Monday, January 04, 2010


A familiar scene for me of late: the driveway in front of the east entrance to Sharp Memorial Hospital where my mother has been for the last week.

I had to appear for Jury Duty today. The jury lounge had a TV and every program on talked about new year resolutions. You just couldn't get away from it today. Make more money, lose weight, get healthy – and the biggest one – exercise. Nearly everyone I know has resolved to get back into the gym or to hit the pavement running, join Nutri-system, Weight Watchers, hiring trainers, blah-dee-blah-blah. And yeah, OK, I admit it, getting healthy again is near the top of my list of resolutions too. But do you know what? Biceps, quads and delts aren't the only things that need to be pushed and moved and tested daily... Our craft needs attention too.

The end of the year and my birthday are the two times I think I sit and dwell on the past more than any other time throughout the year. I take inventory of what I've done, what I've failed to do, what I hope to do. This last week or so, I came to the realization that 2009 was a year of too many almosts, if onlys and I should'ves for me. And one of my biggest "I should'ves" is I should have shot more just to shoot.

I'm not in the habit of carrying my good gear around with me all the time. Seems silly to carry around a several thousands of dollars worth tool "just in case" I see something I may want to shoot. But I always have my Canon Digital Elph in my purse or bag. Sad thing is, I can count on one hand the number of times I took it out and actually used it. 

Yes, sad indeed.

Several years ago, I lead a workshop on Fine Art Illustration Techniques and Keeping the Creative Spirit Alive. One of the key tips I stressed several times throughout is that as artists we need to practice our craft everyday. Shoot, write, draw a line – it doesn't matter what it is so long as we do something everyday. 

I've grievously ignored that tip. So one of my resolutions is to get myself back into that mode of shooting, practicing, experimenting, creating as often as I can. It doesn't matter to me if the photo is stellar. What is important to me is that I shoot something often

Hence the name of this post, Daily Elph. And I realize that daily is really ambitious. So even if I don't shoot daily, or post daily, I plan on this being a regular feature for me so that the act of creating will keep my eye sharp ultimately benefiting clients when I do take up the good gear for a paying job as I'll be in top form.

Now, the trick will be to have this enthusiasm for my craft spill over into my resolution to get my ass into  a gym. Yup. That'll be a good trick if I can pull it off.

Get out there. Practice your craft.

Until next time,

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