Is it possible to be a successful artist never having had a mentor? Of course the answer is “yes”. But, does having a mentor make you better? I question this often. Wondering “would I be a “better artist” or “metalsmith” if I had a mentor? Deep down I feel that I would be a better metalsmith having had someone to guide me and push my boundaries. Question my thinking and my process. To me, a mentor is a form of extended education and should be a prerequisite as an undergrad. I suppose one could say: “what about internships?”. And yes, internships are form of extended education. And could very well lead you to new opportunities or even a mentor. But I believe they are different both approach and objective. The objective of an internship is to learn the way of the business or working. Learning the industry and how to go-it on your own. Honing in on certain skills. With a mentor, you are learning about learning . You are being exposed to questions you never thought to ask.