Several friends and blog followers have recently asked me about my experiences in Sphere 2 of The Arcanum, so I wanted to take a moment for an update. I’m one of the fortunate apprentices who were selected early in the process of The Arcanum and then graduated from the Foundation and Sphere 1 levels with Master Laurie Rubin and into Sphere 2.
Unfortunately, my Sphere 2 progress has been slower than I’d expected this summer and fall due to time constraints and my recent health challenges, but just this week I did finish my Level 23 “New Works” project. I’m now looking forward to my first one-on-one critique with my Master Robin Griggs Wood next week.
The first three levels in Sphere 2 (21-23) involved more intensive interaction with my fellow apprentices, which has been a great experience. The 20-some individuals in this cohort are amazing artists, with a variety of talents in different genres of photography and compositing. I quickly realized my limited background in Photoshop would need to be addressed, so initially I spent time taking tutorials to expand my knowledge and gain more confidence.
One of my primary goals in Sphere 2 is to let go. I’ve spent most of my life in editorial and sports photography where the emphasis is on reality (as it should be). Now, I want to take those raw images from my camera and create something more, whether simply enhancing the colors and textures to adding and subtracting components to enhancing the composition and embracing a vision that may just be in my mind. It will be a challenge to escape those constraints I’ve lived with throughout my creative life!
One of Robin’s strongest themes for her Sphere 2 members is to be yourself and escape the feeling that you’re creating work for someone else or based on someone else’s expectations or ideas. This fact has truly been the core of my being throughout my life, so immersing myself in my art for myself is a completely new transition that has certainly already proved to be a huge undertaking.
The beauty of stepping (OK, really more like leaping) out of my comfort zone, however, is that I have no idea where I’ll land. It’s taken me a couple of months to really grasp this concept, and I think that’s maybe why my progress stalled. But now that I’ve had some time to digest this key finding and spend more quality time in the Sphere 2 community, I’m hopeful and expecting that The Arcanum experience will continue to push me forward into new and magical places. Stay tuned!