A lot of New Year's resolutions are less resolution and more wishful thinking. At least many of mine have been in the past. But I make the effort each year, sometimes later deciding that I no longer want to go that route, sometimes dropping the resolution entirely and sometimes fulfilling it. Makes me human, I suppose. Excuses and defences aside for the past, here's what I am looking to do from a creative perspective in 2018. Perhaps one or more may inspire you.
- Always have a camera with me. This may mean that I need to get something smaller and lighter that I can always carry that is not a burden and that does a better job than a smartphone. I don't like smartphones for photography, or for video, except as a "here's where I was" kind of tool. Truth is, I use that camera more for reading labels than for taking pictures. I miss shots that I see when I do not have a camera and I want to change that, without having to go out festooned with gear when creative image making is not my primary goal.
- Slow down. I've driven or ridden by so many shots. When I am driving, it's because I am on a task because while I like to drive, I use the truck for task driving and not recreational driving. I still see shots and drive by them and regret it. When I am out on the motorcycles, I am typically not on a task, I am out for a ride "thataway". Two of my bikes have hard bags, so I could carry a camera, and I have. But I have rarely stopped to get the camera out to make an image. My other bike barely has storage for the ownership and the insurance tag, so I need that smaller camera in point one that will easily fit in my bike jacket pocket and be fast to use. I think that if I have such a camera and make the effort to stop when I see something interesting, while remaining safe, I will enjoy the creative process more.
- Cut back on the inventory. 2017 was the first year that I did not spend major coin on any photo or video gear. I wanted to, but there is already too much stuff in the studio. I need to get rid of what I don't use, to relieve the clutter, and only then assess what is missing and interesting.
- While I expect I will always be primarily a still photographer, I will spend more time thinking about and shooting video for myself. The commercial work is just fine, but I am not creating any video for fun. The work is work, and the other video that I do is predominantly oriented to reviews and tutorials. I don't regret those efforts, but they don't spark me so much.
- Go back to paper. I do try to plan my creative outings, but the electronics while useful tools and references don't foster the creative juices. I will have a small moleskine notebook with me and beside the bed to write down any ideas that I have, and then use them with creative intent.
- I own a lot of the plugins available for photography and video editing. I've done some hard assessments. While I review many, the reality is that I use very few of them. That's not to say they are not good, but I get more satisfaction out of creating the look "manually" than from bashing things with filters and presets. As Neil Young once said "that's not my style man"
- I'm going to work on new training topics and workshops for 2018 that expand on the "how to", to include the "what for". I've discovered that mixing the two in a single program doesn't work so well because the attendees are typically in different places mentally. How-to is still important, but as we become more deeply engaged as creatives, What-for is more important. I enjoy being an educator, and I like making content that is usable and valuable. When it's not fun, or I am required to be politically correct, it ends.
- It's hardly a resolution to not do what I already don't do, but I am so angered by the endless displays of moronism on social media, that I will continue not to engage. I don't care what people who have no talent or skills think, I despise the anonymous nature of social media that encourages otherwise decent folk to become grade A mark one asshats, and I have no interest in sharing my work with anyone. Similarly I will not support or participate in anything that smells like a creative competition. They are unrelenting ego boosting or esteem bashing bullcrap. Anyone who thinks that they are better for winning a contest needs serious psychiatric help.
- While I am not social media oriented, I will continue to write articles and do videos and podcasts because there is a group of folks who appreciate what I do and get value from it, and more importantly, I get pleasure from doing so. When it stops being fun, it ends. I will also continue to try to offer support via forums that I participate in. I like the attitude in the Kelby One community, although every time I hear the word community, I throw up in my mouth a bit. Too many communities have become home for social justice warriors and my only use for them is as potential organ donors, the brain being unviable. Then again, I have earned the Platinum Curmudgeon medal and have received three further enhancements to it, so I'm not a particularly social critter anyway.
- I will work to be better. A better mentor, a better coach, a better writer, photographer and videographer. I will work to be a more coherent teacher, and I will work to be a better student.
That's what I have for me as a creative. What about you? Have you made a plan for 2018 for your creative pursuits? If you have, what stands out for you? If you have not, why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section as other participants might get some value from your perspective.
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I'm Ross Chevalier, thanks for reading, and until next time, peace.