Getting Creative

Journal, doodle, sketch, photograph and make.

4 nights in Melbourne

DAY 1 When we arrived in Melbourne we checked into the Nomads All Nations Hostel (Review Here) it was basic but all that we needed as a base. We stayed in a 12 bed mixed dorm and over the course of our 3 nights there we met a few random and a few lovely people. Our first night we met back up with a nice German girl from the GOR tour and went for a walk to catch our bearings.  Later on we then settled down for the night and agreed to go on the free bus tour of Melbourne the next morning.

DAY 2 and we woke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to experience Melbourne I did a 5km run along the Yarra river that was perfect and we used a free map from the hostel travel shop to locate the nearest bus stop for the free tour.  There was just one problem… the bus stop had been decommissioned so we had to walk to the Federation Square stop. The bus journey was nice although it was a little hard to see because it was in a standard bus (an open top or double decker would have served it better). It was free and offered a great way to figure out where things are around the city and a free hop on-off mode of transport. The whole journey takes around 1.5 hours to complete.

When we got off the bus at Federation Square and got a lot of tourist information about things to do but the weather was so hot we just wanted to chill out for a while so we spent some time sat under a tree, I put my feet in some mud and stood on my diary. After that we went into the ACMI centre (Australian Centre for the Moving Image – Trip Advisor review here) where they had some exhibitions on the history of the moving image, talking about TV, film, video games, interactive moving image and the ideas behind them and their ability to possibly tell the future of the new kinds of technology to be invented. I really enjoyed the experience and it was free to enter.

After that we slowly wandered back down towards the hostel and found a sushi bar, Sea Salt (blog review here) that pretty much had most of their meals gluten free and provided gluten free soy sauce so I needn’t miss out. There was a busker on the corner of the alley way who really provided the perfect soundtrack to alfresco dining, he displayed a sign saying “smile, life’s too short!” and he really did make me smile. It was such a perfect day.

On our way back to the hostel we found a bottle shop and bought a bottle of Malibu and some Coke to go with it.We were sat in the room when a couple of the other girls came in and the night pretty much  became messy starting with us receiving $100 worth of free drinks for a Ukranian man. The night ended in a park with a bottle of Captain Morgan and a bottle of coke belonging to a young English guy and being consumed by 3 British girls, 2 French Guys, 1 Spanish guy and the English guy whos alcohol it was. We were wearing bottle protector mesh because we thought we were transformers, I was attempting sit ups with a 6kg medicine ball that we found in the park and all in all we had a really good night and met some brilliant people … traveller hostel style.

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Getting creating in Federation Square

DAY 3 in Melbourne started with a hangover and no milk because another traveller had decided they needed it more than we did. So I bought Anita some crumpets and we had a nice big breakfast. We were supposed to be going to the Victoria Market (Trip Advisor review here) at around 9am … we just didn’t get out of bed until 9am so we managed to arrive there at around 12:30pm.

The food market was brilliant and we got some great bargains for our evening meal. It really is the cheapest place to shop for fresh produce and you can’t get more fresh that the market. The rest of the market was made up of clothes stalls, tourist stalls with cheap souvenirs , confectionary stalls, world food stalls and just about anything you could imagine. I bought a 925 sterling silver toe ring for $16 and I was really happy with that purchase. I’ve been finding it hard to find a sterling one so my toe doesn’t turn that nasty shade of green you get with costume jewellery.

The rest of the day we spent walking, and walking and walking with the intention of finding the camera museum I’d seen advertised but we would not have made it before closing which was annoying and we still felt a little tender from the night before so we took home our steak and rice salad ingredients via the free City Circle Tram and ate like queens to the envy of the rest of the hostel.

So far we were really enjoying Melbourne and there was just so much to do we couldn’t possibly have the time to do it all so we decided to stick around for one more day as this was our last night in the hostel. I had just showered and was ready for bed when 2 girls from the tour knocked on our door with promises of a pub quiz at their hostel.

So I left Neet in bed and was ready to go in 10 minutes. We spent that much time talking in the quiz we were losing the rounds so I did what I saw others doing … cheated, only I got caught and scolded like a school child. A few ciders later and I was on my way back to the hostel … loudly!

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Exhibitions at ACMI

DAY 4 We chose some privacy and comfort of the Easystay Motel St Kilda (Trip Advisor review here).we checked out of the hostel and located the Motel, we were early and the room wasn’t ready but we were allowed to store our luggage and off we went back onto the tram to go outlet shopping at Harbour Town. We found some amazing bargains and it really is worth a visit. I got some board shorts for $2.50 from Valley Girl and a $40 bikini reduced to $10 from Factorie. WINNER!

