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This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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  • Why People Photograph
    Why People Photograph
    by Robert Adams
  • Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
    Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
    by David Deida
  • The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body
    The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body
    by Andreas Moritz
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Library)
    Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Library)
    by Chogyam Trungpa
  • Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
    Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
    by Jane Eastoe
  • The Existence of God is Self Evident
    The Existence of God is Self Evident
    by Master Choa Kok Sui
Wednesday
Dec192012

How to Get Fit 101

I write lists and plans on scraps of paper and don't look at them again.

and I say I'll do things before I go to bed and forget upon waking.

I've signed up for gyms and classes and let them expire.

I've bought a bike, yoga mat, hand weights and barefoot sneakers and they gather dust.

I exercise in fits and bursts.

...

And then I worked out how to be more consistent!

Use the one thing I use every day.

My phone.

I stare at my iphone screen about 100 times a day and it instantly makes me suck my gut in, not reach for the chocolate and start jogging on the spot.

People keep seeing it and going 'WHAT is THAT on your screen?' 

Interesting how this one image comes as such a shock!

'Inspiration' I say. Constant Inspiration.

Here's how I'm doing...

It's time for an updated picture though as I'm already not even 'seeing' the picture when I look at my phone.

Time for another inspiring body! 

[current mood] Coffee on Bike & Fleetwood Mac

Wednesday
Nov282012

Flower Ode 1: Gardenia

Dad's flower is the pure white gardenia.
When they bloom he always tells me
"I love their smell, I really love their smell"
And so I clip one from its branches 

I take long inhales
to gather up the fragrance
That's dad's passion that I'm breathing
I love the gardenia like him now



Today I saw a shrub on a tiny street corner
And like I do every time, I picked, just one
As I headed homeward I smelled and smelled
until I had a headache

I tried to pinpoint the smell
buttery, creamy, tropical, vanilla...
no… smell doesn't have words
It has associations

Dad

It's all my dad.

I will cry every time I smell one
when he passes on 

I can already feel the tears rising

[current mood] Sydney Harbour Views & Dancing In The Dark

Monday
Nov262012

Joining Hands Across Australia

My old ABC Open colleague Tom Hearn runs Bush TV. He invited me to help make a video as part of the Generation One project. It's a way of getting kids involved in thinking about ending the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. They do this by asking kids to write rap lyrics, dance moves and a video of their performance. Over 100 schools got into it this year, some putting it into their curriculum.

I think this is an example of a great project!! It's cool, it's fun, you can win ipads... and it integrates the message.

So I went to Australind, south of Mandurah to help a primary school make their version.

Australind from Natalija Brunovs on Vimeo.

 

And it won a 5D Mark iii Canon camera.
squeeeee!

[current mood] Gardinia & Soy Latte

 

Tuesday
Nov202012

Judge me by my Book Cover

I've been working with supreme social media strategist Dionne Lew on some e-book cover designs.

It's one of the great design jobs for thinking conceptually within a small rectangular space. I love to summon up my creative connections and think pictorially about the message of the book.

Sometimes I just channel an awesome idea... 

Like the first book, Relevance!:

I was thinking about old things no longer being relevant and naturally a dinosaur floating away on a pink balloon popped into my brain - it captured the essence with humour and heart.

Dionne then thought I was a genius of design and could read her mind.

But it's not always that easy...

The pressure was on for book 2!

The Social Executive (gotta get social if you want to survive in the corporate world).

This time I really nutted out a brief, asked a bunch of questions, tried to understand the market, the message, the feel... and this is where I ended up after all that.

It's corporate, it's connected, it's technology...

But sitting back, Dionne wasn't so convinced. Words like 'new age' and 'xmas' were being bandied about, much to my disappointment and lack of conviction.. it seemed with all the trying and planning the end result wasn't really right.

It's a pretty personal thing for an author to feel the cover speaks to them. And sometimes that freaks me out! What are the chances you'll get it just right?

But Dionne threw a new idea at me.

And this is what we got.

I think I do prefer it.

Dionne loves it.

The overall feel is good. It's not trying to do too much and that's the art of good design I think - SIMPLE but with a dose of WIT. Understated Cool.

[current mood] Santigold & Pale Ale

Saturday
Nov102012

Botanical Illustration Inspiration

I have the chairs, I have the aspect, I have the place.

I can dream of how I will use this place and buy all the things to make that dream come alive.
But like all the porches with empty chairs, it seems that peoples' dreams often stay as ideals never to be embraced.

I want to sit on this wooden bench with tea.
I want to draw whilst the rain gently falls. 
I want to watch sunset with gin and many many friends. 

Thoughts of yesterday.

Today I leafed through a magazine, saw this gorgeous illustrator, Katie Scott.

And so I sat in my garden, plucked some fallen botanicals and drew with inspiration.



And now as the rain settles in on this Saturday I await friends to admire the sunset through a sky of clouds.

I'm doing it!

[current mood] Gentle Windchimes & An entire plant of corriander on your avocado on toast.

