One Month Mentors for Black History Month
At Clarks, we’re always looking to do more to support and amplify the Black creative community – so, for Black History Month in the United Kingdom (celebrated in October), we continued our work with creative agency The Elephant Room to offer professional guidance and events to champion emerging Black creatives.
As part of One Month Mentors Great Strides, ten senior mentors from the creative industry teamed up with ten mentees from the Black community, for an inspirational professional development program – aimed at building meaningful, sustainable relationships and supporting the mentees' future careers.
My name is Denzel Kessie, and I'm a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.
I've managed to secure many clients as a freelancer, but I struggle to take that next step career-wise. I'm not sure how to elevate my career to a higher place than it already is.
I'm Tasha, a Bristol-based freelance portrait and fashion photographer.
Create dope pictures.
Throughout my career I have never had any creative guidance so having the opportunity to have a Black female mentor, who knows how to step into and beyond the creative industry, has helped me to see things through a fresh pair of eyes. It's important to have a form of support that will give you professional guidance to push you.
I’m 22, born and raised in London, from Ethiopia. I recently finished studying Business management and marketing at Nottingham Trent Uni and have been doing internships, and work experiences to get some understanding of advertising/ marketing. I have a real interest in advertising and events and want to eventually have my own agency that involves doing both. Personal passions of mine are fashion, friends, and I recently picked up DJing, so you’ll hopefully be seeing me doing sets at events by summer 2022 ;)
My name is Winnie Imara, I'm an actor, writer and producer. I run an initiative called '7blackwomen', a collective of Black and mixed women aiming to create work for film, TV & theatre. I'm also the founder of 'Heritage & Honour', a social enterprise sharing Black British Female history from 1500-1999.
I believe in gaining wisdom from others; there are so many things I don't know and it's great to have someone else to guide you and support you. Also being mentored is great accountability, helping you consistently pursue and reach the goals and dreams you want to achieve.
My name is Mohamed Ahmed and I’m a recent graduate of Computer Science, and a photographer and model. I aspire to break into the creative industry and I’m beginning my journey by exploring the marketing and advertising world.
I’m a very visual person, I’m a lover of all things aesthetic, which is probably what drew me to shoot photos on film. I love seeing a good film portrait or a well-designed product. Literally anything from a phone to furniture or even an advert. Anything that makes me stop and I think “this is really beautifully made” or “how would I put my own spin on this?”
Secondly, I would say meeting other creatives and being in creative spaces like the One Month Mentor program is energising. You’re reminded that there are all these people on the same journey as you, but also that they’re willing to help and share ideas and resources. It gets me thinking about what the possibilities could be if we were to collaborate in the future.
Direction is important for someone like me who’s interested in everything but has trouble starting. It’s good to have someone to hold you accountable and to guide you to places that you never thought of – as the marketing and advertising world is all new to me.
I work in a political think tank and freelance as a portrait photographer, living in Hertfordshire based in London. I also run the youth-focused music, fashion and culture magazine NUPRINT Mag as well as producing a female-led music talk show/podcast called Rhymeshe. I play rugby and love rollerskating and cooking vegan food in my spare time.
Being able to talk very candidly and frankly with people that inspire me within the industry. I found the session with Jide particularly noteworthy and useful. I was able to ask the important, slightly crucial questions I was thinking, and I learned a lot from his responses. I also loved the mental health session with Penne Belle. As someone that works full-time alongside freelance/creative work, Mercedes’s talk was very grounding and useful.
My name is Fatima and I am an aspiring creative director and producer. At the moment, I am working as a healthcare support worker and I also do nail art in my spare time. Although I do enjoy the work that I do, this is not where my heart resides. I have always loved to create and be able to bring ideas to life; whether it is DIYing my clothes, using nails as a canvas to create cool artistic designs, or creating nice visual ideas to shoot. My main creative interests are photography, video production, nail art, and fashion. And, I’ve always wanted to have a job that complements my interests.
I get inspired by my environment, whether it is an exhibition that I have attended, a book that I’ve read, a show that I’ve watched, a conversation that I’ve had with someone or even a design which caught my eye. My inspiration can stem from anything. Inspiration is limitless though I do sometimes suffer from creative blockages. I usually resolve this by writing down my thoughts, letting them marinate for a few days, and then coming back to it.
Personally, I am quite productive when I have an accountability partner, so having a mentor works similarly. I am at a point in my life where I need to get things done and learn as much as I can to progress. So, having a mentor was beneficial in that sense, and I am a firm believer that there’s always something to learn from someone whether it is positive or negative. And in my case, this experience was positive.