We Create

Designed to empower + propel artists of marginalized identities working toward a career in commercial visual arts.

The Mentorship

The We Create mentorship program is a one-on-one experience, tailor-made in collaboration with the mentee to provide the knowledge and support necessary to advance their career. Its aim is to address disparities within the creative industry and uplift voices often drown out by the majority by forming meaningful relationships and engaged learning with established creative professionals.

Mentoring will be conducted via regular correspondence and virtual meetings, the latter to be held every two weeks via video or voice call. Each month will be dedicated to discussing topics and emerging artist strategies assigned by the syllabus which include:

  • Pricing
  • Portfolio prep
  • Networking
  • Contracts
  • Galleries + Agencies
  • and more…

The We Create syllabus and program will adapt throughout the year to suit the mentee’s needs. As such, the mentee’s participation and honest feedback are essential.

The Grant

A grant totaling $2,000 (USD) will be awarded to each mentee and will advance their work via one of two allocations:

Option 1: A Final Project

Over the course of the mentorship, the mentee will design, produce, and release artwork by the end of term with the guidance of their mentor. This could be original artwork, an anthology, print series, etc. regardless of medium.

*subject matter must adhere to the Code of Conduct.

Option 2: An Enrichment Project

The mentee will utilize the grant to cover travel costs in order to attend an event such as a creative convention, conference, and/or workshop to inspire and connect with others with the guidance from their mentor.

The We Create grant serves as an opportunity for creative freedom where mentees may practice their craft, learn and apply new skills in real-time, all while maintaining a financial safety-net.


Being a mentor isn’t about being perfect or the most complete version of yourself. We are still works in progress, just like you. The only difference between us is time. Time which has grant us the knowledge and experience we’ll use to create collaborative strategies that foster your goals. No one can succeed alone, and we look forward to learning and growing together over the course of the year.




Doaly is a UK based graphic designer and digital illustrator with a passion for story telling. His work is characterised by his bold conceptual approach to illustration and his ability to adapt his style to the most sympathetic to the subject matter.

Over the years he has created artwork for a wide range of clients including the BBC, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Wired and Sony Playstation, Image Comics.

He is also active no the pop culture gallery scene and has created official artwork for properties including Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, South Park, Rick and Morty and Star Wars.

In recent years he has migrated his skills to comic book covers and has worked for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics and independents.


Tracie Ching


Tracie Ching is an artist and self-taught, freelance illustrator working in Washington, DC. A marriage of old and new, her work translates classic engraving techniques through vector illustration, resulting in the bold cross-hatching style for which she is known.

Creating alternative movie posters for cult classics, Ching made her home in pop-culture showing in galleries such as Spoke Art in San Francisco. She has since grown her portfolio to include key art for clients like Disney, Lionsgate, and Marvel Studios, official portraits for a President and Vice President, editorial illustration, and commercial art, rounding out her dynamic application of creative skill.


Erica Williams


Erica Williams is an illustrator and cute things addict in Minneapolis, MN. She is known for intricate mark-making and illustrations of flora and fauna with macabre tones, as well as custom typography and screen printed posters. Much of her work focuses on the forgotten, endangered, the occult and lore.

Erica attended Kansas City Art Institute before moving to Minneapolis, and became a freelance illustrator in 2012. Since then she has created posters, album art, t-shirts, identity, print advertisements, book covers, skateboards, and various merchandise for a variety of clients and industries


In addition to the We Create mentors, the program features Guest Mentors – creatives from varying professional backgrounds who will share their unique perspective and insight via virtual mentorship meetings. Here are just a few of the incredible humans joining us this term!

Aaron Huey

Photographer. Explorer. Activist.

Dasha Matsuura

Gallery Director



Andy Park

Director of Visual Development

Yuko Shimizu


Matt Taylor



We Create will accept three (3) mentees for the 2023 program – one per mentor.

Applicants should demonstrate vision and drive in pursuit of their goal(s). We want to collaborate with someone who will use this program as a springboard toward a life as a professional creative. We aren’t looking for a streak of wins but proof of drive. Whether you are 18 or 88 – there is no maximum age. Artistic background, preferred subject matter, style or process – there are no restrictions. As long as the applicant’s work could benefit from We Create mentorship, they are welcome.


To apply for the We Create mentorship and grant you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be an emerging artist
  • Actively pursuing a full-time visual arts career
  • Identify within one or more marginalized communities
  • Utilize digital applications in some part of creative process
  • Have access to a computer and internet*
  • Speak fluent English

Not sure you meet the requirements? Apply anyway.


The application process requires you provide examples of your work via website or online portfolio.

Application questions include: 

  • What you hope to gain from the program
  • Your work and creative process
  • Your goals

*We Creates exists to act as a resource for marginalized identities within creative industries. A such, we hope to provide assets and ask only for your time in return.

While access to a computer and internet are a requirement for participation in mentorship meetings and completion of the final project we realize not all have ready access to these resources. All efforts will be made to accommodate and assist applicants/mentees wherever possible.


Applicants will have the option to select, in order of preference, however many mentors they would like to be paired. Where matches occur, the applicant shall become a semi-finalist and a final interview will be requested. More than one mentor may select and interview with any matched mentee. One finalist will be selected by each mentor upon completion of all interviews.

No. This program is not an apprenticeship. The focus is on learning about working in the visual arts, not how to draw.

No. All communication and meetings are handled digitally. International applicants are welcome, as long as they meet the mentee requirements.

Technically, no. We Create is a one-on-one mentorship program. That being said, cross-pollination will occur in the form of group meetings discussing certain curriculum topics as well as Guest Mentor meet-ups. Mentees are encouraged to engage with one another and all mentors and mentees will also be part of a group chat (via WhatsApp, Slack, Discord, etc.).

Application review begins on Dec. 1st. Semi-finalists will be chosen by each mentor and notified by Dec. 12th. Final interviews will be held Dec. 14th-21st. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by Dec. 28th.

No. Proof of vision, motivation, and worthiness cannot and should not be measured in diplomas or job titles. The art and what you’ve done with it will speak for itself.


Two ways – 1.) Free portfolio websites. There are many sites like Behance that allow you to upload your portfolio for free. 2.) Social media platforms dedicated to your artwork such as Instagram, ArtStation, Tumblr, etc. are acceptable in lieu of a website or portfolio sites.

Absolutely not. The subject of your current work, as well the potential final project, is entirely up to you and should speak to the work you want to create professionally.

on an artist’s chosen medium?
Technically no. As long as the applicant meets the requirements and we can help them in their given field or professional goal(s), they’re good to go!

All rights for the final image and products for the final project belong to the mentee, and the mentee alone. We Create holds no ownership or usage rights outside the ability to share it in relation to the program. We Create does request a copy where possible for our archives.

Absolutely not. The mentee has full control over the sales, profits, and fulfillment of their final project.

Qualifying events will be limited to a mentees field of interest or research. The shape the enrichment project is flexible pending approval by the mentor and founding mentor.

ACH payments as well as dispersal via PayPal, Venmo, Cashapp, etc. are all viable pending availability in participating countries. 

Key Dates

Sept. 1-Nov. 30:  Application period open
Dec. 1-9:  Application review
Dec. 12:  Semi-finalists notified
Dec. 14-21:  Semi-finalist interviews
Dec. 28:  Mentees announced
Jan. 2nd:  Mentorships Begin!

Schedule may be subject to change pending global issues


Don’t see the answer to your question? Contact us!

For media or sponsorship inquiries, please contact Tracie Ching.

Read the Terms of Participation here.

See you in Sept. 2024!

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