Tuesday
Nov062012

Too Precious To Lose

I had the opportunity to create a logo for The Greens newest campaign 'Too Precious To Lose'.

It's a very much needed campaign as our incredible Australian environments continues to get chewed up by mining (and all those that want to profit as a result). It makes me deeply ill to think of this 'consuming' of our environments for what is a very temporary result - keeping up our ridiculous, modern, unsustainable lifestyle.

And to what end? Driving around and living in McMansions until we have no beauty left on our planet? Just so you can watch tv shows about the species that were in the previously pristine places? 

So, naturally...

I wanted to create something that gave an immediate sense of hope and importance to our beautiful places in Australia whilst paying respect to the indigenous heritage of our land.

I literally made the logo with pebbles - which I photographed.
And I hand wrote the name.
I love making logos with my hands (not entirely with a computer).

It's also weird seeing your writing everywhere, something I've done a few times now!

Like this squiggle I did as part of the RTR FM logo.

And this painted text I did for Spinifex Hill Artists.

And the drawing and writing for Ellenbrook's 'Great To Be Here' campaign.

What was wonderful with the Too Precious campaign was that I had to supply them some templates and logos and leave it up to each state office to create their own design. I think they did really well as I just received a package in the mail with samples from across the country.

I love the use of the icon as a marker on the map of Australia, showing places nominated by people as 'too precious to lose'

Go and help save our precious places!

[current mood] Gypsy and The Cat & Spicy Stew

Wednesday
Oct242012

Making Mojitos in Mae Sot

It was dusk. We were cycling along the wonky streets of the border town Mae Sot in Thailand and chanced upon a little bar.

Mestizo Barr.

As the sky got duskier and we finished our Leo beers, I decided to wander off drinking course and try their Mojito.

It was so awful I took a photo of it on my phone. It seemed as though they had pulverised mint in a blender and added flat soda. I couldn't get it down - and I'm normally a tough cookie when it comes to drinks...

I felt it would be right to tell them how undrinkable it was and I offered to show them how to make a good mojito tomorow.

The manager, Lah said 'yes please!'

I did my mojito research and brought some recipes along on the laptop.

And off we went...

Get your ingredients - which are going to be paradise fresh in Thailand. Good start!

Take a glass and a big smile.

And you'll need the dregs of that bottle of white rum on the shelf.

Add a teaspoon of sugar to your squeezed lime

Add your mint and a bit of soda...

Muddle it together with the back of the spoon. Don't be shy! 

Use a good shot or two of white rum (or whatever is left in the bottle)

And Wah Lah! We have a pretty delicious looking mojito!

Lah's verdict "very nice!"
 I think we need to have Mojito Monday's now.

I agree. This is fresh!

I think Lah was very thankful ;-)

say hello if you are in Mae Sot!

[current mood] Cut Copy & Walnuts

 

Thursday
Oct112012

Whispers from Burma

Anita always whispers to me when we talk about Burma. "You can never be too careful" she says.

I laugh but she warns me that people can be persecuted for giving us information... and we were, indeed, going in to seek information and document people and lives and needs.

Alas at the last moment the timing clashed with some other events that meant Anita and I could no longer go on our intended mission and it left us with two tickets and no purpose for our Thai/Burma trip!

I struggle without 'purpose' on a holiday so I brought my camera for the first time in a couple years and took the opportunity to rediscover my love of the documentary of new people and places. No real outcome, just shooting for the love of it.

I realise I mostly enjoy being playful with the locals and going places others don't because I have a camera and I'm not afraid to use it.

First stop: Myawaddy, Burma.

We walked across the border, handed over our money and passports and had one day to experience some of Burma.

Within seconds we were grabbed by a friendly, betelnut-stained toothed local who took us to a 'teashop' and around temples and markets in a friendly way. We stood out like the only whiteys in the village and it was confronting and fun. Here is that experience, in photographs...

I'm now burning up with ideas of ways to spend my mid-year holidays, with camera, cheeky-confidence and a wifi connection. It's unreal and I think I know my purpose!

[current mood] Waking up With Roosters & Papaya Salad

Wednesday
Sep192012

A Method of Giving

Giving. We've heard it's better for you than receiving. It's mentioned in many spiritual practices as being advantageous for growth. Heard of Dana? The giving (service) action creates an inner peace and purity.

Let me tell you - I've just experienced the liberation!

I think we all have some degree of guilt within us about how little we really give. Particularly when (in our day and age) it can be interpreted as weak or even needy (of response). Don't we all get a bit caught up in giving to ourselves and honouring our own lives?

Here is what happened:

I got a call from Greenpeace the other week.

My first response to the voice "ugh okay.." (I'm in the middle of editing photographs but I'll listen.)

"Thanks for your past support, it was really fantastic. Now we really need you again."

I notice how poorly the girl is reading her script and I feel detached. She goes on,

"Do you know about the reef and all that's going on there?"

Yeah yeah, I know....

... and soon enough I get off the phone with my non-committal "Let me look at the site, read up on it and I'll make a donation or something"

She asks if she can call me next week. "Ok".


