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February 08, 2023
Are you a creative who would like to express your work in book form but don't know where to start? Are you frustrated by your efforts to make artist's books, swatch books, exhibition displays or photobooks so far?
Do you have too many ideas to process? Do you need guidance and a confidence boost when it comes to selecting and using materials, bindings styles and appropriate tools? Would you benefit from reflecting on concept, design and narrative flow?
Then mentoring might be just what you need.
"Susan has been wonderful... support[ing] me in the development of my concepts, offering her expert advice and showing genuine interest and excitement for my ideas." - H.M.
I was spurred to start online mentoring 1-on-1 by a request last year from The Photographers' Gallery in London. I mentored a student who wanted to make a book as an outcome for their EPQ in Photography.
Working via Zoom in this way opened my eyes to the possibilities of supporting artists, photographers, makers and other creatives across the country, even the world, rather than just in my immediate geographical community.
It has often found been the case, over the past 15 years of being a bookbinder, that client requests are what lead me to make the next right move, and they've always been in service to what people actually need, which is the most satisfying thing of all.
That's how I came to teach bookbinding workshops in-person back in 2014 and, as you can see, it's why I now mentor 1-1 via Zoom.
It can be Really Hard to shift from making the work you've been making for years, to becoming a beginner again.
From unfamiliar language, materials and techniques to new, three-dimensional considerations, extending your practice can be... challenging.
Mentoring helps with that shift; you've got a trusted friend who can help you navigate possibilitie and hold space for you as you try new approaches. One who will gladly share with you the kind of insider information you only get from years of experience. All whilst valuing (and yes, even learning from) your own expertise, ideas and preferences.
"Time absolutely flew by, which shows how rich the conversation was." - J.H.
At some point or other, every one of us needs support to achieve something important to us.
Whether we're frustrated by our efforts, have 'creative trauma', or simply value our time and energy and know that we don't have to reinvent the wheel ourselves, it's good to reach out and ask someone who knows. Believe me, I've been there.
"Susan is very kind and patient and takes the time to explain in detail the intricate methods of bookbinding. Very thankful for her support!" - H.M
Mentoring is also ideal for those of you at a point in your practice where you strongly value your continuing professional development and are ready to invest time, thought - and a little money - into expanding your practice.
I'm offering live, 1-1 tailored mentoring sessions by Zoom video call. Each session is up to one hour at a time, and it's totally up to you whether you have a single session, book a series of sessions, or simply see how you get on and have sessions on an ad hoc basis, as and when you need them.
We'll start by me listening as you share a bit about your creative practice, where you are with it right now (ideas, thoughts, feelings, challenges, opportunities), and what you might want to achieve in book form.
Then we'll discuss your ideas and their context. I'll offer input and guidance on binding styles, materials, techniques and tools. I'll point you in the direction of inspiration and resources. And I'll help you determine what actions you want to take to achieve your aims.
Follow up sessions, if required, evaluate how things have been going, what if any adjustments you need to make, and what steps you can take to realise your desired outcome, or what project you want to work on next.
I'm usually described as compassionate, patient, supportive and encouraging, yet direct. I tend to be action-focussed. But do bear in mind that I tailor your mentoring session(s) to your needs and preferences. So, if you would prefer only discussion and reflection, rather than an action plan, that's more than fine. It's about you and what you want to get out of this investment in your creative practice.
Oh, and our discussions are completely confidential, so just be yourself!
1. It's not teaching. You won't receive step by step instruction or demonstration of how to bind X, Y or Z style of book. I don't offer the option to purchase materials or tools. However, I will always point you in the direction of information and resources! And if you're struggling with a particular aspect of a binding, I'm more than happy to offer suggestions and 'how-to' tips and tricks on materials, tools and techniques.
2. I don't know everything. I'm okay with that and I'm okay with letting you know if I don't know the answer to your question, or how to achieve the outcome you desire. I'll try and point you in the direction of someone who does, however!
If you think you might benefit from input, guidance and help corralling your ideas and bringing them into book form, please read my mentoring information pack which gives a good idea of what it's like to work with me. It also has details on fees, booking options, FAQs and also my small print. In the meantime, please contact me to express an interest - no obligation, of course. (You may need to check your junk/spam folders for my response.)
We'll then have a 15 minute discovery call - free of charge and without obligation - where you can give me a short brief on your aims and we can see if we might be a good fit for working together.
Susan Green | email@example.com | +44 (0)7748 759371
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