At a certain point, lessons and technical skill building do not meet all the needs of the serious artist. I offer professional mentoring for those who are looking to turn their passion into a career (or very consuming hobby!), or are preparing to apply to a competitive program or institution. My mentorship program is an expanded set of offerings geared towards laying the foundation for professional success. This includes:
Continued technical training, skill-building, and studio practice
Nuanced and challenging critiques of your work, both in process and upon completion.
Support in developing your artistic identity, style, and vision.
Materials and techniques, including:
Historical techniques and traditional materials
Mixed media and experimental materials
The use of power tools and building materials
Making panels, mounting linen, priming, prepping
Framing (building and joining, glazing, mounting, etc)
Hanging a show
Writing (yes, you need an artist statement!)
Records and inventory
Networking & communications
Approaching galleries and maintaining relationships
Preparing and mounting an exhibition
Application assistance, if relevant
Personal support in:
Creative exploration, sketching, journaling
intellectual/research pursuits related to your work
confidence building/imposter syndrome
various existential crises suffered in relationship to your work (experienced by all artists)
moments of both doubt and elation!
Fee: $85 per hour
Virtual mentoring may be available by request.
For long-time mentees who have built a substantial and varied skill set, the option to trade studio assistant work for mentorship may be available.
Mentee Testimonials and artwork
Before I met Robin, I was in a season of my education during which I struggled to finish any drawings or paintings. I lacked the technical skill to bring my ambitious ideas to life and I lived in a cycle of discouragement. As my teacher and mentor, Robin taught me the foundations of technical artistic skill and an entirely new way of seeing that gave me a freedom of expression in my work. Instead of shying away from the challenges of art-making, I learned a variety of methods and approaches that are now at the core of my creative process. My work began to improve rapidly, along with my confidence.
Beyond her prolific abilities as a teacher, Robin generously offers insight and practical tools for life as a working artist, from applying to residencies and writing grants to toning and building my own surfaces. She is an expert in all areas of her craft.
With Robin’s continued mentorship and example, I've seen that it is not only possible, but realistic and deeply fulfilling to pursue a professional career in Fine Art.
Mentee (drawing, painting)
There are hundreds of teachers who are average. There are teachers who are really good at their jobs. There are teachers who are outstanding. And then there is Robin Cole. She falls into the category of the supremely gifted. She is not only a remarkable and highly accomplished artist with countless insights, suggestions, and techniques to offer, but brings to the table communication skills far superior to those of most artists. Another teacher once told me that if you cannot verbalize a concept, you don’t truly understand it. With backgrounds in both English and fine art, Robin knows how to thought-form verbally and visually. This is invaluable to any artist who truly wants to express themselves and fully understand what it is they are expressing.
Before I met Robin, I wasn’t sure what my art was about and didn’t know how to talk about it. My notions were vague and, as so often is the case with artists, when I explained my concepts, there was a disconnect between them and the images. In addition to offering loads of technical advice, Robin also helped me find my artistic voice. I learned to discuss what my work is actually about and began to see common threads in my work and to develop them further. She also helped to point out my unique qualities as an artist. This kind of self-knowledge is critical to the profession. It also helps with grant writing, which she is very skilled at.
Robin is an empathic teacher and is highly intuitive. These traits greatly help the cause of coaxing out a student’s inner artist. Study with her, it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.
Mentee (drawing, painting, sculpture, writing)