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Control VS Letting Go – TAO LP 2

Control VS Letting Go – TAO LP 2

Here is a good mind-bender.

Light painting is in great part about motion, movement. We, light painters, in most cases, have to move our bodies to create our art. We can use control to do this or just allowed it to happen by letting go and flowing.

Some people believe that being in control is the way to create and nothing else can exist other than control. Controlling your light, your movements, and the pre-decided outcome. If you do, please go ahead and keep going, it isn’t wrong and does give some good results. But if you are a little bit curious by the mysteries of life, the other layers that make this universe possible, the multi-dimensions of your being, and if you want to go deeper into art, then you must go deeper into yourself and open up to other possibilities. Ready for a good ride?

Let’s start with our modern-day storytelling and the great magician archetype we repeatedly see in our culture.
Notice one thing; in the best stories, the magician is not in control. He can only do his magic when the magic is available. If you take the stories of Lord Of The Ring, for example, Gandalf only does the magic at certain key moments, when it’s available, when the moment calls to do so.
If he were in full control of his powers, he would be zapping his magic wand all the way through the story, nonstop, and full of himself. From the beginning to the end, like changing channels on television with a remote, zap, zap, zap.
If the magician had unlimited full access to magical power, this would mean that he’s more powerful than everything around, more powerful than life and disconnected from everything, untouchable and boring.
No stories, no struggles, no adventure, no learning, no mistakes, no growth; Too easy, and all the other heroes would be useless. Same with Harry Potter or any of the Jedis. The force, the magic, our creative powers come and go, like waves, influenced by everything around, every moment is different. Even if we try our best, sometimes, it just not happening, nothing comes out no matter what.
Other days we rock it, we kick ass, we are in the zone, on a roll making one great creation after the other; Full magic.

From observing your process; you discover that everything is influencing everything at every moment. Looking at your result, you can tell if you are aligned or misaligned with your self, with your art in the present moment. I started observing this years ago with portrait and understood that the model was influencing the result of my light. If the model is inspiring and open, feeding my process, there is a greater chance of a magical result. Especially when the energy flows. If the music is right and worries are out of the way, it frees up space for the creative mind to come in, for the genius to show up. We are influenced by everything inside and outside of ourselves.
We are not the only ones responsible for our light painting, in a way, everything and everyone is. Ok, while we are at it, let’s push this higher; the whole universe is responsible for what we are living right now. So let’s not take the results too personally but let’s show up and create to see what today brings.

See the inspiring TED talk from Elisabeth Gilbert; she explains about the Genius as something outside of us that comes to us. It’s a fascinating idea and her book The Big Magic also talks about that. I recommend you to read it. TED TALK:


I practice the light painting kata. O love the simple setup. I’m by myself with a black background and my light blades. This way I’m just facing myself in the same environment. It’s the simplest and purest form I found to learn and deepen my art form.
I have done thousands and thousands of light paintings this way. From what I observe, the special ones, the magical pieces, the chef-d’oeuvre, come out when they do, and I don’t get to chose on what day and at what time it happens. It just does when it does. Someday everything lines up perfectly and boom the magic happens, can’t explain it, other days, well, not much happens. I just have to accept this process and make peace with it.
So I do believe that we are not in control and have to dance with it all, moving inflow and let the light happen as it does.

I learn to let go and trust the physical intelligence, the energy, and the mystery that inhabits us, the same energy that makes us grow from an invisible point in the womb to this fully developed human with a light tool in hand ready to light up the world.

Did we control the sperm and the egg and all the process that grew us into this massive walking-talking ecosystem? We have the power to destroy and create. Life happened somehow and it wasn’t controlled done by control. Life is a self-generating creation creating itself.

We often identify with our thoughts and think we are in charge. But we are not, it’s a co-creation of all systems, all dimensions. Do you tell your finger how to heal when you get a cut? “Hey yo, place some red cells here, and we need more atoms there, don’t forget to coagulate properly…” No, it just happens, there is a greater intelligence built-in, maybe we can call it consciousness?
What if we can light paint with that force with trust. What if we can allow this to take over and make some amazing thing happen this way. Not in control but in openness so to allow.

Observing that control is often base on fear, limits, contraction, and the need to be important.
In the end, control is ego-based. Allowing, on the other hand, is based on the heart, trust, and expansion.

Consciously we can move our attention, literally from the mind, the brain into the heart, in the center of the self. Reconnecting with breathing, presence, so to clearing up the mental clutter of things distracting us and taking inner space.

By optimizing yourself and clearing up the clutter, your light painting will take a quantum leap. Your superpowers will rise to create in a new way utilizing your full magician Jedi powers.

In art, we must allow the unknown to come in. We must make mistakes and focus on the teachings, the experiences. The opportunities to grow are always present.

And BTW, mistakes are the best teacher. It paves the way to discovery. So many scientific discoveries and technologies came to be by accident.


So when I do practice my light painting kata with my light sword in hand, I let my body move, freely and it learns by itself, “ME” out of the way. My art comes from allowing, that is the school I go to every day, that is what teaches me about so many parts of life and being a creator of this world.

In light we trust, in ourselves, we must.


TAO LP  (The Art Of Light Painting).

About The Author

Patrick Rochon

Painting with actual light has been a fascination for two and a half decades now. Having explored many techniques, created many different light tools and light painted thousand of pieces, I’ve come to a place of finding beauty in simplicity, opening a world of small details within a line that contains it all. To me, that is where fine art begins. Patrick is an award-winning Light Painting photographer with over 24 years of experience. First prize winner of the Nikon photo contest in Japan, Patrick has done light painting photography for various fashion, rock magazines, CD jackets, DVD covers, posters, and international ad campaigns. Clients also include Toyota and Honda. Born in Montreal, Canada, Patrick has lived mainly in Tokyo, New York and Paris for 15 years.


  1. Sergey Churkin

    Can’t say better, than you, Patrick. I feel the same. And this knowledge is the power which drive me and make understandable every light painter in the univeverse. Light, Beat, Eat, Repeat :))))))

    • Patrick Rochon

      It can be frightening to explore to more unconscious and intuitive parts of ourselves, but they are still parts of ourselves and can only enrich us and deepen our life meaningfully.

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