It wasn't until college, after changing majors from physics, then to engineering, and then again to tech theatre, that I stumbled upon the person who really changed things. I became fascinated by the drawing part of stage design and decided to take a class at SUNY-Binghamton with Charles Eldred. He was an educator in the real sense of the word--someone who led by example and immediately created a presence in his classroom that made you want to create. He treated his students all as if they were young artists and understood that art is about life and experience; that it molds you as much as you mold it; that the doing was the main thing and that you have an obligation to make a space for yourself to do the work.
Years later, I think a lot people who studied with him (he died in 1994 at an early age, very sadly) still feel his influence, and occasionally hear his voice. More than anything else, I realize now, Eldred was about expanding the scope and synthesis of your thinking and looking at more possibilities; that, and learning to work extremely hard and being doggedly persistent so that something will "start to happen" as he often said.
Tsirkus Fotografika: Authentic Vintage Photography