I stumbled across BeRightBack (BRB) when I was looking for a destination randomiser. I don’t really travel unless I have a project, an event or to see friends/family, so almost always end up in the same locations all the time. As much as I like Berlin, Dublin, Barcelona and Amsterdam, I needed something new.
Reading a bit more into how BRB works, it seemed a bit too good to be true, but I thought “Live Life!”. In short, it’s a UK based subscription-based service where once you’ve been approved, you get sent to a surprise destination in Europe.
When you register, you will be asked where you don’t want to go, and which airport will be best for you to travel from.
You also get to choose the type of trip you will receive!
As I often roll solo looking for places and photo locations, I have a solo traveller subscription. However, that BRB gives the option to bring along with me for that trip or upgrading in the future. That’s great news for your bestie, your plus one, or your partner in crime!
Once that’s all done, all you need to do is select the date for your next great escape. BRB will sort out your flights and accommodation, allowing you to sit back and relax until that magic postcard with your surprise destination arrives!!
I find it much easier to digest audio books than reading them. So I recommend Audible to my friends. This week I stumbled across The Art of Creative Thinking audio book written by Rod Judkins and narrated by Phil Fox.
As it’s an audio book I’m not sure “What’s Inside?” even makes sense, but hey! So this book if free flowing and means you are encouraged to listen to the chapters in pretty much whichever order you want. The book offer ideas to expand your creative thinking, giving examples of people through history who were not necessarily artists or in the creative industry and how their thinking has given us so many new things today. People like Einstein who used creative thinking to challenge Newton. For me hearing more about one of my favourite artists, Dali, also make it an inspiration listen. Why not take a listen yourself? You could even try free for 30 days.
No, this is nothing to do with the popular singing competition ;). I have this thing about voices, in the sense that many, including my own prevent me from even taking anything on board! But I personally found this really easy to listen to. It’s wasn’t piercing or irritating, and not too relaxing that it would make me fall asleep :D. Many books on Audible are narrated by A-listers like Stephen Fry and the awesome Morgan Freeman.
What is Audible
In short, Audible is like Amazon’s Spotify for books. It has possibly the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and original ad-free podcasts to so you can pretty much find your perfect listen. Hear A-list celebrities narrate their favorite stories, enjoy full-cast performances, and discover Grammy award-winning audiobooks. Listen to your audiobooks anytime, anywhere—at home or on the go—with our free app. Even if you switch devices, you’ll never lose your place.
When you join Audible free for 30 days, you’ll get your first audiobook on us. After your trial, you’ll receive one credit per month – good for any title, regardless of price – plus additional exclusive member benefits. Explore below to find out more.
During our weekend filming some of Janset’s acoustic sessions, we had a bit of time to explore parts on Berlin. Even though I’ve been a few times for the Karnival Der Kulturen, there were a few spots I had never visited. Here are a few spots Simula & Mimi, introduced us to.
The Sony Center, Berlin
From a distance, the led lit roof of Sony Center and the plaza looks like Mount Fuji in Japan, which of course is Sony’s home country. Standing at 26 floors tall and designed by Helmut Jahn, The Sony Center houses an Imax cinema as well as many places to eat, drink, and chill. We recommend Alex, for something to hang out. It’s also where I discovered Mezza Mix!
The Berlin walk of fame
Yes, you read right! Not the Hollywood walk of fame, but the Berlin walk of fame! Berlin’s “Boulevard der Stars” can be spotted by the island of red asphalt in the middle of the road at Potsdamer Platz, just yards from the Sony Centre. If you look down, you’ll see the familiar starred shapes dotted around the floor with names and icons signifying the part they played to earn the honor. However the difference between the names here and that of the Hollywood counterpart, are that these are only German-speaking stars of film and TV. Another unique selling point of this attraction is the hologram cams, where you can see the ghost of these appear in front of your very eyes.
During the day can hang out at the local cafe and bars, whilst being inspired by the street art and laid back urban style on the banks of the Spree (Yes this is the home of the Teledisko!). By night this place is just a beautiful and serene. Walk under the Giant Glitter ball at the entrance and stroll over to Wein bar, for a drink in the cosy cabin style shop. Bliss.
Home to the rotating World Time Clock and the iconic TV tower, Alexanderplatz, is full of nightlife, music and good vibes. If you’re looking for signs of the traditional East German architecture, it will be hard to find, but you will see a Decathlon, Primark and the odd busker! At the foot of the TV tower you’ll find a park with ornate water fountains and street performers during the day. Next time, I will have to go up to the top, as the views are apparently amazing. In between photo-walking the square we stopped off for a dance and a drink at AlexOase. #GoodVibes.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
By day there is an aura that makes me feel a sense of loss and a degree of sadness even before knowing what these 2711 concrete slabs of different heights represent. But at night, this immerse outdoor exhibition evokes even more intense emotions. The memorial covers 19,000 square metres between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz and was designed by Peter Eisenman. A must do experience.
