May 31, 2012

5 Years of Editing Luke

I can say with certainty that there are few creative ventures in my life that I've been as dedicated to, that have provided such consistent motivation, and that have made me reflect on my choices as regularly as the site you're currently viewing.  After reaching 1000 posts earlier this year I couldn't help but take time to reflect on just what that meant.  Now here I am thinking about it again, wondering how 5 years of my life have translated into a series of images, words, videos, and expressions.

After one year of writing this blog (in 2008) it had been viewed a mere 15,854 times and my video views had just surpassed 50,000.  That was huge, and it was (and still is) pretty flattering when you consider that one of my favorite topics to write about is myself. It wasn't even the numbers that had me hooked though, it was the feeling that I was writing to an anonymous audience that was somehow keeping me accountable to the things I said I wanted to achieve.  In film school at the time, I was just on the cusp of transitioning into the real world, completely blind about what my options were and in some ways, what I even wanted.

Five years into constructing Editing Luke, and while the motivations have evolved, the sense of accountability and goal of fostering my creativity have made the project even more engrossing than when it began. Now on the cusp of 180,000 hits and over 1.2 million video views, I feel there's something to be said for nurturing a passion and finding new ways to connect with people who share it.

I suppose I had big goals for this site when I started out, but I think I neglected to realize how substantial it would influence my view of time. A year doesn't go by without a recap now. I don't go a month without sharing something I've created, shot, or edited. The upkeep of this project has resulted in a personal obligation to live by my words, to dream out-loud, and to build some form of context while doing so. Frankly, five years into the game, that's kind of amazing to look back on.

Who knows what the future holds or how long this will continue, but I will say that for what this site began as and the goals that it was meant to help me achieve, it's been a success, a joy, and even a comfort. To twist Eleanor Roosevelt's famous quote to "do something everyday that scares you", I'd instead like to suggest doing something everyday that inspires you. In the end, the sentiment may be similar, but inspiration seems to resonate with others more than your own fear does.

Stats After 5 Years - 1080 Blog Posts - 178,148 Blog Views - 1.21 Million Video Views 

May 30, 2012

Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre

Completed in 2005, the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre in downtown Medicine Hat was a significant project for the city's core.  A 700 seat theatre along with a modern museum and gallery were built to provide a stunning new venue for live performances, concerts, and exhibitions.  

Named after the scenic and historic street along the South Saskatchewan River, what was originally Esplanade Road (now 1st Street) housed many of the city's first prominent homes, including the Ewart-Duggan residence which still stands next door as a provincial landmark.  The contrast between the two structures, especially because the Ewart-Duggan home is the oldest surviving brick structure in Alberta, emphasizes just how far the city has come in over a century of growth.

The expansive glass facade of the structure gives a modern edge to a street that's also home to the Courthouse and City Hall.  I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge how helpful the archives at the Esplanade have been in helping me track down information and dates about some of the lesser known landmarks that I've featured in my Around the Hat series.  It's proven a great resource.

The Esplanade is only a couple of blocks from my place, and the truth is that it's an even more enjoyable facility when you don't have to look for parking.  In all seriousness, it was a valuable project that has helped return some energy to downtown, and has already attracted a diverse array of artists and performances since it opened.  Case in point, upcoming shows include concerts for the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival in June followed by Snoop Dogg in July.

May 29, 2012

Summer Walk

Sometimes I find myself in a weird funk as a result of putting in too many extra hours, not getting out enough, or finding myself stuck in a routine.  As of late I feel like it's a bit of everything.  I can't say that I've found any easy cure all, but sometimes a good walk is a great way to clear your head.  Last night I did just that, grabbing myself a Slurpee along the way, and tried to get my mind focused elsewhere.  Sometimes I really have to force myself to feel inspired or motivated, but it sure beats settling for apathy.

May 28, 2012

Heir to the Family Fortune

After going through a few of my maternal Grandfather's things, my Mom found this old brown envelope tucked away.  My Grandpa Bjork passed away before I was born so I've never really known much about him, but now here I was holding onto a piece of his history, something that had his handwriting all over it.

Curious about the envelope my Mom had handed me, I quickly pulled out the sheets of paper neatly folded inside.  One after the other I pulled out a stack of well kept vintage stocks.  These hand-signed, beautifully designed documents represented a wealth of shares, some in the multiple thousands, some of the them over 80 years old, and almost all of them for various Alberta Oil companies.  Embellished like vintage currency, the signatures, stamps, and embossed seals were only overshadowed by the ornate imagery of gushing oil derricks that graced several of the certificates.

I'm already thinking about how awesome my Jaguar collection will be one day, how I'm going to travel to some pretty amazing places, and how my friends and family and I are going to go on some exciting adventures together.  Of course, all of this won't be happening as a result of these shares, because sadly, they're worth little more than the paper they're printed on.  Did I have you going there?  

Okay, in reality the fantasy only lasted a couple of seconds.  Written across the envelope my Grandfather wrote 'valueless shares'.  That was a pretty clear giveaway.  The documents are a pretty interesting piece of history however, and are apropos considering that I just started investing in the stock market a few months ago. 

These investments didn't pan out it would seem, and it goes to show that as lucrative as Alberta Oil is, there's always a certain amount of risk in playing the market.  Here's hoping I have a bit more luck.  That Jaguar collection isn't going to build itself.