Joyce Tenneson
Joyce Tenneson

PDN: You also do advertising work. Can you talk briefly about the Prescriptives account you worked on. . . . How did that come about?

"Magic" Campaign
JOYCE TENNESON: Every once in a while I'm lucky enough to get a wonderful advertising assignment, and working with Prescriptives/Magic has been a very pleasant experience, because they actually came to me after seeing an image—the one that I just showed you from Transformations. The company was developing a product line to show the "Inner Light" of women.And it was wonderful that they came directly to me, rather than hiring somebody to copy me, which is often, unfortunately, what can happen. I think the images that we have done together have really suited their needs and it's been a pleasant experience for me as well.

PDN: I know that mentoring is very important to you. Did your mentoring program, Light Warriors come before the book Light Warriors?

JOYCE TENNESON: Actually, I started the non-profit Light Warriors organization after the book was finished. My editor at Bulfinch Press needed copy for the book flap and we were thinking about the organization, but we hadn't yet worked it all out. We mentioned the organization in the Light Warriors book flap copy, so it sort of took on a life of its own very quickly, thanks in part to the Santa Fe Photo Workshops, who already had a non-profit organization in place. They offered to do the legal work and the accounting work, and we became a division of the nonprofit Santa Fe Center for Visual Arts. We are up and running now and we're really hoping that a lot of people who are looking at this Web site will go into We have various internship programs being offered, as well as a scholarship this year, and we'll be having other kinds of networking that might be of interest to many, many people.

PDN: Why is the mentoring program so important to you?

JOYCE TENNESON: I think that as important as my art has been, and as important as my relationships have been to me, I think that perhaps I'll be equally as proud of my teaching/facilitator experiences. I've always been involved in education and I continue to give it a very high priority in my life. I just feel that mentoring is something I wished for my son, and I think it's what we all wish for our children and our nephews, or nieces, or godchildren, or whatever. We just wish somebody would take an interest in them at a critical point in their life and see who they are and connect them with people that could make their life change or grow in a positive way. I've seen the power of mentoring many times—I just wanted to put some effort behind changing consciousness about the fact that we can all, with very little time and no money, actually change people's lives just through being aware of who they are and what they need at that particular moment, and by connecting them to resources that we could probably access if we just gave it some thought.

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