Have you been to Berlin? What did you get up to? Share your experiences in the comments below.
And if you haven’t why not book your spot?
Why not take a look for yourself?
Berlin is full of arts, culture, history and nightlife so you will definitely find something for you. If you like Carnival, I recommend going for Karnival Der Kulturen which this year in on from the weekend of Friday 7th June. Whilst there, you can visit Potsdamer Platz, which is home to the Sony Centre.
So I have a few stores online stores and places to buy stuff on demand from various companies which create and our Jiggy Shop stuff.
From T-shirts, to bags and camera gear, there’s quite a bit in Our Jiggy Creationz Shop. So there are some systems like, our Instagram Shop which allow you to tag products and items from your shop, in the site.
So let’s look at the how to host your data feed on Google Docs. For this post, I will assume you already have a Google account. If not, you will be prompted to set one up once you go into Google Docs.
What is a CSV data feed?
CSV (Comma-Serperated Values / Variables) is a file format where you can make a list of things, which are separated by (guess what) commas. A CSV data feed uses a file save in this format to feed (send) information to another system. In this post, the system we will feed data to is Facebook Business, which then feeds to Instagram shop.
Why do I need one?
Well if you want to be able to manage, your shop links on the go, you should consider this option because once it’s set up, I can be a massive time saver. By using Google Spreadsheets to host your csv, you can update it anywhere (as long as you have internet access on your phone, laptop or desktop, and haven’t locked yourself out of your account!).
Great! Where do I go to get one?
Head of over to Google Spreadsheets and log in. That’s pretty much it. You can then create your csv file.
How do I create my own feed?
Different Systems have different needs when you create the CSV. For Instagram Shop / Facebook Business Catalogue you can download the template
It’s been a long time since I did any life drawing. In fact it’s almost 20 years ago since I sat in my art class wondering why the room was so hot and why the small fan heater in the corner was on full blast, when to me it wasn’t that cold. It wasn’t until my teacher counted down and a woman pranced into the middle of the room before unveiling her naked form by letting her floral silk dressing gown fall to the floor, that I realised why the heating was on! The class gasped before swiftly holding their head down to their paper to refocus on the task at hand… Draw the lady in the middle.
I was slightly apprehensive about doing it as I have lost confidence in my ability to draw over the years, as well as feeling a little bit scarred since my first (and at the time last) experience, but I did it anyway as I always say to Emma & Estelle to “just embrace it”!
On entering the studios there was no time to be anxious about what was going to happen or how I was going to perform or if my drawings would be good enough. The girls took me into the room, collected our drawing tool and into the studio where other artists were gathered awaiting the model arrive. At least this time I knew what was about to happen!
The posses started off quick with about 30 seconds given to draw the first sketch, and the getting longer towards the end of the 45 mins. This meant that my initial sketches looked more like stick men… and progressed to something which had a bit more detail (although not anatomically correct).
In the end I was so happy I did it and embraced my stick men!
My Aarhus photowalk was an impromptu one which happened purely due to having a few spare hours to chill out whilst en route from Life Drawing in Viborg to the Roller Disco in Netherlands. Upon leaving the the main station, I instantly fell for the architecture, the colours and the good airborne vibe of this Danish city.
Aarhus is on the East Coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, and is home to with historical timbered houses, an open-air museum, the Aarhus Botanical Gardens, arts, and viking culture.
On this visit, Aahrus was only a few hours stop-over before heading overnight to the Netherlands, so I didn’t require any accommodation.
However when I checked for places to stay via Booking.com – Aarhus, it was possible to find a hostel for around £52 for 2 nights, which seemed really good at the time.
For the short time I was there, I got lost in the beautiful harbour-side sunsets, water fountains, rooftop garden, and architecture to the point that I actually missed my over night bus to the Netherlands 🤦♂️. Here are some links to places I found and to help you discover Aahrus for yourself.
In the UK, many of us have heard of the Data Protection Act 1998, but have you heard of GDRP? Nope?… Neither had I until 2 weeks ago!!
So What Is GDPR?
Well I’m no expert but, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an important piece of EU legislation which comes into force on the 25th May2018 and will effect us a consumers and business owners. It will override the current UK Data Protection Act 1998 and will still apply regardless of Brexit, as it regards the data of Eurporean Union individuals regardless of where they live in the world.
