I've never had a mentor, but I've had heroes. I've put myself in their shoes when I need to make design or business decisions. I've worked hard to align quality of my work to my heroes. I can't mention a single name, there have been so many of them. Btw, it doesn't have to be for the design industry, isn't it same when we are trying to be a better parent or partner, taking examples from our own parents or so...
Today we have an amazing community who is more than happy to help each other. I personally know designers from big corporations to individual freelancers offering free mentoring. In my 20 years of experience, I have received countless emails, messages asking for advice. I'm humbled by it and I have been doing my very best to respond every one of them in my limited time. This is one of the reason why I have started this blog.
However, this ease of communication also made the contribution from some experienced designers more challenging. There is just not enough time to respond all, mentor all individually. We should not be discouraged with this.
We do not need to be in active communication with our heros (which would make them mentors), however we can follow their work, blog, Twitter, etc. to have an understanding of what they are up to, how they are approaching to certain situations and learn from them.
We can have countless heroes to learn from instead of waiting for a space in one's already tight calendar.
Let's share what we learn and be a Hero to someone.