Are you struggling to find your authentic voice as an artist?

As artists we often feel called to a subject or a set of materials but without a regular practice, we can lose focus or wind up only skimming the surface of what's possible. An artist mentorship with a seasoned, professional artist will help you grow toward your own unique approach to your art.

Mentoring starts where you are. As an artist, you know what you need. My job as your mentor is to provide you with support and accountability.

About you

  • You have a firm mastery of your media. If we discover that the help of a medium-specific teacher would be beneficial, I can help you find one.

  • You don't have to be a fiber artist. Your preferred medium doesn't matter to me. I've successfully mentored photographers, painters, sculptors, and mixed media artists. Working with me is more about finding the work that speaks your truth and that can happen in any medium.

  • You are committed to a daily art practice and a two-year mentorship.

About me

  • I am an artist with a 40-year art practice. I’ve worked in many mediums from painting to sculpture. My primary media are fiber and mixed media.

  • I am a self-supporting artist. I can share my experiences of how to make a living with your art.

  • My specialty as a mentor is in helping you find your way into and through a body of work. I will ground you in your practice and push you to stretch to work that has meaning for you.

John’s Artistic Progression

Early mentorship work   Somali Women and Girls.

Early mentorship work
Somali Women and Girls.

During mentorship   Woman in Red.

During mentorship
Woman in Red.

Post-mentorship   Resistance.


Deborah awakened my artist soul through her Artist Way class, which was like the opening of a floodgate to creative possibilities and the awareness that I would start BEING an artist and never, ever stop.

Through an ongoing mentorship with Deborah, I have received support and encouragement in my artist journey, as well as the gentle prompting I have needed to grow, evolve (and improve!) as an artist.

I am eternally indebted and grateful.
— John Stumme

Mentoring format

Year 1: Showing up and exploring

The first year of your mentorship is about finding regular time and space for your creative practice and exploring what moves you. In the first year, you will create without worrying about the finished product. The goal is to show up, pay attention to the process, and notice what interests you. In the beginning, we will meet twice a month for an hour. Each meeting will include a review of your work, discussion of the challenges you experienced, and goal setting. Over time, we may adjust the schedule to meeting once a month for two hours.

Part of your first year assignment is to find and connect with other artists on a regular basis. Use this time to look at and discuss art and to share art processes. Having a creative community to support you is the best predictor to continued art life. If you don't know other artists, I can help connect you with some.

At the end of the first year, we will meet to discuss what you feel pulled toward and how you can focus and go deeper. You will select an aspect of your work to commit to in Year 2. By focusing on one thing you can push past your first impulses and reach deeper levels in your work. This helps foster a sense of connection to the work and allows you to begin to create a body of work. If appropriate, you could invite trusted art friends to the first year review.

The only work really worth doing — the only work you can do convincingly — is the work that focuses on the things you care about. To not focus on those issues is to deny the constants in your life.
— David Bayles, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Year 2: Commitment and completion

In the second year of your mentorship, you will explore the aspect of your art you selected in the first year review. I will provide support and guidance on how to keep going when you feel stuck or think you've discovered everything that is possible. You will continue to meet and network with your community of artists on a regular basis.

At the end of your second year, you will either stage a show of finished work or take part in a Critical Response Critique. I have a small gallery-like lobby that you may use or you may choose another venue.

On-going mentorship

Some artists continue their mentorship for another year. We will meet once a month for an hour to keep your practice accountable and to talk through any challenges you may be having.

Short term goal achievement

Have a 6-12 month project that would benefit from the guidance of a mentor? I can act as a sounding board and accountability partner, helping you move your project forward. I can also help you locate resources for skills or knowledge to move you past the idea to implementation. 2 hours a month negotiated by need.


All mentorship meetings are $45 per hour.

Want to learn more?

Schedule a consultation call to see if we are a fit for mentorship.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.
— Martha Graham

What Annie says About Mentorship

Deborah and I worked together from 2014 - 2017 through The WARM Mentor Program. When I began searching for a mentor, I was looking for someone who has a shared passion for the environment and would be able to hold space for me while I explored my art-process. Deborah was all of that and more.

In our one-on-one meetings, she listened to my questions and updates, offering enthusiasm and creative problem-solving. She encouraged me to make the connection between my story and my art, which can be a vulnerable act of sharing. But the more that we dove into my creative expression, the more that I began to experiment and uncover a level of sophistication in my voice. I appreciated her critiques and suggestions because they opened my eyes to a new way of seeing my paintings. Working with Deborah was one of the best decisions that I made for myself because her feedback has led me to become the successful full-time working artist that I am. Thank you, Deborah!
— Annie Hejny