The holidays are here! Woop-woop. Joy, happiness, X-Box.
I write this from a crowded terminal in the airport. Yes, I am heading to Brazil for a month of parental nagging and hanging out with my famous writer-sister (not to be confused with the Scissor Sisters). If only you could see how hipster I look in my airplanewear, shaggy hair, leopard socks and MacBook… like, you’d probably want to shoot me. And that’s okay. I’m on holidays, and so is my Hipster Abuse alarm.
My housemate proclaimed last night mid-cigarette conversation: I’m so jealous of you! I’ll be the only one without an overseas holiday story come August! I then proceeded to describe how gruesome a 20-plus hour flight is, but did not manage to convince her that I was the one at loss. Me and Moony of course, my domestic lover of a cat… which I will miss oh-so-dearly while I’m away.
The end of this semester was jam-packed with extracurriculars. As assignments and exams slowly faded away, together with my money issues, I became engaged with a range of people and events that are surely worth a mention. First of all, my girl band. I can proudly proclaim that QUT is a great spot to recruit band members: in early April I started hanging with some young uni kids which went to one of my lectures (first year lectures are like a pond of rough diamonds: you can just tell everyone will do alright with a little more polish). Anyway, so one of the girls mentioned she played the drums. I asked her if she really played the drums. Because, you know, pretty girls usually don’t. But it turns out she is both pretty and skilled.
The girl enterprise soon expanded and we became a fully-fleshed four-piece. After an infamous Sunday incident with an elderly neighbour, though, we decided it would be best to rent out a proper rehearsing space. Things are taking off pretty quickly: some big-shot rock photographer snapped us, some artsy dude is interested in collaborating with us, we’ve played live and we have fans. Okay, “fans”. All in the space of a month of playing together. We’re also really excited about some songs which are getting mixed. But more on that some other time.
There was this really neat event organised by my housemate/bandmate/all-round-nice-gal Christiana and her creative webzine clan Strutten.com. It took place at the Bleeding Hearts gallery and focused on the work of upcoming Brisbane artists, from photographers to graffiti legends to embroidery freaks to sound engineers. Kind of an innovative thing when you think about it – young creative people explicitly acting as the agents/bridge to other really young, rough diamond-like creative people. Surely putting an event together takes tons of effort and time, but the cultural value of something like this – or the personal value, for that matter – isn’t it huge? Aren’t creative people fostering the work of other creative people really the essence of the Creative Industries as the adorable Greg Jenkins taught us?
Speaking of cultural value, Brisbane during the mid-year is a real art fest. My friend Steve is this really young bloke (who is also in a very successful local band and goes to uni and has a job) who runs the Brisbane Fete de la Musique event every year. This is a worldwide event that occurs in various cities and that likes to showcase rough diamond talents in music. There is just something really romantic about walking around the city and bumping into a solo artist propped up in crates in an alleyway. I particularly love it when men in black suits stop and take pictures of the action with their handy Blackberries. It is like love at first sight.
The highlight of the month, though, would have had to be the annual I Used To Skate Once exhibit which happened at The Zoo on Thursday June 23, sponsored by independent local shop The Outpost. As owner Matt Brady said it himself to me on a bright and sunny afternoon, we don’t make a dime out of this event – it’s all about the artists, to which I giddily nodded in profound recognition. Hell, this guy is like Father Christmas for so many struggling artists. And it is so exciting to see kids who were total freshmeats a few years ago exhibiting their work at this event, like drawing freak/babe Scott Keim and badge maker/witch Holly Leonarson. Or Liam Bhats if I’m gonna drop names, whom I bought a board from this year. IUTSO is like this huge tick of approval telling talented people not to give up their dreams and get jobs in the financial/taxation sector – even when your tax clients include the Facebook group and a C-grade celebrity.
No – in fact, if you persist, it is my belief you are bound to get somewhere. Take some relish, for example, in the recent success stories coming out of Brisbane and the Gold Coast: some of my friends are in this band called Millions and they have been picked as Triple J Unearthed’s opening band for the 2011 Splendour in the Grass festival. Though they have only been together for around six months, all of the boys have had extensive “band careers” in some form or another. Their passion for music probably made them realise that their career break was [is] just a matter of time. And that’s how it goes with a job in the creatives.