For this issue, MADE HERE asks artists what has influenced their work. Artists find inspiration in many different places: their environments, their pasts, people in their lives, and other artists. The individuals in these episodes discuss how art impacted their childhood, how mentors helped shape their careers, and what influences they have drawn from to create their own aesthetic.

Discussion Topics

Childhood Influences




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episode 2: Mentors

Finding a mentor is often an integral part of an artist’s journey. Mentors not only open doors for young artists, but they can also inspire them and help them realize their dreams. These artists discuss how they found their mentors and how their mentors helped shape their careers. 

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Making it Happen: Now and Next

An article about a mentoring program that pairs middle-school girls and college-aged dancers with working choreographers.

Too Much Mentoring, Not Enough Modeling

A look at the limitations of mentoring and how young artists can benefit from focusing on different models of production.

Hustlin: How I Became My Own Mentor in a Freelance Economy

An article about one freelancer who worked in so many different and varied fields that he had no choice but to become his own mentor.

For Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington, Roles of a Lifetime

An interview with actresses Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington, which addresses their decision to go into the arts and how their families reacted.

The Creativity Crisis

An article about the decline of creativity in America and what we can do to fix it.

Are Unpaid Internships Worth It?

An article supporting the use of unpaid internship and the essential experience they offer young artists. The article tells the story of how unpaid internships launched one author’s career.

Want to Make Internships More Just? Stop Requiring School Credit

An article about how to fix the unfair unpaid internship system.

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The AIGA/NY Mentoring Program provides creative professionals with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young artists from the New York City High School of Art and Design.


Queer/Art/Mentorship works to pair and support mentorship between queer working artists in New York City.

NYFA Mentoring Program

The NYFA Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists from all disciplines with artist mentors who provide one-on-one support for their mentee.

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The Creativity Crisis: The Decreasing in Creative Thinking Scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking

Research that shows the decline in creative thinking in America.

The Wonder Years

A list of ways to encourage children’s creativity based off research that found creative individuals tended to grow up in families that encourages uniqueness yet provided stability.

Creativity and the Everyday Brain with Rex Jung

An interview with neurologist Rex Jung where he discusses how family life can impact creativity.

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Childhood Influences

What theater, music, film, or work of art were you exposed to in your early life that influenced your decision to become a performing artist?

  • Octavio Campos said:

    NELKEN (Carnations) by Pina Bausch.
    I saw this work when I was a dance student at Purchase in the 80’s at BAM.  From that moment I knew everything.  My path became clear.  After the piece I went to the bathroom into a stall closed the door and began to weep uncontrollably.  After pulling myself together I went to the sink to wash my face and at the mirror was a handwritten audition note for an audition the next morning at the Gilman rehearsal space.  I decided to skip school the next day and went to the audition.  I arrived to the space and there were about 30 dancers there,  not a big mob, very relaxed atmosphere.  It was set up like a company class.  BALLET taught by Alfredo Corvino.  Pina was there wearing a black Bundeswehr tank top, smoking with one of her breast slightly exposed.  We went through a full ballet class and then an improvisation.  She then had us all line up.  In silence, Pina stood in front of the line of dancers and scanned them from stage left to right, slowly.  She stopped for a long time at the amazing Quincela Swinegan,  looked her up and down for a while and gestured to her to step forward.  She continued scanning gesturing to a few others and then it was my turn.  She stoped, looked into my eyes and walked towards me.  She gestured to me as well.  My body internally shuddered with Joy.  She then said thank you and gestured to the five dancers she chose to come with her.  Each of us sat with her individually for a brief chat.  I was the third of five to speak to her.  We sat at the table face to face and the only thing she said to me that I remember was “you are too young,  come to my school and learn from me”.  A year later I was in Germany,  working at a State Theater as a solotanzer in Munster about 30 minutes from Essen where the Folkwang School was located.  14 years later,  I had taken the experience of German expressionist dancetheater, (ausdrucktanz) from the great,  Cebron, Malou,  Forster, Mercy and have created my own post-tropical expressionist method which I share with passion within my choreographic offerings and teaching.  Thank you PINA and to all the artists that inspired me, mentored me, pushed me,  Kazuko Hirabayashi, Bob Wilson,  Bert Terborg, Gale Young, Kevin Wynn and Leslie Neal.  I dedicate this post to you.

    10/16 - 03:26 PM

  • GMimozo said:

    My dad used to have all these old vinyl showtune records, like Annie and Hair. When I was really young I used to love listening to them. Then as I got older my dad and I used to go on daddy/daughter dates to the movies every week, sometimes twice! My dad has always been a theatre fan, when I was 14-15 years old he came home one day with preview tickets for this new show that was opening, RENT. We went 3 days before it opened and sat 3rd row center. At the time I had just started doing theatre in high school. My mind was blown. I remember sitting there thinking, “people get paid to do this?! I want to get paid to do this!”

    10/20 - 09:16 PM

  • EDavis said:

    The movie Fame. Cheesy but true. I also loved the music of Debussy, which buoyed me through years of competitions—my least favorite part about studying classical piano.

    10/20 - 09:16 PM

  • Rosilawati said:

    You’re right. Clowney’s official stat line is: 3 tklaces (2 solo, 1 assisted), 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, 0 passes broken up, 0 QB hurries, and 0 forced fumbles or fumbles recovered. When I first checked ESPN on Sunday they had him listed with only a single tackle, which I thought weird because I remembering him getting to Murray, but still accepted it. The point being though: Clowney was cracked up to be a one man wrecking ball. Georgia was able to make him a near non-factor about as well as you can.

    12/24 - 06:05 PM

  • Nagy said:

    “Don’t think the UGA team is better than the USC team and ctnaeirly not by two scores.”) What did I say the score would be? 41-27. I was off by a field goal, sorry. And about your run game…Gurley, Marshall, and Hicks combined for 220 rush yards, 85 receiving yards, and 3 TDs. And did that defense “overwhelm Murray” like you thought it would? And without Mitchell…5 different receivers stepped up along with Gurley, Marshall, and Hicks also contributing. And…where was Clowney? I guess “desire to win” really doesn’t triumph over actual talent.

    12/24 - 06:06 PM

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