25 creative things I did while not being an artist

25 creative things I did while not being an artist

I’m on the cusp of change this year, seeing new opportunities emerge as I begin to shift my energy to more creative work. Having taken up ceramics in a big way this year, I've been thinking about women who embark on creative projects or careers later in life. I’m not starting with a blank slate. [...]

Releasing objects

Releasing objects

This is a collage I made some years ago. It's called 17 years in 98 pieces. From childhood until my early 20s, I collected mementos that I found meaningful and beautiful. Cards from my mum, sisters and friends; tickets to Japanese castles and temples; a postcard from a German boy I met at a party; [...]

Creative rebirth

Creative rebirth

More than anything, I am driven by curiosity and a deep desire to learn. This desire led me, three years ago, to take on a job and postgraduate studies that exposed me to new spheres of knowledge and tested my capacity to deal with unfamiliar challenges every day. I believed in what I was doing, [...]

Suburban dreaming: a haiku sketchbook

Suburban dreaming: a haiku sketchbook

Last year I visited the Brooklyn Art Library, home of a brilliant public art project, The Sketchbook Library. Over 41,000 5"x7" sketchbooks from 130 countries can be viewed in person, on tour and online. I was inspired to bring home my own sketchbook, which I've now almost completed. My sketchbook combines pen and watercolour drawings [...]

Melbourne Now exhibition

Melbourne Now exhibition

I visited the Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria on two occasions - first with my dad and kids, and later with colleagues from the State Library. Here are some snapshots from my first visit. One of my favourite exhibits was this modest and idiosyncratic display of drawings curated by artist John [...]

How I saw in the new year

Happy New Year! Here's what I was doing at midnight: Feeding ice cubes to my feverish husband, who has been down with the flu for three days. Half-watching The Karate Kid (new version) with my kids, who were determined to make it to midnight. Listening to fireworks in the distance. Painting fish. If there's any [...]

Documentary drawing class

Documentary drawing class

Today my 10-year-old daughter Ling and I spent the afternoon at a "documentary drawing" class at Abbotsford Convent. The Pop-Up School class was taught by the talented Lily Mae Martin. Lily is a visual artist and writer who produces detailed pen drawings (and some oil paintings) of expressive faces and figures, reflecting her fascination with [...]

Reflections on creativity, or Why I’m sick of having a split personality

Reflections on creativity, or Why I’m sick of having a split personality

I've been thinking about creativity. I'm a project manager. I plan stuff. I organise stuff. I anticipate risks, juggle resources, manage budgets, work to deadlines, document everything for the benefit of auditors and posterity. I'm good at my job. I'm also a creative person. At home, I plant gorgeous plants and delight in living surrounded [...]

Plumbago and Pokemon

Plumbago and Pokemon

Until my son was 6, he didn't like drawing at all. We were one of those families who brought home cereal box sculptures from kinder, never paintings. Then I told him about scientific illustration - looking at something and drawing it accurately, rather than imagining a scene. He sat down and drew the plumbago outside [...]