AOI Mentorship Scheme 2023: Meet Jardley Jean-Louis

The 2023 AOI Mentorship scheme is fully underway, and we are proud to introduce and champion this year’s mentees in a new series of interviews. A free program first introduced in 2020, this initiative champions a select group of 22 underrepresented illustrators, empowering them with dedicated support and guidance in the course of six months.

Jardley Jean-Louis is an Illustrator based in the US, paired with mentor and Agent Brittany Freeman from BA Reps. Continue reading to learn how their mentorship is going so far, their key takeaways from the experience, and much more.

What does being part of the AOI Mentorship mean to you?

I’m very grateful to be a part of the AOI Mentorship. It means a lot that I was selected and I get dedicated time with a mentor each month to focus on my goals, strategies and come back to illustration with a new sense of optimism.

How has the mentorship helped you tackle your goals? In what way(s) has your mentor supported you?

For this mentorship, I’m very centered on the business side of illustration and discussing what markets could make sense for my work that aren’t just editorial for example. Through the support of my mentor, I’ve been able to discover new markets I hadn’t considered, like the game industry, and international clients are now on my radar. Also, approaching potential clients in ways I resisted or hadn’t considered before are part of my toolkit now.

Seeing the amount of consideration, time, and effort [my mentor] took not only in logging the goals I shared, but in researching and coming up with experiments to try and achieve them, really helped me feel cared for and seen. “
-Jardley Jean-Louis

What has been a key moment or takeaway from the mentorship so far?

A key moment from my mentorship was during my monthly meeting with my mentor Brittany back in June. Brittany shared a doc sheet ahead of our call, and seeing the amount of consideration, time, and effort she took not only in logging the goals I shared, but in researching and coming up with experiments to try and achieve them, really helped me feel cared for and seen.

During that call we were able to further brainstorm what experiments from the doc sheet could be tweaked to suit me better, and discussed my anxieties and uncertainties around whether my previous approaches were useful. All of this gave me a second wind and excitement in how to approach publications and to reach new illustration markets.

It also reassured me that my initial approaches didn’t need tweaking, it just takes keeping at it. 

Thank you Jardley for taking the time to give us this interview. See more of their work on their website and instagram

Keep checking our Mentorship section to meet more mentees!

Learn more about the AOI Mentorship and our 2023 Mentors.

The AOI Mentorship scheme is one of many initiatives offered by us. Find out more about membership today.

31st July 2023

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