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The WoW Factor – TAO LP 3

The WoW Factor – TAO LP 3

For my third article on the Art of Light Painting, I want to talk about the “wow” factor.
I’m sure all of you had a light painting showing up in your camera that triggered a “wow” inside yourself or others around you.

The Wow Factor is the expression of amazement when nothing else can be said. To me, it is the highest achievement, when the mind cannot grasp what happened. It is when the heart has been touched, and the imagination sparked by your artwork.

So what is the recipe to reach this wowness?
Most often it is a process involving many things, creating a moment that combines the emotional, the technical aspects of your art plus an element of surprise when the unexpected manifest.
Questions: Do you surprise yourself when you light paint?
In creation, does everything need to be rational, and logical?
What about the other parts of yourself like the illogical, the intuitive, the emotional, the abstract, the imagination, the spontaneous, the chaotic? Those are also interesting elements to create with and explore.

Art requires us to push and explore the various aspects of our mind, bodies, heart, and spirit. I ask of us to question, and go beyond what we know and understand right now. Doing art is like going to a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language at all, without a phone, the internet, or any friends to guide you. Art is about unraveling the other layers of yourself including the unconscious and or the subconscious. Out of the comfort zone.


BTW see last month’s article giving more insight on physical intelligence: Control VS Letting Go.


The best ingredient to bringing your art to the “wow” factor, is the process of tweaking. First, if you want to go up and beyond what you do now, you need to become a tweaker, to learn how to tweak everything, constantly.

Light painting is mainly self-thought, from doing you gain experience. You do, you observe and then you learn.
Tweaking, for example, is this; if you feel, the colors are clashing; tweak it. If you feel your background is disconnected to your light trails like two different layers that don’t match; tweak it.
If you feel your framing is off; tweak it. If you feel that the moment you are in, needs of good music; tweak the moment with good tunes. If you feel your assistants or friends around are talking nonsense, disturbing or being noisy, not aligned or present to this moment; tweak them too, give them a focus, a purpose, a task.
If your body is out of it; tweak it with a warm cup of tea and some food or by lying down on the ground for a moment to breathe and relax.
Tweak whatever is inside and outside of yourself.
Tweak anything you can to make the moment a great moment where everything is flowing, working, and connected all together, so you have the optimum condition to create in. This includes the clarity of your mind. Tweak, tweak, tweak it all until you get a “wow.”

Now, this is a major ingredient but not the only one Putting time in your art is a key. You do have to practice your movements, free your body, and understand your technique of course, and there is more.

Break and rebuilt. When you get very good at a technique or a form of light painting, it’s time to break it. When you get comfortable with your creations, to the point of repeating yourself, over and over getting the same result, this means you created a pattern in your mind, and you’re on autopilot following a loop. Time to break this.
When you take things apart, it allows something new to come in, it’s the start of a new process, and you will discover and learn more and more. It’s infinite, there are plateaus, but no end to your creativity and the possibilities light painting offers. Reinventing yourself is a key to your evolution, to your process.

I’ve learned to light paint by myself before the internet, before the digital cameras.
There was nothing back then, we vaguely heard about the technique existing somewhere but no cultures were truly established then.
It was the dark ages in a way, but it forced me to let go and get out of the comfort zone t while jumping into the unknown.

Back then we could not see the results right away. It was a question of trial and error. The vulnerability, the unknown, made me learn so much and gave birth to lots of wows.

Here is a creative exercise, just for fun: Light painting without looking at the result, light paint with your eyes closed, light paint with the hand you don’t use much. This will enhance other senses, give you a different result, a different school to enhance different skills. This process will make your art change and evolve.

So to sum this up, the “wow” is the process of combining skills, emotions, the surprises of the unknown, through a bunch of tweaking.


Best to you in your creative adventures.


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.

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