Karen Daspit lives in Hawaii. This is Karen’s 3rd workshop with me. She’s been photographing, sketching, and writing all week. Like most participants she had serious doubts about how relevant free associating with words could be for her photography. But she trusted me and the process and gave it a go. In less than an hour she had new ideas for 6 new bodies of work that were all relevant to her current vision. It’s thrilling to see people make these kinds of breakthroughs and see how enthusiastic they become. Then again, Karen’s always enthusiastic. I think there’s a connection between her positive attitude and the results she’s been getting in her photography. Her work is currently featured in the 2nd Annual Photography Masters Cup Yearbook.
“I have recently spent five days in Maine attending John Paul Caponigro’s workshop “Illuminating Creativity”. It should be noted that workshops, in general, are something I have only discovered over the last 10 years of my life. A workshop of any kind is a great way to take a vacation from the “usual”, and meet other people who share a common interest. There are many dimensions to workshops. The worst case scenario is that you become exposed to a new environment, learn something new, and go home somewhat rested.
How do you teach people from varied backgrounds to be illuminated, or, to discover and use their creativity? JP, has a long tenure as an artist, instructor and writer. He is a VERY creative person. More than this, he has developed through extensive study, a set of organizational and expressive skills that work in his own realm. He is also very capable of sharing this set of skills with his students. This talent, although simple to explain, takes much more skill to share. And this he has done, for me, and to me, over the last 5 days.
When you follow JP’s writings on his web site, it becomes apparent that he advocates certain methodologies. Readers are exposed to a variety of articles. There is espousal of palate selection, creation of an adherent body of work, and tips on how to evaluate your work for inclusion in a particular body of work. This is all above and beyond the technical attainment of Photoshop skills, which we all strive for.
Creating a “body of work” has become a cumbersome task for me. I have struggled long and hard to create my first BOW. I am now approaching the next step, of creating a second BOW. I have been again undaunted by the scope of the task. This workshop has made that task seem approachable for me, and I will attempt to tell you why.
One of JP’s exercises stands out for me. He requested that we all define our work in one word. With a second step of “free association” we all wrote down words that came to mind that reminded us of the said single word. I had a page full of words that made no real since to anyone but me. Then, he had us categorize these words. You would have to attend the workshop to find out how he spurred us on, and articulated the task. Basically, we wound up at the end of the afternoon with the ability to SEE and READ things that were of importance to us personally. We were able to borrow other people’s words and combine them into meaningful phrases. The synergy of the group contributed to our individual insight into what it was we might be interested into exploring further in our own work.
The net result is that I have ideas for new bodies of work. New words like deterioration and origin are now incorporated into my own perception of the work I do. I want to rush out and photograph dead leaves, beautifully decaying vegetables and rusted vehicles. This is truly thrilling for me. I have been illuminated creatively.
The workshop is much more than this single exercise. We have been exposed to a variety of creative tools that we can all use to better discover our roadmaps. Tools to better understand our processes, make them more efficient, and better articulate our inner desires have been presented. Mostly, JP stood strong on the platform of his experiential discoveries and shared them selflessly with all of us. What more can we ask?
One of the descriptors that we came up with was “transformative indulgence”. That about sums up what this week was for me.”
See Karen’s Flickr gallery here.
Find out about the workshop here. Get Priority Status for the next Illuminating Creativity workshop with absolutely no risk here. Just click “I’d Like Priority Status!”.
Find out about upcoming events here.
Many people think you can’t learn to be more creative. “You’ve either got it or you don’t.” This attitude does a great disservice to everyone. Everyone is creative. So why are some people more creative than others? There are all kinds of reasons. Two reasons stand out above all the others – attitude and skill. In both cases, practice makes perfect. The creative principles and strategies applied in a wide variety of fields can all help you become more creative. You can learn to be more creative. As Micheal Michalko says, “The artist, after all, is not a special kind of person; every person is a special kind of artist.”
Read to my Creativity Downloads here.
Listen to my Creativity Tips here.
Learn about my workshop Illuminating Creativity here.
Each issue of my free enews Insights offers creativity tips. Get Insights here.
My workshop participants are always interesting. they come from all walks of life and bring a lot of life experience with them. It was a pleasure to have Marc Keogel recently attend The Fine Digital Print Expert.
Marc Koegel was born in Germany and currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Marc’s both accomplished and versatile; commercial and fine art photographer, educator, writer, and director of the Vancouver Photo Workshops. Marc produces dramatically stark high contrast black and white landscapes, architecture, and nudes, often involving HDR and motion.
Here’s what Mark said about his experience in the workshop.
“I travelled to JP’s studio for several reasons. Considering myself
an advanced technical printer, I was looking for more than just
technique; I was looking for a point of departure, a unique
perspective and creative inspiration. I wanted to experiment making my
own large prints, without worrying about hardware availability and
cost. Last but not least, I also wanted to use the opportunity and
photograph the beautiful and unique maine land and seascape.
I found all of the above, and more, during my week with JP. “Big
enough to do the job, small enough to care”, describes my experience.
Where else will you find all the creative inspiration, technical know-
how, equipment to experiment and complete any task (including the
Epson 11880)? How about fresh home-baked pie, and a wine and cheese
while looking at master prints with Paul Caponigro in attendance?
JP has assembled one of the most competent and enthusiastic teams to
support workshop participants. The moment you walk through the door
and step into his personal gallery and exhibition space, you know you
are in for a fantastic week.
I walked away energized and inspired to photograph new work to add to
my existing series. I discovered how much creativity can be unleashed
just before an image goes to print. And yes, I don’t consider soft-
proofing a chore no more!
Thank you JP for a truly unique workshop experience.”
“This has been the most professional workshop facility I have ever attended!
Find out more about Marc Koegel here.
Tell Marc what you think about his work. Leave a Comment.
Learn more about The Fine Digital Print Expert workshop here.
What’s it take to get ready for The Fine Digital Print Expert?
Find out here in The Fine Digital Print Advanced workshop.
I love having special guests in my workshops! So, I invite special guests to attend them. Past guests include Vincent Versace, George Jardine, and Kurt Markus to name a few. You never know who’s going to show up! It makes my workshops even more exciting for everyone.
Photographer/author/trainer extraodinaire Kevin Ames participated in my recent The Fine Digital Print Expert workshop.
Kevin presented a great Photoshop session on “Lighting Without Lights” and made some elegant prints during the week as he explored developing a personal project.
Here’s what Kevin had to say about the week …
“My week at the Fine Digital Print II workshop at Caponigro Arts was filled with discovery, camaraderie, good food, conversation, critique, skill building and so much more. I’ve always known that print making (darkroom or digital) is a skill set developed over time. What I learned was it is also another way of seeing. Up until now I’d not connected to seeing from the perspective of the print. I have always envisioned how a scene, portrait or product set up would translate onto film back then or will be recorded into a digital file today for reproduction on press. I hadn’t realized how much more a print can be coaxed to share until now. The tranquil, wooded location in rural Maine is near lakes and the ocean. The solace of the place added to the creativity all of us experienced. Most exciting of all, a whole new body of work opened up for me within a week of finishing the workshop. Kudos of the grandest kind to John Paul and everyone at Caponigro Arts!”
Find out more about Kevin Ames here.
Learn more about the workshop here.