Mentor to Anna Ayres
Carrie Jadus: I am a professional oil painter that resides in the St. Petersburg area. I grew up in the Tampa Bay area and I went to Gibbs High School as part of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts magnet program in St. Petersburg. I have an engineering degree from USF and worked as an engineer many years ago, but have been successfully working as a full-time fine artist since 2006.
CP: Have you ever mentored another artist before?
CJ: Yes, I have had the opportunity to mentor several young artists who have approached me over the years, primarily through our intern position at Soft Water Studios (and) twice through (the) Creative Pinellas mentee program.
CP: What has your relationship with your mentee been like?
CJ: It has been very fulfilling and I feel like my mentee, Anna Ayres, and I connect on many levels. I knew after reading her first blog that she and I had a lot in common and that it would be a good fit to work together.
CP: When you meet, what types of things do you work on?
CJ: We have primarily talked about setting goals, painting techniques, and overcoming struggles of the financial aspect of creating art for a living.
CP: What do you hope is the most important thing Anna took away from her time working with you?
CJ: I think that Anna is extremely talented and capable, but maybe is just lacking the confidence and faith to know that her dreams and desires to be a full-time artist are possible. I hope that I have been able to help provide her with tools she can use to move forward and continue to instill confidence and faith as she moves in that direction.
CP: Have you seen any changes to her work or approach to art since you started working with her?
CJ: Yes, I think Anna has been spending more time and energy on creating a larger body of work and we have talked about the importance of practice and setting aside fear and doubt while creating.
CP: How has this mentorship influenced your own work as an artist?
CJ: Making a living as an artist and balancing all the details of a creative career can be a serious challenge that is a test of faith in many ways. I think when someone who is financially succeeding as an artist and is able to share some of their own challenging moments with artists who are early in their careers, it helps to provide them with faith that they can overcome similar obstacles.