Rob Swatski of Lititz, Pennsylvania has embarked on a project to document a gnome daily for a year. He says, 365 Days of Gnome is my attempt to document through photography (and the occasional drawing), the daily activities of Cedric the gnome. I plan on being there to capture the joys and sorrows, the pleasures and pains, all of the highs and lows of his life. (Well, especially the lows…he is a gnome, after all)."...
Why did you decide to do this project? My friend, Kelly, who's also a teacher, was inspired to begin a 365 project of her own after hearing about your “365: A Daily Creativity Journal”, and encouraged me to start one as well. She chose owls, and I chose gnomes. I was looking for a way to make more time for my photography and drawing, but I was hesitant for all of the usual reasons, such as convincing myself I didn’t have enough time or the self-discipline to stick with it. But, it was ultimately these same tired excuses, and being fed up with making them all of the time, that pushed me to begin my project in October 2010. And since then, I’ve realized that these self-imposed barriers only existed in my mind.
So, why gnomes? Well, my collaboration with Cedric began in June 2007, when my mother-in-law gave him to me as a gift before a trip to Europe and I’ve been taking travel photos of him ever since. So, spending a year focusing on this one gnome for my 365 Project seemed like the next logical step…and it’s also the perfect opportunity to help get the little bugger out of my system. I think it’s finally time to move beyond my comfort zone and challenge myself with other subjects, like dwarves or elves. Or, maybe even leprechauns. But, in reality, I’ve been having too much fun with this project and see myself continuing it in some incarnation in Year 2.
How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? It’s allowed me to put into perspective how I spend my time, and has helped me realize how much pleasure and satisfaction I get out of
creating things. I now give my photography and drawing a bit more priority these days than I ever have in the past. They’re activities I now make time for every day, and they fit in well with my crazy
schedule. It’s so easy to get bogged down in all the minutiae of life and work, and this project has helped me break out of that mindset. Creating these goofy gnome pictures has been such a fun and relaxing way to wind down at the end of a busy day. All told, this experience has been quite liberating, and I’m only on Day 40!
Follow all of Cedric's adventures HERE.