Good news! I have a mentor!! She is a local artists who is exploring recycled art right now – she’s famous for making little, personalized dolls. She also teaches at Place des Arts for painting. We’re going to meet for the first time on Monday, so I’ll probably make a post on Tuesday night briefly reflecting on the experience.

I recently got new information about my mentor, and I have been asking questions such as “What works best for your schedule?” to better understand which dates and times would work for our (both busy) schedules. To check specific facts, I have had to ask mostly shooting questions, such as “How does it sound to meet at ___ time, ____place on _____day?” These are often the shortest way to get to a concise answer, because if both sides of the conversation already have a lot of information about each other, then it becomes the priority to make sure they understand what you are suggesting, rather than continue to gather information.

I also plan to ask questions about what made my mentor want to try recycled art, what their artistic process is, and what they try to convey through their art.

When I use shooting questions, I am usually trying to request help for finding possible mentors or check a fact. Some examples of this are “Do you know of any artists who would be interested in mentoring me?” and “Are you available during the weekend?” However, I also ask fishing questions such as “What are some useful links or sites you would recommend I check out?” and “How long would you prefer our mentoring sessions to be?”because I need to find more information. I would say I use an equal amount of each of these questions, because I use them each for different purposes. When I begin meeting with my mentor, I expect the number of fishing questions to go up significantly because I will want to learn all I can about the skills that go into making art.

Another kind of question is the multiple-choice. Although I didn’t ask this as a question, while I was searching for mentors I mentioned that the days that worked best for me to meet with my mentor were Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and weekends. I directed attention to my availability, and explained that I had multiple availabilities. This worked really well for me because it restricted the answers I could receive to the relevant window I had. However, I can imagine that it could be very NOT useful if someone was trying to learn more about a skill or subject, because it doesn’t allow for other ideas or topics to be brought up. If asking about the different properties of fruit, for example, I could ask: “Of the following fruit, is the apple, pear, orange or grapefruit the most sour?” If my intention was to determine the most sour fruit of only those four, this would work. But if I wanted to determine the most sour fruit in general (let’s say the lemon is the most sour), I would not have been able to learn that the lemon is most sour because I didn’t include it as one of the options.

A picture of my milk-jug jellyfish! I’m using old plastic necklaces as tentacles. I’m probably going to make another one, because I like the way they look. I might add different tentacle-y bits with ruffled plastic bag….we’ll see. I wish I had working lamp pieces, because they kind of look like lampshades to me!

Photo courtesy of me - Sorry for the bad quality photo, this was taken with an elderly ipod.
Photo courtesy of me – Sorry for the bad quality photo, this was taken with an elderly ipod.