• Thoughts & Photographs - 7 •
Other essays in this series
Becoming an Artist
Monument Valley at Dusk © Howard Warren,2005
ISO 100, 0.6 sec. exposure, Canon 24-70mm f/2,8L @ 30mm on Canon 1Ds Mark II in Manual mode
How does one become an artist? Or is one an artist who does not know how to express it? I am asked these questions regularly and the answer is never easy. In fact, there is rarely an answer. Why? Not because the question cannot be answered but because it is not just a matter, for the person asking the question, to hear the answer. Getting the answer will not make someone an artist. In this matter one needs more than an answer. One needs an experience. There is just only so far that reading, reflecting and talking about this subject will allow you to progress.
I learned a lot, but if I had learned only one thing it would have made it all worth it, and that one thing was : it's OK to be an artist. I know I will improve, but just this is an amazing change from the way I thought prior to the workshop and your articles. I can't tell you how excited I am at finally being able to produce something that I'm proud of. Kathy, my wife, just came home and saw it and can't quit looking at the print. It printed beautifully.
There is little else I can add, really, except maybe a short note about how we conduct our workshops. In our May Navajoland workshop we started our first shoot by listening to Travis Terry play Native American flute music before sunrise. While the gray of dawn gave way to the splendid colors of sunrise, the notes of Travis' flute echoed along the canyon walls. You could hear Travis' music a quarter mile away, and probably beyond that, maybe clear to the other side of Canyon de Chelly. The rich musical tones of his flute, the emotion that was conveyed by his singing (Travis is also a great singer) and the greeting that Travis gave to the new day, set the tone for the whole workshop. What a send off! If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, you need to join us for our next Navajoland workshop to really know what I mean. You will never forget it. I know I won't.