A UK Data Protection bill has also been put forward which going forward will become the new Data Protection Act. This will in theory fill in any blanks or clarify anything which has been left open by the GDPR.
How will this Effect Creative Businesses?
As long as you hold data personal data on clients, this will effect your business, So it’s important that you prepare for this change to avoid any on the heavy penalties which you may incur if you fail to look after the data, and ultimately comply with the regulations.
This is essentially a heads up for those of us who are just hearing about this.
Do you feel you are prepared or were you even aware of this change? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
In a Heartbeat is a new animated short which has totally gone viral giving hope to a world currently feels overwhelmingly full of intolerance and hate.
Created by Ringling College of Art and Design students, Beth David and Esteban Bravo, In a Hearbeat was part of their computer animation thesis. However this neat little cartoon has now become much more of than just a college project.
It deals with a young boy struggling to come to terms with his feelings for a handsome peer, a topic never previously explored by animated film, and features an adorable jumping heart. In just 4 minutes, it captures the experience of not just LGBTQ youth, but also people who are shy or not forthcoming with displaying how they feel, and shows them that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
The Florida students managed to successfully crowdfund almost 5 times their original estimated costs to produce the film through Kickstarter, and their hard work is paying off. Since it was uploaded to YouTube, In a Heartbeat has racked up over 5 million views, and there are already calls for a sequel.
To me it’s so well done because it doesn’t even need words or dialogue to say what’s happening. To me it has taken the internet by storm purely because it’s not about the characters coming out, but down to the basic yet overwhelming feeling of your heart jumping out of your chest when something means so much to you. In fact it reminds me of an illustration I did earlier in the year…
Can you be truly “creative” if you don’t make mistakes? Who decides on how creative you are, or if you are even creative at all? Is being creative a state of mind or is it displaying things in exhibitions and galleries for all to see?
As someone who has struggled with being a perfectionist, I often argue with myself about not doing things right vs chilling out and accepting my “faults”. I’m not quite sure where this comes from. Whether it’s my upbringing from parents; my education; my “catholic guilt syndrome”; or just my own in-built conflict.
Cause and effect
I remember being in school and drawing a lot of Christmas cards for my friends in class, at one point, I was even drawing cards for other classes. They were all entered into the annual Christmas Card competition and a card would always win which had an element drawn by me in it, yet I never won. In my last year of school I did receive a certificate saying “Highly Commended” which (to this day) still leaves me asking the question “…was it pity for all the drawings I did” or “…was it a because they noticed something looked the same on all the cards”?? Either way the result was my card just wasn’t good (or “creative”) enough, right? These experiences took me down the path to attempt at being “perfect”. I.e. not taking risks. But being creative must be the opposite.
As a “creative”, I think your mind should be free. Light. Expressive. Colourful. Have no fear of taking risks. But even though I have quite a surreal imagination, and pretty much visualise and mashup conversations all the time, I don’t consider myself as “that creative”. Maybe it’s because society says “your portfolio doesn’t stand up to the quality of this person” or “you’re work is not critically acclaimed by someone at the national galley”. Or some people don’t hold the same value or you work and therefore doesn’t put a monetary value to it (does that make it less creative.)
Embrace your mistakes
Over the last few years I’ve actually gone out of my way to do things out of my comfort zone and break away from this quest of being perfect, which to me, can suffocate my creativity. I like to experiment… So, if I’m experimenting… this means I have to mistakes… and ultimately take RISKS.
Everyone has different measurement of risk, but for me I started doing small things like drawing in pen so I couldn’t rub out. Surprisingly I didn’t get agitated or angry over an ill placed pen stroke, I just covered up the mistake using cross hatching or by over the correct line with more pen pressure. Without realising it, I was creating a solution to a problem without much thought at all. Some people say “thinking outside the box” or “blue sky thinking“, but ultimately its called “being creative” and finding a solution to a problem!!!
When creativity turns into perfection
Being creative isn’t new (but it is “thinking new”) but it’s something you care about then embracing it to find a “new way”, improving you and others around you. In this TEDx talk, How to get better at the things you care about, Eduardo Briceño describes how Beyoncé reviews her performances each night and works to make them better.
But at what point does an idea… stop being “new” or creative and turn into perfection?
Beauty (or mistakes) are in the eyes of the beholder
The glorious web is littered in artists who have made a creative career by accident!
Our Roll Jiggy friends from Skate Life Ireland joined me on a whistle stop tour around the center of London and the South Bank before bringing some Irish charm to Bump Rollerdisco Wrap Party at the Southbank Centre. Here some of what we got up to in pictures.