So over the next two weeks I see that number come up about six times and I don't answer. Why don't I answer?

Because I have an instant feeling of harassment... like someone who turns up at my door wanting a donation or comes up to my car to wash my windows... even if my windows are dirty or I believe in the cause I just instantly get my back up and am starting from a 'no' point of view or at least "NOT NOW". 
Do you relate? 

Why? 

I have to think about it. I really do hate being sold to. It's irritating. I also don't like to be manipulated or sucked in... but what's with this issue of being sucked in to something I actually do care about? It's a shame my little reaction applies to things I would actually do by choice given a non direct approach...

I've even got some money to burn that I can definitely afford to give so what stops me from acting now?

Let's be realistic though. When do we really make that choice and give our credit card over to things we believe in? We may have intentions but we don't often just do it.

And then that little subtle guilty feeling sits and grows inside us. It's so subtle you might not know it's there... but then after you remove it - hey there is a lovely space there instead.

Here's my method of how we do it.

Decide how much, right now, you want to donate per month to anything. 

What can you afford? What will really go fairly unnoticed in your life?
$20, $50, $100 / month?

(Consider that a coffee is $4 x 30 days = $120/month) 

What causes do you want to prioritise?

Environmental, Human Rights, Animals, Getup, Political Parties, Forest Regeneration, Local, Global, Water, Children... yep, there is so much to choose from but just pick 1-3.

Divide up your monthly money as you like.
Go to each site and set up your monthly donation from your credit card.

Sit back, close your eyes and see how you feel. Has something changed inside?

Woohoo! You really DID something, are continuing to do something and now you can feel OK when organisations pester you (and if you decline them). Who knows maybe they won't seem so pestery. You may even make a choice to donate at another time.

So I've just set up my donation to Greenpeace. ahhhh...
I like that I can now lie on the beach and I'm still giving.

 

Note: This is also a fantastic way to deal with overseas trips to developing countries with lots of beggars and needy people. Come up with a figure per day, give it out how you like and remove the guilt.

[current mood] Avocado & Game of Thrones

Thursday
Aug302012

The Anatomy of Anger

Last night I went to a lecture. It's not often I do things like that. But when I returned to Perth and was feeling like being all "grab life by balls and do stuff" this was one of the things I signed up for.

Of course weeks later I turn up and I'm sitting there thinking how I'm uncomfortable, would rather be at home, do I really need to hear this.... I seem to _always_ schedule things for myself that by the time they arrive I no longer feel the passion for. So what did I get out of this lecture in the end?

It was at The School of Philosophy and it was on 'The Anatomy of Anger' by Dr Clive Lamond.

I didn't take notes because I didn't think I'd read back on them but I have a shocking memory so I am likely to forget it all anyway. So instead after the lecture I just drew some things that stood out for me.

I like little symbols for ideas, they work as reminders for the meaning.

The first thing I remembered was Clive describing the concept of dark can't defeat dark.
Anger never solves Anger.
And yeah it made perfect sense, you can't make a dark situation lighter by applying more darkness.
You have to shine a light on it to change it!

The Inner Hexagon.
Have you heard of it?

I hadn't known of this analogy before. Story goes, a peaceful Indian dude (Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati) was asked how he felt about the end of WWII and said that there would be no real end to war or peace unless individuals dealt with the inner 'war' which he described as the inner hexagon. 6 elements we fight within ourselves.

He said these inner enemies are:
ambition, anger, greed, false attachment, vanity and jealousy

The actual quote I just found is:
"Real victory is that, after which there can never be a reverse.  Nobody can call himself a victor forever merely by crushing an external foe, because such foes can spring up again. A real victory is achieved by bringing under control the internal foes. A check over the internal enemies is therefore the only way of conquering the external enemies forever, because we should bear in mind that it is our own internal enemies which create the external enemies."

So much more eloquent this dude...

Then we did the anatomy part and I liked seeing a diagram of the brain showing how huge our reasoning section is, our frontal lobes compared with that tiny pea-sized part responsibe for our more basic instincts and body-on-auto stuff. This includes (can you work it out from my pic?) anger, emotion, sexual desire, breathing, heart beat and pressure, fright/flight. 
The point made was that we can actually control these instincts with will power (once they arise!).

I don't often like to think how I'm better than a lizard, but perhaps it's worth noting the difference. I may have these auto things pop up but I am able to reason and CHOOSE a response. 
And most of all I love this plasto-lastic-tastic idea that we can change and grow our brains! So I can train it. Suddenly there is no 'I can't' but we all could!

And lastly, this little point he made in question time was the major thing I got out of the talk !

He said "We can't dig a well if we just keep digging new holes"

"So find one practice and follow it through!"

And a light went off in me.... that's what I've been doing! I try everything and don't really stick with one thing. And the more styles of meditation, yoga, exercise and self-help I come across the more bloody holes I have and I seem to get further away from some of my deeper goals.

Can you see what things _could_ be like?

 

[current mood] Hommus w/ Carrots & Bombay Bicycle Club