Taking Advice and Mentors

A year and a half ago I took a workshop with Philippe Faraut, which is a sculptor I have admired for YEARS.  I was terrified to take his class because I thought I wasn’t good enough.  Well, one particularly frustrating day in the studio, I signed up for his class.  And guess what?!? It was completely and totally amazing and eye-opening.  I had never sculpted from a model, and that’s what we did! Here’s a pic from that class:

Sculpting from a model

Sculpting from a model

So anyway, I had a talk with Philippe.  He approached me one day in class.  He suggested I start teaching.  Me? Really? Am I good enough?!? You know what his response was? He said, “You’re good now. But you’ll be better if you teach!” And I’ve been thinking about that. A lot.  And guess what- he was right.  after teaching my class at The Bascom, my students requested a self-portrait class.  I said SURE! And then I realized that I have never done an actual self-portrait.  I came home and practiced and practiced some more,  and suddenly I realized that I was getter better, just by teaching.  Just like Philippe said.  He may not know it, but I consider him to be a mentor.  He made this biggest difference in my sculpting and my perspective on many things art-related.  I sent him an email last year to say Thank You.  Perhaps it is time to do so again.


  1. Stephanie
    October 21, 2014

    Great post Kelly! Isn’t it funny what we learn from those we look up to? I bet you’re an amazing teacher! So when do we get to see your self portrait? =)

    • kellythielstudio
      October 22, 2014

      Stephanie! Yes, that man made a HUGE difference in my life, even though it was only like a 2 minute conversation we shared. And my self-portrait? I chucked it! I cut it up into pieces and recycled her into another sculpture just yesterday. She was only practice anyway. There will likely be other practice pieces that follow in her footsteps 🙂
      Hope you are busy creating and enjoying your autumn! Xoxo