Occasionally people ask me If I'd take on an intern or co-op student. Because it takes me a long time to type up the email I thought I'd save myself some time in the future by posting my latest response (today is December 6, 2012) so you can decide if I'm a good prospective mentor:
What are your illustration and design skills? Do you have a portfolio and a resumé I can look at? How long would the internship be and when would it need to happen?
To be completely candid with you, I'm terrible at working with an intern. I work weird unpredictable and spontaneous hours and there's almost nothing I can delegate to someone who isn't a seasoned specialist. From now until Christmas more than ¾ of my production work is photo retouching and solving computer and website problems for the photography business I run with my wife Trina. In the past any time I've had a co-op student it's been a constant and unsuccessful struggle to find work for them to do and they spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for me to give them something to do. I generally work from my home office, and sometimes I'm running down to the photo studio (a 5 minute walk) or running errands for the photo studio. When I have it, the bulk of my illustration work is done late at night when people aren't interrupting me with questions and phone messages and requests for help of some sort. A good deal of my photo retouching and design work is done then too… after supper, sometimes after 10pm because I go to the gyn at 8:30pm sometimes (I would not expect you to come for that but just so you know that's when a lot of this gets done).
So that being said I would be willing to consider it if you are interested in a sort of informal unstructured format. Depending on whatever's going on at any given time you might be learning more about photo retouching than illustration, but I find that what I know about Photoshop from a photo point of view definitely improves my ability to use it as an illustration tool, and vice versa. Depending on your skills if I can find a way to put you to work it may be photo retouching (I would train you in that), book design, or there may be occasion to have you do some illustration work, like colouring or inking or some text design or maybe even some concept development, but I can't guarantee that part.
So, if you're interested in an experience like that let me know and we can consider it further. I'd suggest if you can find a placement more suitable to your career plan, be willing to invest in traveling to do it. If you find a better fit don't settle for me just because I'm convenient in Guelph. Work with a company or a freelancer who most specifically works in the field of your interest.