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.
Ana Carolina Oliveira is an Illustrator from Brazil, paired with BA Reps Agency. 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 an AOI mentee made me feel like an Illustrator on a professional level; It’s helped me realise how I have everything I need to be a great illustrator and show my vibrant colours to the world. The AOI Mentorship means for me a moment in which we have the freedom to expose all our creative potential, connected to our origins and the place we want to reach.
Sometimes things kind of look unrealistic when we are trying to reach our goals, but having a person that knows how to pave the way to get there is something really optimistic. I’ve always loved Publishing and Editorial illustrations, so having an expert mentor in that area focused on helping me has been an incredible professional experience, besides being a mind blowing opportunity to have insights into how this industry works.
How has the mentorship helped you tackle your goals? In what way(s) has your mentor supported you?
The mentorship’s helped me to better define my goals and create firm steps to get there, besides helping me to focus on what I need to advance in my career. I’ve already expanded my network and audience through this experience. This in turn has increased my confidence – getting out of my comfort zone, developing my skills, and being more hopeful in accessing new opportunities.
James (B&A London) and I set monthly meetings where he guides me on how to better achieve my goals. In each meeting, he defines activities for me to do, and we also discussed what has been achieved. These activities range from creating new illustrations, as well as reflecting on what types of clients and areas of the Illustration industry I would feel motivated to work with. It’s always really exciting and I’ve been learning a lot.
“The AOI Mentorship means for me a moment in which we have the freedom to expose all our creative potential, connected to our origins and the place we want to reach.“
– Ana Carolina Oliveira
What has been a key moment or takeaway from the mentorship so far?
I do believe that a key moment of being an AOI mentee was when I received incredible feedback from my mentor about my portfolio and illustrations. It was one of the rare times in my emerging career that I had an expert in the illustration field pointing out what was the best, and what could be improved about my work. It helped me to be more confident.
I also learned how to organize my goals and plan my steps to achieve them. For example, when I create my mood board, choose the colour palette and make the sketches. I’m trying to understand that the final illustration will be just a natural process of all that.
Thank you Ana Carolina 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.