Later we returned to St Kilda and walked along the jetty, we met a very interesting very old Greek man who told us he was from Lesbos and therefore a “Lesbian” he claimed that the birth of the term “Lesbian” for gay women came from the island because many years ago a father left the island to his daughter “Lesbos”. During the night the island became target for thieves and the men decided the only way to protect the island was to sit in boats off the shore with weapons to also prevent invasion from the nearby Turks. During this time the women became lonely and began to seek comfort in the arms of each other. He said he had a book detailing the story as no-one ever believed him, I haven’t read into his theory but I am sure I will at some point.

After this we decided to return to sit on the jetty later in the evening to wait for the fairy penguins to come on shore, so we got a pizza from Domino’s and sat, waited and watched the sunset with our friends from the GOR tour. After this we had $5 house spirits in an awesome bar called 29th Apartment that also had the coolest vibe and décor I have seen. There was a bathtub with cushions, a double bed, TV sets as tables and drinks crates as chairs.

Our final day we didn’t do much before our train to Sydney  wandered along the beach and played cards next to a young guy making a sand sculpture, we also watched the preparations for wedding on the beach. All in all we really enjoyed Melbourne and I think we will go back there later on in our trip and spend a real amount of time there, doing the things we missed out on and look for work.

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Re-finding my creativity, where the heck did I leave it this time?

I was once a creative …

This is actually true, albeit once upon a time. I am now far too analytical and cynical to boot, I look at most things/people as if they have an ulterior motive and can’t possibly be really so truly beautiful or intriguing that I could use them as inspiration. I don’t know if it was the transformation of my analytical/cynical mind that halted my creativity or quite simply that my muse packed up and did one on me, and I’m not sure which conclusion I prefer either.

The point is I once used to spend so much of my time from being very small up to the age I started working full time just making things. I remember when I was about 8 or 9 and I used to sit on the 2 seater striped sofa that had a raw 80’s geometric vibe that was so hard to ignore at my great grandmothers house making lots of little boxes with secret compartments for hiding my treats from my step brother and cousins, I used to decorate each one differently based on the treat it was to contain.

Over the years I had relished the time I spent in school in art class giving up my lunch hours to sit in the art room alone with some music booming out and my teacher dancing in the stock room. I loved halloween and all of the chances I got to carve pumpkins and think of costumes, Christmas and making nativity scenes with my Gramps out of old cotton reels and bits of cardboard and any other time I got to be creative. Then all of a sudden I stopped.

Maybe it was part of growing up, I fell out of love with art when they wanted me to write essays about art when I just wanted to DO art. Maybe it was getting a job and realising I only had so much time on my hands. Maybe I didn’t have any inspiration any more and couldn’t think of anything to do. I just don’t know.

Another thing I used to do is journal, every single day. Until, that is, I realised I couldn’t even hide it under my bed in the slit of fabric around the wooden base without my mum finding it and reading it…she still insists I left it out for her to find! Joker!

So what about it now…

Well over the last couple of years I have been wanting to rekindle my romance with all things creative. I even got a sewing machine for Christmas, I got a set of craft knives, I’ve still got my paints and my drawing pencils and some sketch books but I still had no time or inspiration.

So I thought about remembering how to draw and learning how to shut off that logical part of my brain that wont just shut up sometimes. I found this website that has simple exercises that teach or reteach in some cases how to shut off logic you and allow creative you to take centre stage. I felt a bit silly doing some of the exercises in case people saw me and thought “what the hell is she doing?” I found myself rushing then realising I wasn’t pleased with the results, but after a little while you forget about the other people and learn to slow it down and enjoy it. I also learned that it doesn’t have to be a master piece to be expressive, that’s my trouble with being a critical perfectionist.

I completed some of the exercises and took myself out of the box that I usually sit in and tried my hand at a bit of body drawing … needs a little practice 😉 but it didn’t help my finger lengths that I was drawing my own hand between random tasks in … ah hem … work!

Drawing exercises

So I’ve been thinking about what I can do when I’m travelling to open up the creative side of my mind more and since my materials will be limited it will be a bit of a challenge but a fun one I think. Ever since seeing this book “Wreck this journal” by Keri Smith my mind has been in circles thinking how simple it really is to throw away logic. So armed with a few essentials (camera [still undecided about taking the lomo], journal, sketching lead, an S3 & C pen and a lot of beautiful things to see) I aim to document my travelling journey in the most creative ways I can think off … I’ll keep you posted, watch this space!

And here are some doodles for my recent poll on New Year’s resolutions, not the best but they illustrated my point 🙂

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