March 25, 2011 / 4:40PM 4 notes

Creatrixes of Awesome: Jenny Menthol’s Guide to Rerouting Those Neural Pathways

Read our interview with Jenny Menthol here!

I get asked quite a lot how I’ll think of something new to do every day for a year. You kidding? You could do this for the rest of your life! Here are some ways to get ideas.

* Read rural papers, local papers, noticeboards. Choral quilting you say? Lemme at it!

* Sign up to daily deals in your area, like Deal Me, Jump On It, Living Social. I’ve gone horse trekking, abseiling and kung fu-ing through these.

* Go to a major railway station and take an unfamiliar train. Get off at a random stop and see what there is to do.

* If you pass some kind of gathering – be it at a church or on the street – for god’s sake, go in!

* If your mind puts up some kind of resistance to an idea, it’s definitely worth doing.

* Ask everyone you know if they have any unusual skills/interests/jobs you can have a go at.

* Train yourself to keep your eyes peeled for weird shit to do by trying to notice five things you haven’t noticed before on the way to work.

* What did you always want to do/be as a kid? Whether it was comics, collecting worms or dancing, have another go at it.

* What have you always been terrible at? Have a go at that as well. That meant cooking and public speaking for me.

* Choose a classic book and replicate something you’ve learned from reading it. I dunno – it could be learning to build a fire, Swallows & Amazons-style. If no classic books are at hand, pillage the Brownie Guide’s Handbook.

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March 25, 2011 / 4:36PM 3 notes

Creatrix of Awesome #1: Jenny Menthol

Yay we got our first Creatrix to feature!

Jenny Menthol, based in rural Victoria, Australia, set herself a challenge: do something new every day for a year that she’s never done before.

Six months along, while documenting it all on her blog Hey Man Now You’re Really Living, she’s gone on all sorts of adventure: giving & receiving a home tattoo, chainsawing, joining in on a lion dance, getting lessons on telling anecdotes from Australian comedian Catherine Deveny, firing guns, and “trying all manner of New Age shit”. As she says, it’s changed her life.

What do you create?

A blog called www.heymannowyourereallyliving.wordpress.com, in which I try something I’ve never, ever done before, every day for a year. This has included giving and receiving a home tattoo (a nice way to start any venture, I reckon); working as a railway ganger; rorting my fear of heights with a trapeze course; shooting glocks, lugers and magnums; popping a wheelie on a motorbike; flying a plane; crewing in a yacht race; writing the most romantic thing I can think of on a toilet wall; skinny dipping; learning to play snooker with a world champ; milking cows; wrestling; getting strangers to pray for me; and some mind-bending new age stuff. Mind-bending for me, anyway – it’s never been my schtick.

Why did you decide to pursue this creative mode?
 

I’ve a tendency to be too introspective and up my own arse, and I had a desire to change. This challenge requires me to constantly do things that intimidate me, meet new people from all walks of life, and draw out their stories and skills. I started it a year and a half after I quit drinking, too – so to add to the challenge I have to do everything stone cold sober. Probably a good idea when it comes to operating chainsaws and bulldozers.

What do you do to get your creations made and out there?

I hit up everyone I know, and plenty I don’t, asking them to share their skills and interests with me. Then I write up the experience in around 500 words and post it the next day.

Is this something you do regularly?

There has to be a new task and write-up every day. If I’m really pushed and can’t get away to do something physical/incredibly exciting, I’ll do something like work on my handshake, get my poetry critiqued on a website or sketch commuters on the train without their clothes on. Definitely try that – it’s fun.

What does being a Creatrix of Awesome mean to you?

It’s a part of my life where I have total creative control… it feels so good I gave a maniacal cackle just writing that. Being able to pursue your every whim and ruse feels like being a child again, back when your imagination was allowed to run riot and nothing seemed impossible.

Recommend another Creatrix of Awesome to us:

Cybele Malinowski is a Sydney-based photographer who creates beautifully coloured pictures. You wish your world looked like that.

In the next post: Jenny Menthol’s guide to rerouting those neural pathways.

Wanna be profiled here? Know someone who should be? Join us!

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