I am a mentor at Trafo.no, an online community in Norway for young people, free of charge, between the ages of 16 and 22.
Trafo-Members can apply for mentoring from established artists within music, film, visual arts, theater, and creative writing. Members can also publish their own works in the Trafo digital arena, attend competitions and workshops, and apply for grants.
Trafo.no was launched by The Arts Council in 2001 before the words “social networking”, “Facebook” or “Youtube” were part of the Norwegian language. Since then Trafo.no has handled (pr. 23 October 2014) 31,682 published works in the form of text, audio, image, or film, 1402 mentor applications, and 5,151 applications for project grants. Trafo.no has pr 01.01.2016, 19852 members.
Receiving mentor appraisal in Trafo.no is free of charge, while Mentors receive a fee for their mentor work. Trafo.no is run by the University of Agder – Faculty of Fine Arts, and funded by The Arts Council Norway.
The above information has been translated from Trafo’s About page.
I have been a Trafo Mentor since 2002.
An advertising blurb about me as Trafo-Mentor can be seen here.
The following is a translation of that blurb:
Trafo-Mentor Stella East
“Find out what you like and what touches your heart,” advises illustrator Stella East. She is a mentor for Trafo and ready to provide feedback on your pictures and illustrations whenever you submit a mentor application.
As a Trafo-Mentor – What can you help members of Trafo with, Stella?
Trafo is an important arena for young, creative people. It is not enough to have a website where young people can exchange ideas and show their work to other young people. The discussion between the members must also include a dialogue with established professional writers, musicians, and artists. The financial resources available within Trafo, not only ensures this dialogue, but confirms the importance of both members and mentors, and that creative young people are an important resource both today and in the future.
As Trafo-Mentor, I want to help members be part of this dialogue.
See also: Stella’s Grafill-member’s-page with many of her illustrations.
A young, creative person is like a traveller with a goal. The goal is in the future, but the young traveller must first journey through a “space between”, a no-man’s-land of unmapped terrain, before he or she can continue towards his or her future vision.
As mentor, I wish to help articulate the qualities and characteristics of a work, that have not yet been articulated with words, like putting names on the map in an unmapped terrain, like a travel-guide pointing out possible roads, without even knowing myself which road. As Trafo-Mentor I wish to help reduce the distance between a vision for the future, and where the member stands today.
It’s a long time ago, yet only yesterday, when I myself was a youth in such a terrain. The distance between where I was then, and what I was heading for, was enormous. Yet when I look back, it was a unique time. I was privileged and fortunate that I had both the time, and took that time.
My picturebook illustrations contain both narrative features and aesthetic values and share the narrative with the picturebook words. As Trafo-Mentor I can therefore be most helpful for those members who have a certain idea, a message, or a narrative, they wish to express in a picture or pictures.
What is it you like best about being a Trafo-Mentor?
Contact with young people is like having contact with that person I once was. To be allowed to share some of the work-process belonging to members is a privilege and a way of maintaining the map of my own process.
And to finish off, do you have a good tip for Trafo-Members?
Find out what you like and what touches your heart. Not only from what is created today, but from what was created in other times, and in other countries. Find out what you like, independent of current trends in society and what friends and other members think and like. Do not let trends decide how your are to express yourself today. Trends change tomorrow. Search feedback from several mentors, and from several members, and from family and friends. Accept both criticism and praise with gratitude. Even a clumsy response can hide wisdom that may help you further to the next project? Let feedback act as a compass. You can then choose to follow the compass or not, while your voice within is your true guide. And above all – don’t give up.
Do you want help from Stella?
Submit a mentor application. Write that you want Stella as mentor. Add the project you’re working on as an attachment to the application. As soon as Trafo receives your application, we will send it to a mentor. In a short time you will get a written feedback with tips and advice from Stella.
Read more about all the Trafo-Mentors and send your application!
Trafo- Mentoring is available for those between 16 and 22 years of age, and is completely free. There is no deadline. We send applications to our mentors continuously.
Banner Photo: Åshild Irgens
Authored by: Adrian Andersson
Created: 28. mars 2015.