Monday, January 23, 2012

Creative Goals for 2012

Ahh, January, the time to make empty promises to ourselves and try to forget our failings of the previous year. This has become an annual post for me already, going back through 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. That first year was a pretty humble collection, which helps me see that my creative goals have gotten completely out of hand. Resolution Number One: dial it down.


I see that last year was way too ambitious. Looking at the flopped goals, I did not:
  • a photography mentor or learn to shoot video.
  • ...branch out with my subjects much or take any photographic road trips
  • ...get a fancy camera -- I bought a used body that is one model less obsolete than the one I had, but still obsolete. Decided to repair it when it broke.
  • ...complete three new photo books.
But thankfully, the year wasn't a total write-off. Some good news too:
  • For that last one (bookmaking), I did manage to finish two books that I was really proud of (Okanagan Orchards and the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve book) and got a good start on an additional one, so that wasn't too far off.
  • Participated in the C'est La Vie show at the Summerland Art Gallery in January.
  • The process, presentation and book I did for the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve project was very rewarding and it stretched me in the right ways.

  • I kept going with my "curating" projects and had good fun with them. Wordpress tells me that I've already done 50 Focus Friday and In Focus articles for Awesome Okanagan -- not bad for just over a year. On Flickr, I Love the Okanagan and Ultimate Ice are still plugging along too.
  • I also took a LOT of photos this year, which is sort of the point. I kept posting them to my Flickr account regularly, and I see now that I added about a hundred to my most current Faves of Mine set.
So that was last year. What about photography this year?
  • Finish the black and white book I've been working on -- photos of the kids, tentatively titled something like Growing Up on Jones Flat.
  • Start (maybe even finish) one more Blurb book on some other topic, preferably more "out there" than the orchards book. Speaking of which, I'd like to get the orchards book out to more people, which will require overcoming my disinterest in selling (or the continued joy and poverty of giving it away).
  • One solo photo trip, at least out of the valley, but preferably further. The prairies in fall would be just right. Whitehorse and Iceland will likely have to wait.
  • Keep making time for photos, and don't ignore family snapshots...that likely means remembering to take the camera on more everyday outings.
  • One presentation or small public showing of some kind.
  • Successfully teach the one-day photography workshop I was asked to do later in February. This scares the crap out of me, and is also quite exciting.

I took pretty easy with music this year -- still playing regularly, but I was much less goal-oriented. A real highlight was hearing other people play my compositions, both at the Strings the Thing camp in summer, and at Manning Park in fall. Looking at my goals, I think I was a better musical dad, supporting the girls without pushing too much. I should have made more effort to get together to play with others (again). I didn't do much new composing, but succeeded in not buying any new instruments. The ol' bass guitar has worked its way back into the mix, and I played viola most days (but almost no violin). For 2012:
  • It sounds like I'll have an excellent opportunity to do some composing for Strings the Thing again -- this should give me a chance to compose for string orchestra, something I've never done before.

  • I will learn to play the cello this year, and learn to compose better parts for it (I've been flying blind, writing for cello without being able to play it).
  • Be open to different opportunities to play or record with others.
The Web
  • This poor blog was largely ignored. Facebook has replaced all the "little" stuff, and I don't seem to be getting to the "big" stuff as often as I used to. It will continue to limp along.

  • I've paid some more attention to my site over the past year, but feel like it's a bit of a jumble. Need a better vision for it overall.
  • I'd like to help Martin get his web site up.
  • I've let my identity (and skills) as a designer lapse these last couple of years. I think I could get excited about design again, but it may take a specific project to rekindle that interest.
I'm also reflecting on the need to recognize and value the things I do outside of my creative pursuits -- my family time, friendships, trail-building, mountain biking, hockey, reading, gardening, work, travel (in theory, anyway)...last spring, I ended up spending most of my free time on Mount Conkle, working on trails -- and that was definitely a worthy (and creative) pursuit that falls outside of these annual goals.





Heather said...

I haven't done much blog reading lately - in fact, it's been almost a year or more. In any case, I stumbled over to yours - and as usual - loved the photos. What truly amazing ice formations you find!! If you had to recommend a particular online book publisher, which one would you suggest? I don't really need quality as much as a good price.

Jeremy said...

Thanks Heather. I've heard that Costco does books now at their photo labs -- that's probably the cheapest. Most places seem to be adding that type of service. The Blurb prices are reasonable for one-offs or just for making a couple for presents or whatever -- $17 for a 7"x7" 40-page softcover, which isn't at all bad if you think of what it would cost to make 40 5x7 enlargements. They have flexible layout options too, so you can be more creative if you want.