The 2022 AOI Mentorship scheme is now fully underway! First introduced in 2020 and expanded in 2021, this free program is designed by the AOI to further support and guide under-represented illustrators in an intimate and supporting setting.
Sheffield-based illustrator Emclemmie (aka Emma Clements) is one of 17 new mentees selected for this year’s edition, paired with mentor and Agent Caroline Thompson from Arena Illustration. We learn how her mentorship is going so far and what she’s hoping to achieve in the months ahead.
What does being part of the AOI Mentorship mean to you?
It really does mean a lot to me. It’s given me this newfound sense of belief in my future within illustration.
I felt I’ve missed out on so much being a deaf girl in a hearing world. Didn’t get the right opportunities within my education, communication and career. It has felt like I had been taking the long road and now, due to the mentorship, I’ve been given a sense of direction.
What has the mentorship been like so far?
It’s going well. I feel I’ve been very well paired with Caroline Thomson, and the sessions have been so inspiring and insightful. I’ve come away from each session with my brain buzzing with ideas and things feel so much clearer.
During the mentorship we are working on a few areas that would make the biggest impact for me, which overall has resulted in real goals for both now and when I finish my BA (Hons) Illustration degree.
One of the areas is ensuring that I remain accountable for my time and my workflow. I plan to do a monthly blog that will cover my experiences finding my way as a deaf illustrator.
I already love keeping a sketchbook, so I’ve added to this with a daily practice of sketching a little square every day and writing more in a form of a diary.
During my degree I’d self-published a book as part of one of my assignments. With Caroline’s help, I am fine-tuning this and learning how to “polish” it into a more complete book.
What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the mentorship?
That feeling and belief that “I can do this!”
Art has always been with me as it is a core part of how I communicate. So, to be able to take the next step and build an illustration career is very important to me. With the help of the mentorship this feels possible.
We’d like to thank Emma for her time in giving this interview. See more of her work on her website and Instagram.
Keep checking our Mentorship section to meet more 2022 mentees!
Learn more about the AOI Mentorship and our 2022 Mentors.
The AOI Mentorship scheme is one of many benefits offered by us. Find out more about membership today.