How To De-Stress Creatively, As Recommended By Collarts Teachers

Aug 06, 2020

As Melbourne heads into Stage 4 restrictions, we wanted to check up on you:

How are you doing?

We know old anxieties might be reemerging, but the same tips around meditation and exercise have already been recycled over again in the last few months. So to get a fresh perspective on keeping calm in quarantine, we asked our Collarts Program Leaders and Coordinators what their de-stress tips are for the creatively-minded individual.


Head of Fashion (Marketing and Sustainability) Dr Rachel Matthews says one fun activity she likes to do is write some styling tips to her younger self after looking at old photos.

"Writing styling tips makes me think about how what I am wearing in the old photograph connects with the history of fashion and the role vintage fashion plays in contemporary ideas of style," she says.

If you're not keen on writing, Rachel also recommends creating fashion-themed playlists and  challenging yourself and your fashion-obsessed friends each week: "For example, top five footwear-related records. Often the playlist is terrible or hilariously eclectic, but the accompanying visuals are awesome."


For any music lover, listening to music isn't just a great way to relax, but to also explore new genres and reflect on your own response. Head of Music Production Tommy Rando says finding something new and seeing where it leads you on a daily basis can "motivate you creatively and inspire you to make music".

On the other hand, Coordinator David Jacob suggests trying the opposite with deep listening: "When you're out for exercise, try to find a place where there isn't that much noise. Take a deep breath, relax and close your eyes. Listen to the sounds in the natural soundscape around you. Try to focus on the individual sounds around you. It should help you to relax but you're also training your ears!"



Head of Animation & VFX Simon Ashford has an easy tip for you to cool your mind this quarantine: people-watching. "Watch someone walk. What is it about the walk that gives them personality? Count the timing. How long is a cycle? — 12 frames or half a second. 24 frames? — 1 second? Are they in the down position longer or in the up position longer?"


We're all aware of the usual lockdown routine: watch a press conference, do some yoga, and listen to music. Make time to laugh in your day with these comedy sketches suggested by Head of Comedy Andrea Powell: Janey Godley's voice dubs over Scottish press conferences; or the absurd viral song 'Tight Pants / Body Rolls'; Julie Nolke's passive aggressive yoga instructor skit.


Combine your ambitions for Entertainment Management with mobile gaming, and download the free app Music Inc. Program leader Chrissie Vincent and Coordinator Jess Carroll say that the app can give you an insight into the modern music industry and let you experience the challenges encountered by artists in the digital age. "Plus, it's fun and highly addictive!" they say.


Head of Interior Design Bruno Duval has two great websites you can play with during lockdown: Milanote and Architexture. If you're an organisation lover, you can use Milanote to compile and categorise your ideas and projects into visual boards, whereas if you're just looking to explore, you can find hundreds of seamless textures on Architexture.

On the other hand, Head of Interior Decoration Amy Cope recommends experimenting with moodboards, which you can either create physically from magazines, or on Pinterest, imagining what your dream home would look like.


If you're an audio fan, software is your best friend, says Head of Audio Engineering Jason Torrens. Open up trusty ProTools and try out a new plugin, or smash a song through compressors and distortion plugins. "There’s so often TASKS to do in these amazing programs, so why not use it for fun and creativity," JT points out. 

digital & social media

Rikki Bunder, Head of Digital & Social Media, has suggested some chill past times that can both spark your creativity and give you a good laugh. Whether it's practicing your Photoshop skills by retouching celebrities into family photos (your chance to look related to Tom Hanks), or starting a silly podcast with a family pet as your co-host. "The more seriously you take it, the better," jokes Rikki.


Also the Head of Entertainment Journalism, Rikki Bunder encourages you to loosen up during lockdown by conducting a late night talk show interview with your family members or housemates, as well reviewing the worst movie you've ever seen (The Room might be good contender!).


If you're a musical performer, Head of Music Performance Jesse Hooper wants you to try out the Nadi Shodhana breathing technique. “This practice is great to use before a performance or exam/assessment as it can help reduce anxiety and help promote mental focus," he says. Press down on one nostril to plug it and breathe, switch to the other nostril and breathe out, then repeat vice versa.

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