The Unapologetic Artist


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The Unapologetic Artist cover image of a woman throwing ribbons in the air

The Unapologetic Artist


Next class starts TBD
Registration opens TBD
Teacher Carolyn Mara Borlenghi
Sponsored by Artifact Uprising and Squarespace

Oftentimes we find ourselves stuck in repetitive creative routines. We forget what it feels like to be crazy-passionate about photography, or we just flat out get bored. The Unapologetic Artist is about breaking out of the boxes we put ourselves in and falling in love with our art once again.

This course focuses on conceptualizing and executing a project while elevating your talent and honing in on your luminous potential. You will finish this class with a cohesive, polished project: a collection of images that have a unifying artistic vision and message.

Teacher Carolyn Mara draws from a graduate degree in photography and her own artistic exploration to coach students in the creative process. Her critiques and constructive feedback, as well as unique instruction on how to critique as a group, will  challenge each artist to reach their utmost potential. Together, students will push and support one another in bold and authentic expression.

It’s time to stop apologizing for who you are and the art you really want to share with the world!

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WEEK ONE: Brainstorming a project & learning how to critique

WEEK TWO: Finding a direction & working through problems

WEEK THREE: Unifying your ideas & working on consistency

WEEK FOUR: Living with it, writing about it, & presenting your final project

The Schedule

All participation and interaction for this class will take place in a private online forum. (Registered students will receive instructions on how to access the forum a few days before class begins.)

On the first Monday of class, Carolyn will share Lesson 1 in the forum and e-mail it to every student. She will be available during the week to answer questions and facilitate discussions in the forum as you read and work through your lessons.

Homework will be due on Sunday and critiques/reviews will take place the following Monday. Each week will follow the same pattern.

The beauty of this class and every other class at DEFINE is that you can read, practice, and participate throughout the week whenever it is convenient for you- from any timezone, anywhere you have Internet access, at any time of day. Most students spend 3-5 hours per week “in class.”

If you have any questions please feel free to email

Is this class for you?

If you want to use photography as a means to create art, if you want to use photography as a form of self expression, if you want to photograph for yourself… this class is for you. The aim of this class is to create a body of work through an art school format. The camera you use is up to you, but a basic knowledge of how it works is important. If you are a wedding or portrait photographer looking to create for yourself instead of a client, or an amateur with a love of photography and wanting to do more, this class is for you.

Material(s) Needed

Any type of camera you want to shoot with – iPhone, DSLR, or film camera, and a computer


  1. :

    Thank you Carolyn and all the incredible artists who took part in this class with me, I have loved every moment of it. Together we have grown and supported each other as artists, and each person has finished the four weeks together with a really accomplished and cohesive portfolio of photographs that come right from their soul. The lessons were fascinating and I learnt so many new techniques, both about creative brainstorming and about technical mastery – learning about editing using Actions in Photoshop was a revelation, and I am so excited by my final project of portraits, as well as seeing the development of everyone else’s projects.

  2. :

    I absolutely loved experiencing this class! The Lessons are so well written and fun to read. The journey that Carolyn designed to take us from week to week was enlightening and rewarding on so many levels. Challenging in all of the right ways, the four week process was so fascinating to me! I never would have imagined my final project becoming what it evolved into, even after the first two weeks. Thank you so much, Carolyn and all the beautiful supportive people in the class with me 🙂

  3. :

    I have always found great inspiration in Carolyn Borlenghi’s work and this class enabled me to tap within myself and really discover what it is I gravitate towards. Through her instruction and assignments I was able to take my basic and unskilled photography and creative-doing to a different and much more rewarding level. I recommend this class to anyone trying to achieve personal and creative growth. She knows how to reach her students as individuals while keeping continuity within the class. And, as an added bonus, she created a fantastic bound book to contain and share all of our hard work!

  4. Carlin Miller


    This was my second class with Carolyn and I didn’t actually think it would be possible to top the first (Self+Art) but it was and then some! Carolyn is such an amazing teacher, she inspires and leads you to explore your own inner artist in a way I have never experienced. This class pushed me to really enjoy photography as a form of self discovery, not just expression, and to own my vision and value my voice as an artist. I encourage anyone looking to hone their craft and really find a direction for their work to take this class. You will not regret it!!

  5. :

    This class will lift you up. It will help you dig deep and pull your inner creativity to the surface to create purposeful and meaningful art. Carolyn’s encouragement and support helps you define your work. The community you build in Carolyn’s class is incredible. The whole experience was incredible. Highly highly recommend it!

  6. :

    I had a feeling this would be a good class but honestly I was so unprepared for how amazing it was. Carolyn participated all along the way and really fueled this class. She created an incredible space for collaboration and really threw down the gauntlet for some beautiful projects. If you want to create, make, brainstorm and dream sign up for this one.

  7. Kierstan Bell


    Carolyn has a gift when it comes to teaching. She engages with each student and the group as a whole in a way I haven’t experienced in any other class. The lessons are so well written, you know this is one smart, extremely talented woman! I am new to photography, so this class is welcoming of all levels. The encouragement, together with valuable critiques I received excited me and pushed me to create a project I am proud of. I ended this class with brand new knowledge on how to brainstorm a meaningful, cohesive project, commit to it, curate and see it through to the end (even including an artist statement!). And, maybe most importantly, I received the encouragement to have the bravery to release it into the world. Bonus: being included in a beautiful Artifact Uprising book alongside all of the talented artists in this class… something I will treasure forever! I would recommend this class to all of my friends.

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The Unapologetic Artist cover image of a woman throwing ribbons in the air

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