Sometimes Good Experiences Can Be Painful

I was extremely fortunate to just complete a week long workshop with Arthur Meyerson, a master photographer who is in a category reserved for very few.  If you’re not familiar with his name, you are likely familiar with some of his work.   It was his finger on the shutter release behind some of the iconic commercial images for Coca-Cola and Puma for almost 20 years.  He has just released a book of images that he took for pleasure called “The Color of Light.”  He walks with giants such as Ernst Haas, Jay Maisel and Sam Abel.

The workshop was a master class on light, color and gesture.  He challenged us each day to come up with images we could hang on the wall embracing each of these characteristics.  It was tough.  It’s hard enough to come up with one or two images a month or even a year, never mind in a matter of hours.  We worked hard to see light where there was none, to see color in a monochromatic landscape and to find gesture where there were no people.  Coupeville was a ghost town.

But sometime during the bitching, angst and frustration, creativity emerged.  A spark was ignited and the spirit was rejuvenated.  It’s not often you’re in the presence of a master like Arthur and you want, no yearn, to rise to the occasion and produce something worthy.  By the end of the week, tension was still high and we were struggling with each press of the shutter, but we were getting it.  We found inspiration where earlier in the week, we only found self-pity.  We embraced the challenge and decided to make lemonade out of lemons.  And in the process, we came up with some pretty good images.

The point of all this is that creativity can be a progression of thoughts, mistakes, missteps and successes.  Give yourself a chance to let the creative juices flow and to allow circumstance, serendipity and, even failure, to move you closer to achieving your vision.  It will come.  It’s not called a body of work for nothing.

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