Inspirational Artists to Serve as Mentors

Having a mentor to guide you along your artistic journey is more ideal than starting up alone. Someone to teach you, point out your mistakes, and constructively criticize you is a privilege and one of the keys to being a good artist. There is a saying that goes, “behind every great artist is another great artist.” In this article, we will discuss the importance of having a mentor, as well as different artists that can serve as mentors for you to become a better painter.

A photo a two men standing in the midst of an art exhibition


Not all aspiring artists can afford to go to art school or sign-up for art classes to improve their craft. However, there are several ways to have a mentor that can guide you to the path of being a great painter. For instance, you can read books about master painters like Leonardo da Vinci, Andy Warhol, etc. You can also analyze their art and try to watch free art tutorials on the internet. Moreso, you can join communities of fellow artists and find a mentor in your circle. 

The thing about having someone to guide you along the way is that it can open up your universe, expand your perspective, and bring more career opportunities. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a mentor, so if you get one, take advantage of it in a good way and sharpen your skills with them.

Plenty of master painters had mentors before they were known and famous. After which, they became mentors, too. Let’s use Da Vinci once again as an example. The man was born great and talented. But, do you think he would be considered as one of the greatest painters in history? Well, due to his extreme passion and dedication to painting, his skills were impeccable. However, someone behind that talent helped him enhance his skill even more. The great artist behind Da Vinci was Andrea del Verrocchio. Verrocchio may not be as well-known as his apprentice because it seemed like he lived in Da Vinci’s shadow, but he deserves credit for what Da Vinci became. Subsequently, Da Vinci became a mentor as well, passing down his knowledge and expertise on his craft.

Importance of Having a Mentor

Before we proceed to the list of inspirational artists to serve as mentors, let us first take a look at why it is important to have someone to guide you as you master your painting skills.

  1. Will provide you with new knowledge.
  2. Help you develop your skills and competency.
  3. Encourage you.
  4. Allow you to learn from their experience.
  5. Teach you how to accept criticism and feedback.
  6. Provide more career opportunities.

Famous Inspirational Artists to Serve as Mentors

    1.  Vincent van Gogh:

He is mostly known for his painting called The Starry Night. His famous impasto technique, as well as his blue and yellow color scheme, made him one of the world’s most renowned master painters. Though he wasn’t considered great during his lifetime, we can learn a lot of lessons from him– dedicating his life to his passion for art, perseverance, and patience.

A watercolor painting of a man


    2.  Michelangelo:

Truly one of the greatest artists in history, Michelangelo is known for his sculptures and iconic paintings in the Sistine chapel, as well as the well-beloved “The creation of Adam”. His art is not so easy to imitate, but we can learn a lot of lessons from him. If there is something we learn from him, it is to be dedicated to our craft because mastery takes hard work. He once said that “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” He is truly one of the greatest inspirational artists to serve as a mentor.

Michelangelo creation of man god finger


    3.  Claude Monet:

Monet was a visionary and innovative artist. He is known for being the founder of Impressionism, a 19th-century artistic movement known for its thin, visible brushstrokes, depiction of light and nature, as well as open composition. If there is something we can learn from Monet, it would be the value of learning–it never stops even though we’ve “mastered” our craft and furthered our career. Learning is a journey that takes place throughout your whole life.

A painting of a woman in a white dress

     4.  Frida Kahlo:

A pop culture icon, Kahlo is famous for creating portraits, especially her self-portraits, and other artworks that showcase nature, the human body, self-identity, and her country’s culture. She is also known for being a poet. There are so many valuable lessons from her that could come in handy not only for the improvement of our art but also for our life. Apart from her masterpiece, Frida was also a disabled person. One thing we can learn from her is that life may be painful, but it is worth living. Thus, the pain that we experience in life can be used as a source of inspiration and motivation for creating artworks.

A creative graffiti wall portrait of frida kahlo

    5.  Georgia O’Keeffe:

The name may sound unfamiliar to most people, but she is one of the most prominent female painters in art history. She is known for her flower paintings and for being the “Mother of American Modernism.” If there is something we can learn from her, it is that we should aim high regardless of our circumstances, as well as work hard, stay dedicated to our passion, and be unique.

A painting of hibiscus with plumeria

Key Insights

Having someone to look up to is a great thing, especially in the world of art. You’ll get feedback, improved communication skills, and life lessons from them. These five painters are just some of the inspirational artists to serve as mentors that you can look up to and use as a source of ideas and creativity. Some so many painters who existed throughout history who excelled because they had their mentors and eventually became mentors. 

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