

Why can’t I just have one session like I used to?

I’ve been mentoring now for about 10 years. I have found that working on artist practice and really making progress just isn’t possible in one hour. It needs time. You need time. When you need to really reconsider your practice and need to take time to think things through a slower, ongoing process of regular meetings over several months would work better for you. Mentoring provides the space to reflect and take gentle actions. It’s not a quick-fix. If you are keen for a one-hour business support session, I’ll be launching those later this autumn.

Is it scary?

I hope not! I don’t ever want mentoring to be scary. I am not there to judge you or criticise. A mentor is a supportive role, helping you work out where you want to be and how best to get there. I might ask some difficult questions about why you are doing or making something, which can be hard to explain, but I am there to support and nurture your ideas and help you make the best decisions.  All conversations are confidential too.

How much does it cost?

Three sessions are £250. Six sessions are £450. Maker Membership customers get 10% off mentoring packages as long as you maintain your Membership throughout the mentoring period. You can book straight in here when you are ready.

Please get in touch if you want to look at a longer period of mentoring and I can give you a price. If you are applying for funding, please use the figures above as your guide, although be aware that I may increase the price before your funding comes through and will charge the new figure.

I appreciate that this is a major investment for small businesses and artists. It can feel hard to justify spending money on mentoring when there are other pressing needs on your income. But think of it as a way of making space to make more money by getting your practice up to scratch.

You might want to look at funding to make a longer-term mentoring relationship possible. There are small pots of money available from professional bodies such as A-N or Curatorspace, as well as many technique or material-specific groups such as the Textile Society. Some of these may be suitable for mentoring, or as part of a package of professional development or other projects. You might also want to apply for Arts Council grants, though you may need to pay up front for my advice and support putting tother the application and then hopefully it will fund further mentoring. That would be through my 1:1 business support sessions which will be available again very soon.

Mentoring sessions are professional and tailored to needs. You are experienced and supportive. 

Mentee 2022

Get in touch

Other support programmes

I run creative development programmes and workshops and have workbooks and downloads to help you as well. Gentle Goal Setting is now available as a download workbook . My Maker Membership is also ideal for anyone wanting to develop their creative practice, build more meaning and research into their work and be part of supportive community.

About Ruth

Ruth Singer has 17 years experience at making a living as an artist and several more years before that working in museum education. She has a wide range of skills and knowledge about working in the creative sector and experience of both mentoring and being mentored herself. She has also worked as a project manager and workshop leader as well as exhibiting and creating work to commission.


Mentoring case studies

Vicki Aimers, supported by Creative Kernow, 2019

“My time with Ruth made me focus on what is important for nurturing my business and for myself as an artist. Simple things such as taking time out of my day for quiet reflective moments, to applying for Arts Council funding. Meeting regularly allowed us to build a valuable mentoring relationship. We discussed many aspects of my practice.  Ruth was always very generous with knowledge of what worked and didn’t worked for her. She also really understands the contemporary textiles world, which I found interesting and useful for my own work.  I would highly recommend Ruth’s mentoring program for others who feel they need guidance and focus for their business.”

Hayley Mills-Styles. Artist practice mentoring 2018

“I’d been working as a freelance artist for a few years when I decided to approach Ruth about some mentoring. I wanted to get some guidance on career goals and how to make the most of the opportunities I was working on. Ruth’s mentoring helped me to create an action plan with a list of my goals with ideas and action points for how I could achieve them. Her extensive experience as a creative practitioner was invaluable, and it helped me to focus my creative energy on opportunities that would help me to move forward in my practice.”

Sunflower Seedlings: Creative Business Development, 2015.

“My mentoring experience with Ruth has been exceptional. Ruth is full of ideas and her advice is concise . Her expertise and passion made the whole experience, and my time with her, engaging. As a small business in Leicester, it’s difficult to get creative business advice in regards to textiles in business but seeing Ruth has given me a different and more confident approach to the way I am working. I will definately turn to Ruth for future advice and I highly recommend her for mentoring.”

Louise West : Publishing Opportunities, 2014.

“Great mentoring session with Ruth, addressing individual issues regarding future planning for my practice. It was really interesting and informative to talk to someone so knowledgeable.”

Laura Millen : Running Workshops. 2014

“Working with Ruth has given me the confidence to get things moving to enable me to start running creative workshops. We covered many topics including target market, marketing, costing & heath and safely. Ruth also showed an example of a risk assessment and advised me on what I need to include in my own risk assessment. I’m clear on the goals that I need to achieve before I begin running workshops.”

Elizabeth Dyer: Teaching Skills

Expected Outcomes:

Learn about practical and legal planning for craft based workshops

“Ruth managed to cover all these topics and more in our meetings. I learned about writing a risk assessment, what insurance I would need and other legal and safety matters. I also enjoyed the creative marketing that we discussed. I felt that Ruth’s advice helped me to develop a clear view of my marketing strategy for my own workshops business. I also gained confidence and understanding of delivering workshops by standing in with Ruth in her own workshops and helping Ruth and her students as and where I could. It was helpful to be able to watch Ruth teaching, in order to produce my own formula for teaching my own workshops. We talked about pricing workshops and how to advertise my services. Ruth was happy to attend my first trial workshop and gave me excellent, practical feedback, which was most helpful and really gave my confidence in teaching a boost.I really enjoyed the programme and Ruth was a helpful, knowledgeable and understanding mentor.”

Erica Pickles: Creative Development and marketing

“Working with Ruth has helped me to put into perspective many aspects of my creative business. Her optimistic approach to mentoring has allowed me to establish realistic targets for the business, and by identifying my strengths and weaknesses, greatly increased my motivation and confidence in areas where I was lacking knowledge. Throughout the mentoring, Ruth has given consistently positive, inspiring and relevant input and ideas based on her broad knowledge and experience of running a successful creative business.”

 

3 thoughts on “Mentoring

  1. Pingback: Meet the tutors | Ruth Singer

  2. Ruth I have jus come across your work. I have changed direction after taking early retirement from the civil service I am currently in my first year of my textile degree course at Hull College. I think you will be an inspiration to me. I have just got your book Fabric Manipulation and want to try out all the techniques
    Christine Smith

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