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Artist of the Week — Cornelia Kopp

February 13, 2012 by · 3 comments

An Interview with Photographer Cornelia Kopp by Jasmina Tacheva

Cornelia Kopp

On your website you say the following: …after a long spiritual journey, passion found me. I am in bliss when the creative energy is flowing through me, when I am creating images, learning new tools, sharing and inspiring with like-minded souls. Then I feel peace, thankfulness and joy. The flickr community is a great inspiration for me …

Could you describe this spiritual journey?

Yes, it was very classic, the search for the meaning of my life. I just couldn’t find meaning in careers, consumption and social role-playing games. At that time I was still working for a bank, then afterwards independently. I used to have a totally different life than now! And used to suffer.

Besuch vom Raben

Back then, 20 years ago, desperation led me to various places and teachings. Some stops along the way were the analytical psychology of CG Jung, Osho, Buddhism, Chogyam Trungpa, the study of shamanism and Advaita.

My search finally ended with Ramesh Balsekar. Ultimately, it was the normal everyday-life, which turned out to be the real mystery. For me, it is now only about the here-being. About consciousness, silence. About perception. That’s is the key.

Cornelia Kopp - Winter Evening
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Winter Evening

What are you most proud of with regards to your artistic activities?

Frankly, I can answer the question just like this: Every time when I am proud to have created a really good picture, the disillusionment comes back on the next day, when, once again, nothing seems to work. It’s as if you lock yourself up in the pride of creativity – as in impatience. Every time I think to myself that I won’t be able to create anything new ever again.

Since I am aware of the fragility of the creative state, I’m so very grateful whenever a good picture emerges. Because in the end: Of whom am I proud when I am feel pride? I do not feel that the images are “my” creations. The creativity is just rushing through me.

Cornelia Kopp - Wayside
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Wayside

I don’t have a set image in my mind before I take the picture – the image is created in the moment. I can feel when it’s finished. That’s a great feeling of joy and satisfaction – and also of gratitude! Because I know I can’t achieve anything by relying solely on my will. It’s always the muse, that may or may not be there.

Cornelia Kopp - Dark Thoughts
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Dark Thoughts

What does a typical day for you look like?

“Typical days” don’t exist for me – there are creative and non-creative days. My ideal creative day, however, looks something like this: The weather is dry, sunny, pleasantly warm, slightly cloudy – perfect for a photo tour. Nearby there is a street festival. I pack up my camera and meddle with the hustle and bustle.

I love street performances and enjoy going to the Middle Ages markets – anywhere where I can capture unusual scenes. The artists are there and take the audience onto the jugglers wave.

Cornelia Kopp - Contemplation
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Contemplation

Everyone takes pictures and I can concentrate on my motives. I stay as long as the fascination continues. Back home, I immediately go through and sift out only about 2/3 of the photos. Then I see if I like a photo particularly much – and I start to tinker with it.

If all goes well, the same evening the work is done, and I’d upload it on Flickr.

Cornelia Kopp - Move and the Way Will Open
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Move and the Way Will Open

Where can we usually meet you on a Sunday morning?

If the weather is nice, I can be found out in the open, in the garden with the animals. And then, at brunch, with my family. Exchange and community are as important to me as reclusion and work in peace. In bad weather, of course, I’d be on my computer.

Cornelia Kopp - Sunflower
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Sunflower

What has influenced your development as a digital artist? How has your style evolved over time?

The artistic Flickr community was what encouraged and inspired me. There are many groups where you can exchange ideas. At first I was totally amazed to find such a variety of artistic styles, everything was new. I just knew: I would also like to do that.

So I just started, step by step – photo by photo.

Cornelia Kopp - Happy Valentine's Day
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Happy Valentine’s Day

What tools / media do you use when creating your artwork?

I work with Photoshop, learning by doing, mostly with my own photos, but sometimes I also add elements to other artists’ work who also share their work with a cc license. Then I link it to the finished picture.

Cornelia Kopp - Looking for Reality
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Looking for Reality

Can you present a little “making of” of your images to our readers?

First I have to be inspired by a photo: Perhaps it’s a beautiful open countryside, and I’d start to tinker with it. Then, a new tree may appear on the right side, in the background – mountains can arise, perhaps even a new sky – everything is elements from the other photos. I have a “paint box” full of so-called Snips, these are objects that are cut out of my photos: people, animals, objects, trees, birds, etc.

Cornelia Kopp - Free Fall
Photo: Cornelia Kopp Free Fall

The “Textures” are very important too. These are photos from various composite structures: for example photos of a canvas, a cloudy sky, a sunset and a scratched surface can be melted together by Photoshop, there are no limits to ideas. Thus a completely new image is created from many photos, a whole new kind of creativity. On my flickr page, there is a set of my “free textures” which are placed over a photo and merged into HP.

Cornelia Kopp - Arrive
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Arrive

What’s the significance of your Flickr name – AlicePopkorn?

AlicePopkorn is Cornelia Kopp, only mixed up. Both names have the same characters but carry a different energy. A friend of mine “found” the names and I knew immediately, this will be my stage name. I think it’s gorgeous, it always reminds me of Alice in Wonderland and expresses a different personality of mine, a creative and global one.

Cornelia Kopp - Free
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Free

What do you think the contribution of the combination of art and spirituality of your work for the community and for your own life is?

As with everything, I learn a lot about myself, but being creative is a very direct reflection of my inner mood: I can only be creative when I’m empty on the inside, free of thought loops and everyday stuff. Oftentimes I sit in my garden in meditation so that the “Everyday Movies” can fade away.

The less “I” there is, the better the flow of creative energy. So it is all about a certain state of consciousness and it doesn’t occur as often as I would have liked. Impatience also plays a role, I’m incredibly impatient, that just doesn’t get along with creativity! I must therefore accept all over again that everything has its time. I am learning a lot of amazing things on different levels.

Cornelia Kopp - Winter Dream
Photo: Cornelia Kopp – Winter Dream

Socially: I support the idea of ​​Creative Commons and the free exchange on the Internet. This creates a new global community in which we inspire each other, learn and tickle our potential. I am happy when I see my pictures in blog posts, videos, CDs and book titles, etc. – they usually fit wonderfully with the text or the music. Co-creations – linked to the creativity – that’s is the community of the future.

To be a part of it, to see what we can create together – artistically, but also politically and socialy – that makes me happy and inspires me; this is a new global power we can observe anywhere in the world right now; the small contribution of an individual, who can change so many things for the better.

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