It's been a busy year for the Blume Illustrated team, who are celebrating the launch of the third issue of the annual independent culture magazine in May.
Themed "Cutting art down to size", the latest issue will focus on celebrating the many facets of "miniature" art, from painting and illustration to very short short stories. The magazine will once again feature a selection of poetry, writing, art and illustration from the Blue Mountains' many world-class illustrators, writers, designers, thinkers and creatives.
Readers can also look forward to a selection of brand-new work created by Blume mentees Annabel Pettit, Tessa Bunton and Patrick Doyle. These three young creatives are the first-ever alumni of the Blume Illustrated / WestWords mentorship program, which focuses on supporting young creatives in gaining practical experience and skills in their chosen fields of graphic design, writing or art/illustration. The mentorship program is supported by a grant from the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust.
"It has been an inspiring experience guiding and working with the Blume mentees," said Faye Wilson, creative director of the Blume project.
"The studio mentorship was created to be especially beneficial for young people who usually have to travel to Sydney to have access to these kinds of opportunities, or are disadvantaged by the lack of skilled, paid jobs for creatives in the Blue Mountains area. They gained hands-on in-studio experience working on the creation and development of the next issue of Blume Illustrated."
James Roy, manager of the WestWords Blue Mountains and Blacktown, stresses the importance of these kinds of mentorship programs for young people.
"This mentorship with Blume has provided three gifted young people with the opportunity to improve their real-life skills of design, illustration and writing by working alongside professionals to produce a tangible product. This is important: not only does the process provide experience and skills development, but at the end of the project they will have something impressive to add to their portfolios. WestWords are proud to play even a small part in that, and we are enormously grateful to Faye Wilson and Blume for having us along on this journey."
The mentorship program covered a variety of skills and experiences that young creatives might encounter when first starting out.
"I'm still amazed at what I've been allowed to do over the course of this mentorship," said Pettit. "I learned how to create social media campaigns, to lead an interview and to write a satirical piece for the upcoming issue: all learning by doing, which was the valuable essence of this mentorship."
Doyle agreed. "The Blume mentorship program has been a great opportunity to meet and work alongside other artists, both those beginning their creative journeys and those who are very experienced in their respective fields. Watching as the magazine has worked its way through various stages of production has been incredibly insightful and something I'll remember for a long time to come."
Blume Illustrated readers will experience some of Pettit and Doyle's creative work in issue 3, alongside that of fellow mentee Bunton.
"The mentorship program has given me a wider understanding of how the art world works and what to expect when working an illustration job," said Bunton. "It was an eye-opening experience in how to work well with other people and do group work effectively!"
Mentorship has been at the core of the Blume Project's vision and objectives from the start, said Wilson. "We're proud to showcase Tessa, Annabel and Patrick's work in the next issue of Blume Illustrated, and look forward to see what they create next."
The third issue of Blume Illustrated launches from 6pm on Thursday, May 30 at the Baroque Room in Katoomba. For more information, contact Faye at firstname.lastname@example.org or keep an eye on the Blume Illustrated Facebook page: www.facebook.com/blumeillustrated/