Melbourne Arts Club Asks: What's Your Favourite Swag?

Everyone has some sentimental items in their repertoire. Teddy bear? Favourite coffee cup? Old t-shirt that says "I'd rather be bowling." And most feel that these things are necessary before embarking on any trip, project or even to just start the day. No matter how neurotic it may seem. After all, we are creatures of habit. We asked some Melbourne artists what they need in order to start their creative endeavours. 

Tegan Lloyd - Crystals



One main essential that truly inspires and centres me before I start any work is crystals. I always have them beside me and in the studio. Better yet a visit to the Crystal shop/Garden World to immerse myself in their colour and beauty. I always feel grounded afterwards and it reminds me why I started my creative work and to just be true to myself.


Swift & CtrlV - Fixie


The main ammo of my artistic arsenal would have to be my charge fixie with confetti rims and hand painted seat. I picked up this unreal bike a few years back and had never ridden fixed gear before til Ctrl V taught me. I find the experience of riding it to be quite spiritual. It's completely silent to ride and forces you to be completely present in the moment. Riding my fixie down a Fitzroy laneway simply catapults me into the land of glue dripping artistic inspiration like nothing on earth.


Ron See - the Internet


The internet is by far the most important thing in my artistic arsenal. The random, chaotic and the all-encompassing nature of the internet makes it the perfect place for inspiration. The best part is that you can be looking at cat photos at the same time.


Naomi Bishop - a Photo


I took this photo in Haukijärvi in Finland in January 2014, on a clear day of minus thirty degrees. Each time I start a new project, a new body of work I come back to this image. A pyre in the snow, by a frozen lake. It speaks of winter and decay, but also of the summer solstice for which this pyre has been made. Fire is frozen, ice is everywhere. All is quiet. The shapes are so beautiful and complicated, the colour is soft.


Melissa Grisancich - Old Books


Before I start a painting I tend to feel really stuck. The only thing that I can turn to is my collection of reference materials. Old publications from the 60's and 70's have the best colours, illustrations and are usually pretty wacky. I can make a collage and come up with with ideas pretty quick. Thanks goodness for books!


Carlito624 - Spray Paint


With out my spray paints I wouldn't be able to create the pieces I love.


Jo Lane - Graphite Pencils


Can’t live without a couple of graphite pencils – just can’t -  and a graphite block makes it even better.

As nice paper makes my mouth water – and if there happens to be a piece handy - I am ready to start…..

No idea what to do? – make a pose with my left hand and draw it with my right.


Carolyn O'Neill - Leftover Paint


My go to swag is left over paint; using paint brushes to clean out my paint bowls and randomly covering the canvas.  Those initial marks lead me to my next decisions.  Because I generally work in an unplanned intuitive manner, this really does beat staring at a blank canvas and waiting for inspiration.




Thanks guys. Keep creating those masterpieces!

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