AOI Mentorship Scheme 2023: Meet Tamsin Gaul

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.

Tamsin Gaul is an Illustrator, animator and printmaker paired with mentor and Illustrator Laurindo Feliciano. Continue reading to learn how her mentorship is going so far, her key takeaways from the experience, and much more.

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

Being selected for the AOI mentorship was a serious confidence boost. To have someone see potential in me and invest their energy and time into helping me navigate the industry has meant a lot. My brilliant mentor Laurindo Feliciano has a very impressive work ethic and level of self-discipline, which continuously inspires me to take my own goals seriously.

Having someone experienced to feed back with has helped me question and reflect on my work, and I already feel that I have more clarity and conviction in my next steps.

“What a match! I’m very happy to Tamsin’s mentor this year. She is absolutely talented, part of a new generation of illustrators concerned about current important subjects such as social minorities, ecology and genre violence. Despite her multidisciplinary approach, she has a unique illustration style to cover such hard subjects using both traditional and new technologies. Art directors should keep un eye in her portfolio!”
– Laurindo Feliciano, AOI Mentor.

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

Laurindo has helped me to identify and prepare to reach out to the kind of clients I want to work with by setting me real-life project proposals. Illustrating articles that deal with complex subjects such as violence and access to healthcare has prompted me to research and evolve my own viewpoints, whilst solidifying some of the topics I am already passionate about.

The realistic structure and deadlines set by Laurindo have required me to confront the limitations of my way of working. Making things by hand is a crucial part of my process; however, I have found new ways to integrate the digital to improve my flexibility without compromising on what I enjoy about working with unpredictable physical materials.

“Being selected for the AOI mentorship was a serious confidence boost. To have someone see potential in me and invest their energy and time into helping me navigate the industry has meant a lot”
– Tamsin Gaul

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

Perhaps the sense of accomplishment from finishing a larger-scale project I was given. I made 6 illustrations for a 12-page article from the Wellcome Collection’s stories ‘The Hidden Side of Violence‘. I used mono-printing as a base for my illustrations. Tailoring a process I had only used before for personal projects to make editorial work was a really exciting discovery.

I was also able to build on my personal interest in animated printmaking by turning two of the illustrations into gifs, with art direction from Laurindo throughout the project.

Thank you Tamsin for taking the time to give us this interview. See more of her work on her 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.

7th August 2023

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