Mentor Initiative

The Big Design Market thrives on celebrating independent design businesses. Since 2012, we have launched, supported and boosted the businesses of thousands of Australian designers, introducing them to passionate new audiences who love and appreciate their work as much as we do.  

Seven years on, we’re adding a new dimension to the way we show that support.

Introducing: The Big Design Mentor. 

Each year we’ll be asking one iconic Australian designer to step into the role of The Big Design Mentor – an ultimate role-model-figure whose skills, savvy and determination have helped them build their booming creative brand. Over the course of a day The Big Design Mentor will offer their creative business advice, guidance and insights to five hardworking designers, specially selected by The Big Design Market. The initiative aims to give talented newcomers a greater level of recognition, encouragement and assistance, so they can step boldly into the next stage of growing their business.

Because 2019 was the first year of The Big Design Mentor, we thought we’d start with a bang... 

A Day with Ken Done

Australian icons don’t get more iconic than artist and designer Ken Done – The Big Design Mentor for 2019. As a key inspiration to generations of Australian creatives – and many of our designer stallholders – Ken shared his stories, reflections, and words of wisdom on running a creative business with five up-and-coming, illustration-based designers from The Big Design Market's Sydney line-up: Cassie Byrnes of Variety Hour, Maylin Evanochko of Mazdevallia, Penny Ferguson of Min Pin, Esther Sandler of Togetherness Design, and Emily Green of Emily Green Design.

Over lunch and a tour of Ken’s harbourside gallery and studio at The Rocks in Sydney, our 5 mentees were treated to stories of creativity, hard work, struggle and success – all told with Ken’s signature humour and zest.

Stay tuned to find out about our 2021 initiatives! Sign up to our newsletter here.