Now, before I start my blog of the latest show I want to ask you a question. When you were at school who was your inspirational teacher. Who set you on your way? Who made you apply yourself to a potential career? Who made you change your direction in life, from a life as a down and out with trouble to one of life with a future?
Intrigued? Got you thinking? Then good… I’ll come back to this at the end.
Jessica Lark is a talented artist. She studied art at school and college before coming to a conclusion that there was room to develop her art further by taking up photography. It was during a body painting period of her art that she realised that her work needed to be recorded. She didn’t have a clue about cameras but still undeterred went out to the local camera shop and bought a professional camera on the advice of the Canon agent who was there at the time… and switched the camera straight to program mode, well we’ve all done that! But then she came cross a seminar where the tutor insisted that goo photographer never use the 'Program' mode and from their she was encourage to learn more of the cameras functions.
Sometime later, she was asked to take some photographs of a friend in a world war 2 setting and was amazed that she got paid, $75 not enough as she was later to realise! But it made her very happy indeed and a personal triumph and just kew she wanted to do more. As she developed on from this initial start she had the opportunity to use the house they rented out, that had become available after their tenant had moved out unannounced. This gave her the ideal space that she needed to create her sets, where she could develop her work as fine art boudoir photographer. Jessica was now in a position to offer imaginative creative sets that would give her the 'canvas' to create the scenes her clients were requesting.
As her Boudoir photography business, steadily developed and opportunities began to open up. Her interest in passing on knowledge and inspiration to others was recognised by Trey Ratcliff when she had initially applied for an apprentice place in The Arcanum when he asked if she wold take a position as a master. To be honest things haven't really looked back since then for Jessica Lark as she has led many apprentices through the rigours of The Arcanum by continuously encouraging and passing on inspiration not in just one cohort but, at one time, three! She has since merged two. Also with The Arcanum she has taken on a new role where she now overseas the Path of the Protege (where apprentices go through the stages/tasks of becoming masters in the Arcanum).
She is in high demand not only for her photography but also for her inspirational talks and presentations. One of her latest projects - Reliquarian - is the development of a series of books through photography. Using her art to create images of fascination and of thoughts and experiences. Reliquarian? I hear you ask. As I understand it by the definition of Oxford (English) Dictionary : An adjective : of or relating to a relic or relics. Lets adjust that slightly meaningful times and experiences!
Over the last few months I have got to know Jessica Lark very well. She is my master in the Arcanum for Sphere 2. She demands commitment but she is fair and understanding of problems that arise yet, she knows how to deal with those as well, with firm inspirational talking. Nothing seems to phase her when it comes to photography and art especially on business scale. Her enthusiasm transfers to her apprentices as she firmly cajoles you along with her positive thoughts. Being an apprentice comes with self doubt in ability and concerns of “will it ever work out”. If you’re willing to learn and take on board fair criticism Jessica will be there for you. It would seem rude to say she is ‘hard but fair’ yet, she’ll kick your butt if need be!
Her favourite photographer? She doesn't really have a favourite but, Renee Robyn, Ben Von Wong and Kirsty Mitchell are worthy of a mention. Her inspiration mainly comes from music, writers such as Paulo Coelho, the artist Monet, and considers inspiration in everything even her apprentices!
To my mind (and I’ve said this before) Jessica is one of the most inspirational masters in The Arcanum, sometimes using a lot of soul searching and experiences, but generally just common sense and a will to succeed.
Now to that question who was your inspirational teacher? I just wish Jessica had been around when I was at school…
Thanks Jessica for joining me…
Until Next time “Leave your camera bag at home”
The all important links…