Life as a creative professional is kind of strange these days. Working from home means not seeing your work buddies walk by your office or running over to another designer’s office to share some logo designs. Face-to-face meetings and creative brainstorming sessions are now done via Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. With all these changes to the way we work, creative mentoring seems to be gradually disappearing from traditional agency culture.
As a creative for more than 30 years, I’ve been mentored by some amazingly talented individuals who were willing to share their knowledge of advertising and design with the ease of pouring a glass of water. Just like I did, today’s graphic design students and professionals who are new to the industry need mentors to help guide their career paths, get feedback on their work, and brainstorm solutions to design problems. But how can seasoned creatives mentor newbies in remote or hybrid work environments? Here are a few tips.
- Schedule 10-minute daily virtual meetings with your mentees to check in on deliverables and address any challenges they’re facing.
- Include your mentees in creative brainstorming sessions.
- Challenge young designers to create a monthly presentation to the team to share new techniques or industry trends.
- Provide creative and professional feedback on a regular basis to help your mentees with their performance and career development goals.
These are just a few ideas that can help young designers prepare for their futures as vital members of creative teams and create a valuable—and mutually rewarding—mentoring relationship that can last for years.
As a creative director, Tom brings his award-winning talents to LMD. He excels at breaking down complex topics into beautiful, clever creative materials. His broad range of experience includes video production and art direction, training materials, brand development, infographics, recruitment messaging, social media campaigns, and more. Tom has worked with a variety of federal clients, including the Department of Homeland Security, USDA, FEMA, the U.S. Army, and more, as well as high-visibility consumer brands such as Disney, GE, and ExxonMobil. Tom has a B.A. in graphic design from Coker University and a certificate from the Corcoran School of Art.