Guest Blog: Andy Schmidt discusses Mentoring & Developing Talent

andy-bioIn this guest blog, former Marvel and IDW Editor Andy Schmidt discusses the Comics Experience Mentoring Program.

I don’t talk a lot about the Comics Experience Mentoring Program. Maybe that’s why I sometimes find myself explaining to people what mentoring at Comics Experience means.

A lot of people think that mentoring is hiring myself or Nicole Boose or Mike Siglain to edit a project, but that’s not completely accurate. When I describe it to people, I say our mentoring program is “a goal-oriented and individualized program tailored specifically to you.”

That means that unlike the courses which teach to a group, in mentoring, we’re working with you on your specific needs and goals. And that happens in some of the following ways:

  1. We develop a plan with you to accomplish your goals.
  2. We alert you to potential opportunities or pitfalls that may be along your path and help you take advantage of or negotiate them.
  3. We help you develop skills so you can manage your own projects fully, work with collaborators, provide positive and honest feedback, work with publishers, etc. (this alone can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run)
  4. We help you develop your craft for a specific market or genre or style.
  5. We often develop business plans with you that increase your chances of success.

Not every mentoring client requires all of these things. And that’s the point! With mentoring, you’re paying for only what you need to achieve success as you see it. We don’t bring an agenda with us; we’re there only to help you accomplish yours.

ComicsExperience-LOGOOn a personal level, there is nothing more gratifying than helping someone achieve his or her goals. We don’t take credit because you definitely do the work–it’s your goal to achieve, and you will earn it. But it’s such an amazing thing to be on your journey with you, to watch you climb over hurdles and bust through walls. And the pride and sense of accomplishment you’ll get from scaling those hurdles and busting those walls is pretty darn great, too.

If you’re ready for individualized training and attention, if you’re ready to start planning and achieving your comic book dreams-then our Mentoring Program is the perfect place to start.

Take a look at our Mentoring Program page and see if you’re ready to begin developing, not just your project, but also your career!

Andy Schmidt

Here are a few testimonials from past Mentoring clients:

“The Comics Experience mentoring sessions have been an invaluable resource to me, both artistically and professionally. I end every mentoring session armed with new plans, new ideas, and a better perspective on things. I’m still at the beginning of my comics career, but I know that the progress I’ve made is a direct result of the tools, insight and knowledge I’ve gained through Comics Experience.”
Paul Allor
Writer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from IDW Publishing

“Andy has been a huge help in refining my skills. Through a combination of written critiques and phone calls, he has helped me evaluate our beat sheets, scripts, thumbs and finished inks. The entire process has really helped me grow as a comic creator.”
Dave Castlenuovo
Creator of the hit video game and comic book “Pocket God” from Ape Entertainment

“Comics Experience gave me invaluable feedback on my work, encouraged me to challenge myself artistically AND provided essential real-world knowledge about the comic book industry. Throw in a supportive, friendly community that includes top-notch professionals and you’ve got simply the best place to become the comics professional you aspire to be.”
Bobby Curnow
Editor at IDW Publishing, writer of “Night of 1,000 Wolves”

“Jon and I both attribute much of our success to the refinement Comics Experience provided our pitch and first issue. Andy’s guidance and direction helped us turn our first issue into a focused, coherent, well-polished narrative that is intriguing without being obtuse. He also aided us in distilling our original ponderous pitch into its essence. Thanks, Andy!”
Sean McArdle
On becoming Platinum Studios’ 2007 Comic Book Challenge runner up