Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Coppock.
Susan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Photography has been my passion since I was 14 years old. I have worked in all aspects of the field, including owning my own camera store, having a photography studio, and now, teaching photography at San Dieguito Academy High School in Encinitas for the last 15 years. I am so lucky to teach what I love!
In 1990 I started photographing the night sky- stars, the moon, star trails, Milky Way etc. I was lucky enough to catch a bolt of lightning from the top of Mt. Soledad that year and I was hooked! Since then I have chased thunderstorms and lightning all over the Southwest, mainly during the summers for monsoon season. Getting photos of lightning and storm clouds is especially satisfying because I never know what I will get and each image is unlike any other. I not only get to experience Mother Nature’s incredible display of weather phenomena, but I get to share my experiences with others through my photographs. Also, the camera can capture what the eye cannot see: details in clouds, colors highlighted by lightning, and one-of-a-kind bolts of lightning,
I often go on these adventures with ex-students. I feel privileged to be able to have these adventures with people who share my passion. I hope to continue to be awed by nature and be able to share this wonder with others.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
The message in my work is simple. Nature is AWESOME! We need to protect and preserve our earth for all generations to come.
I try to show a side of nature that not everyone gets to experience. The power and beauty of nature should be experienced by all, but at a minimum, I can show it in my work and share it with others. When someone loves one of my pieces enough to comment on it or even to purchase it, I feel I have connected on a deep level with another person who values nature like I do.
A year and a half ago I was thrilled when lightning hit the coast of Carlsbad as I was driving to work, I stopped at Tamarack Beach to photograph it in front of some rock sculptures made by an anonymous artist. I was screaming with delight every time I caught some of the strikes on my camera.
A jogger passing by heard me and commented that I must be getting some good shots, I said I was getting great shots and he asked me to send him copies later. He ended up purchasing two large prints and I feel we will always have this shared experience in common, and that my images would bring him back to that experience every time he looks at them. This connection is what I always hope to achieve in showing my images to others in galleries and exhibits.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
Artists today have it better than in the past because of the preponderance of social media sites. I can get immediate exposure and response to my work within minutes of finishing a piece. This wasn’t true years ago when, for the most part, an artist needed gallery representation.
But many of us artists are not business people. We became artists and that’s how our minds work, If I had any advice to give a young person starting out in the art field it would be to take some classes in business. It can only help them in the future, no matter what kind of art they create.
The special problem facing photographers is that many, many people take photos and social media sites are inundated with images. This can lessen the impact that a photographer might have in getting his/her work out to the public who see so much similar imagery. This is why it is so important to have a niche of your own- creating images that are your passion and that are different from others.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have several images (six) in the Orange County Fair right now. (I also had 7 pieces in the San Diego County Fair that just ended.) I also have a piece that will be shown in the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad from July 15 to September 8, Earlier this year I had a solo show at the Encinitas Library and last year at the Vista Library. I am always looking for other places to exhibit my work!
Anyone can follow me on Instagram or check out my website.
- Website: thunderstruckphoto.com susancoppock.com
- Phone: 760-803-8549
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Instagram: @susancoppockphoto
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.coppock