B4: Gifts and Gratitude

There are many gifts that are intrinsic to the decision to undertake a mentorship. The main gift is to find a superb mentor and I found one in Deborah Foutch. She has helped me develop a clear new focus. I’m excited about my new skill set of doll-making and assemblage. I am overcoming my fear of power tools so my drive and confidence have been revitalized.

Another gift is the meaningful relationships that I have developed with fellow protege’s in small group meetings and exhibitions. I was lucky that I found a mentor to understand what I yearning to articulate, she knew exactly how to get me there. Yet she respected me enough to leave the very intrinsic decisions for me to work out. I often get bigger ideas than I can realistically execute in one piece or time frame. Deborah encouraged me to pace myself so I wouldn’t overwhelm myself and impair the work. She has encouraged me to imagine the narrative in episodes instead of whole volumes. So I have come to consider the work as a longterm narrative. That support was especially helpful because it empowered me to revitalize the work that I always felt was my “real work”. She also taught me some fantastic techniques that will enrich my aesthetic in years to come.

The most rewarding feature of this experience is the discovery of a new manifestation for my character, Toberson. At the end of my graduate education, I decided to write my thesis on how I created the character and all the references that culminated in who he is or what he could be. Initially I wanted to write an addendum to my thesis and, in a sense, I think I did that by creating a tangible figure. I have also moved ahead by discovering a counterpart, which is the Matron, and she is also a living, breathing character! I believe that I have truly given life to these once inert images and they have become that much more convincing!

The Matron

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