Brenna Busse

Mentor philosophy

There is something akin to magic in the creative process. So too, when two women commit to an artistic mentorship, a very extraordinary and sacred journey ensues.

I have been a WARM mentor for 4 program cycles — and was mentored in the early days of the program by Elizabeth Erickson, Sally Brown and Joyce Lyon. Mentoring, I believe, is different than teaching — there is a faith and understanding that what is needed to learn, and how that will happen is revealed and accomplished in the ongoing relationship. This makes each one very unique. As a mentor, I don’t have THE answers, but I do have a lot of questions. And these can lead to insights and self discovery. I have a robust art making practice. I have been making my living selling my work for over 20 years, with all of the skills and creative problem solving that entails. I consider art making a spiritual, as well as healing practice.

To a protegee, I will ask what I ask of myself in relationship to my art: show up/ begin/ love/ let go

Show up: choose to be present in creating, in life. Do the work, go to the studio even if you are not inspired. develop a strong work practice. Take notes.

Begin: where you are. In each moment bring whatever is in your life into your art. This will transform your art, and your life.

Love: with wild abandon, something about your art!!! Love the process of making, the yummy materials, the time that is your own, the finished piece. When the creative life gets hard, remember this love to remind you why you do this. Look for ways that your art loves you back!

Let go: a constant process. Let go of the fears, self doubts, the “right way”, the “that’s not how I thought it would be”. Ultimately, let go of the finished work itself — into the world.

As mentor, I will take a stand — believing in you, the protégée, even when you may not. I am a witness to your growth, a deadline when you need one, a guide on this wonderful and terrifying journey.