A Return to Random

Sometimes the closest I get to being arty is applying eyeshadow in the morning. Yeah, colouring in my eyelids; the creative highlight of my day. (Boom! A pun already. Didn’t see that one coming!)
I’ve just had a week of that – minimal artistry. In artsy Melbourne, of all places. I was on a training course where long days with a bunch of mates meant I couldn’t really take time to scamper off and check out the funky shops & markets & alleyways that were all within easy walking distance and brimming with goodies. The best I could do was press my nose up to the window of each little shop and sigh. Next time… next time…
(Incidentally, I told myself the same thing last time I was there.)

Well, at least I did manage a handful of snaps during the rare moments off. One night we found this place in the city whilst searching for a supermarket. I forget what it’s called (any Melbourne readers who can fill me in?) but it had a cool light show going on that changed colour and side every 5-10 seconds.

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Yeah, bit of a touristy moment for us, but what the hey 🙂

The other thing I missed last week was my current fantasy-brick pal, ‘Magician’ (R E Feist), which I’m 1/3 of the way through and very much enjoying. In fact, I missed the rest of the library-cave that is my home too. My world just doesn’t feel quite right without books sitting, lurking, resting and peeking from all available spaces.
So just to taunt me, this was the view out of our apartment window.

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I mean, seriously?!

And unfortunately, long training days + non-bookworm friends = no chance to visit. Cue bottom lip quiver and shiny eyes for Kel.
But it was probably a good thing after all. I wasn’t keen to test my baggage limit at the airport. Nor did I want to piss off all the other books at home with freshly-bought newcomers jumping the reading queue. (That happens enough already.)

So anyway, back home in Sydney now, I’m switching my mindset onto creativity again. That’s the thing with being eclectic (or strey, as I like to call it), it’s like having multiple personalities. The mindset for one ‘life’ often clashes with the other, resulting in a kind of void that needs to be leapt across if I’m to function well in one or the other. Therefore I’ve been flipping through magazines looking to spark ideas, buying art supplies because there was a sale (not because I need the stuff – heavens! that would be logical…), and listening to a countdown of the best music of 2013 as voted by listeners of Triple J (Australian alternative indie-rock-dance-hip hop radio station – pretty much as random as me!).
This is the first year I’ve voted in the JJJ Hottest 100 (as it’s called), since there were a bunch of songs that really captured me last year (I get lost in this wonderful musical swoon when I hear them), and I thought it would be good to join in.

And in the spirit of sharing things I enjoy, I thought I’d post my personal Top 3 because I haven’t tried linking songs before (gotta challenge oneself). As well as that, if anything can highlight (and celebrate!) my eclectic nature apart from my bookshelf, it’s my musical tastes.
So here they are, the Strey Creative Top 3 Songs of 2013:

1. The Kite String Tangle ‘Given the Chance’

2. The Amity Affliction ‘Born to Die’ (Lana Del Rey cover)
(That link might be temperamental – it doesn’t like phones or tablets. But other links to it are hard to come by!)

3. Dustin Tebbutt ‘The Breach’

All awesome songs, and all Australian, as it happens. Now if this musical swoon could just morph into a creative swoon…

What were your top 3 songs of last year?
How do they inspire you?
Do they say anything interesting about you?

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2014, eh? Crack on!

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I think my New Year is still in its wrapping.
You know how you get something new and you just want to admire it for a while in all its shiny newness? Crisp, clean, free of any sticky mitts…

I’m not kidding anyone with the fact I’m dawdling, am I?

Ok, time to break open the packaging and get into 2014!

I’m not really one for New Year’s ‘resolutions’ (who wants those judgmental undertones to start the year?) but there’s a bunch of stuff I intend to do this year (I figure ‘intentions’ give me a bit of leeway – I can approach them whenever I damn well feel like it!) So here they are in pictures:

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And in words: do another market, set up an online market stall, develop my sketches and characters, practice Quenya & calligraphy…

I’ll be honest, some of it’s kind of scary for me. I still feel like a bit of a tech n00b with online things and that I’m gonna stuff things up big time! Dunno why. I grew up with computers, then shied away a bit when the internet really got booming. Now I’m playing catch up with just a teeny weeny streak of self consciousness…

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It’s funny, I’ll take artistic risks all the time. I’ll work on something important, or something where I only get one shot. I get the idea, ponder it, then – rather than do test runs and perfect it elsewhere first – I’ll pretty much launch in and see what happens. Maybe not the best way to do it. I’ve screwed up, I’ve problem-solved, I’ve rescued. But it works for me. And I’m cool with that.
Yet something like setting up a thing online, that your average 3 year old has probably mastered these days… nup.
I get intimidated.
I procrastinate.
I hide.
Weird, huh?

So yeah, time to push past all that and embrace 2014 by expanding further on the interwebs. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Who knows, maybe it’ll help someone who’s in the same boat (even if it’s just a rather loose sense of moral support where they can think, Yay, I’m not the only one!) For others of you it might prove anywhere from entertaining to cringeworthy (I still don’t know wtf this hash tag thing is all about. No, really. #WTF?)
Suggestions and support are always welcome, however! 😉

Right, well, one of my first destinations along this year’s path is an inn called ‘Learning to Photograph One’s Stock’. (Goodness, I think I’ve just fallen into describing my life as a big fantasy adventure where there are inns and forests and magic coins and things… haha. Awesome.) But yeah, learning to photograph the stuff I make and want to sell. This is an art in itself if you want to present things in an appealing and inspiring way. Think magazine presentation vs DIY classifieds you see here and there. = Magical vision of the thing in context vs lazy snap of the thing tossed on a kitchen bench. Hmmm.
Because I’m an earthy kind of person (who is prone to medieval and fantasy references, as you now know) and some of the themes of what I create are earthy, I wanted to incorporate that in my photos. This means choosing a certain background, ‘setting’, colours, textures, and props like leaves and bark. Having access to heaps of magazines has been great for picking up ideas and inspirations that I can start to experiment with.

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Already I’ve learnt that flat = boring (box 1), the protective cello bag needs to be ditched (box 4), but the bark and branch elements are quite good (boxes 2&3). These kind of complete the vision I had when making the charms themselves.
It’s a start.
So now I’ve flitted over to the stage of defining what my online stall will be (title, themes, maybe even logo) and also making the things specifically for it. Along with that then, when ready, I’ll look at creating a good set up for photographing them. (All the while telling myself, ‘You can dooo it’ in my best Rob Schneider impression, to keep the doubt & discouragement demons at bay) Hey, whatever works, right?

Something I have got rolling already is a second blog dedicated to Nut & Arbie.

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Yeah, I know, I’ve only just started this one! But they threatened to invade it if I didn’t give them their own space! And I do rather like the excitement of starting something new (see last post).
So if the adventures of a well-endowed bully dog and a cheeky, overgrown spider appeal to you, please check out their blog: Nut & Arbie
They’ll be overjoyed.

Now to find a slab of meat and a mug of ale! (…Or a sushi and hot chocolate.)
Till next time!