As you get ready to go back to school for another year, we thought we would ask some of our favourite Creative Mentors to tell us what they learnt in school. A bit of back-to-school inspiration for ya!


ALVYN TAN - Music Producer: LVYN

"The biggest thing high school taught me was how to learn. It wasn't the content of what i was learning which mattered most but rather the study habits and work ethic I acquired in the process. High school also revealed to me what I didn't want to do with my life.






"One thing I learnt from high school was the importance of hard work, being able to endure and push through even when I wanted to give up and see the results of persistence." 







MARKSMAN LLOYD- Rapper and Speaker

"I would say I learnt how to overcome my demons through high school.

It was one of the hardest times in my life but all my creativity and insight comes from those places of testing/ tears/ learning/ failing/ being rejected.

It made me the emcee I am."







"High school taught me to spend more time doing what I love (Filming & skateboarding) & pouring myself into that rather than caring about being or looking cool.

Focussing on what you're passionate about can only lead to good, especially if you don't care what anybody else thinks."






TOR SNYDER - Comedian

"I'm not going to lie, I didn't really pay attention in class when I was in high school. But that doesn't mean I didn't learn anything. Some of the most value lessons I learnt was when I was a teenager, like daring to be different, to step outside my comfort zone, fall in love and then have your heart broken, to try new things and not be afraid to fail. We only have one life and it's best to start living it when were young. It's the best opportunity to create as much adventure as possible. "




Being single doesn't mean being alone. 

So all your friends are pairing off and you're feeling like the odd one out? No need to get all '#FOREVERALONE' on us - there are pros and cons to every part of our lives! 

Chances are, you won't be #FOREVERALONE, so you actually want to make the most of your freedom - and the best way to do that, is to focus on the great things about ridin' solo

Besides, if you do it right, being single doesn't ever mean being alone! Whether you're single or in a relationship, maintaining your 'squad' with a good mix of people is going to get you through just about anything!

So we've made a list of the pros of being single, but we know you'll probably have even more, so add them in the comments below!!

1. You don't have to share your food! 

2. You don't exceed your plan on long late night calls to bae, where neither of you want to be the first one to hang up... *yawn*

3. You don't have to split Christmas between your family and theirs. 

4. No need to run your weekend plans by someone else all the time. The weekend is yours for spontaneity and chills. 

5. You don't have to go to awkward family dinners with their parents.... 

6. No need to unleash your inner stalker and monitor their social media activity  - you know who you are!

7. Mo' money in yo' pocket! You're not always having to shout another person or come up with bigger and better birthday presents. 

8. Girls/guys night without the guilt of leaving your other half out... or dragging them along. 

9. No need to sit through chick flicks/action movies if you don't want to. 

10. By hanging out with heaps of different kinds of people, you start to see the kind of person that brings out the best in you and sometimes, that will surprise even you!




Nick Kingswell 2015 Charcoal on Paper

Nick Kingswell 2015

Charcoal on Paper

I want you to think about the time when you felt most celebrated.
Maybe it was receiving that award at assembly you didn’t see coming. 
Maybe it was you getting the highest mark in your favourite class.
Maybe it was a nice speech from a bestie or parent at your birthday party.

Now I want you to think of a time you felt you should have been celebrated but weren’t. 

Maybe it was someone else who got that award, instead of you.
Maybe it was you who just missed out on the highest mark in your favourite class
Maybe it was you that really needed your bestie or parent to give you encouragement, but for a
reason you never quite understood, it was withheld from you.

Something I’ve learnt is that you can always pick the people that will be successful in life, by how they celebrate others. Successful people are able to celebrate others because they are SECURE in their own identity as individuals. 

Over the years, many of my friendships have formed from a genuine desire to encourage and celebrate people. Many artists and musicians I have met, and now call friends, started from an email that says “Hey! I love what you do, and I wanted to remind you how great you are at it! Keep it up!” 

Collaboration with Nate Hill Photography with my Illustration work

Collaboration with Nate Hill Photography

with my Illustration work

A few years back I started following an Aussie musician, as he ventured out into the music industry overseas. His music really captivated and moved something inside me, so I decided to write to him and let him know. A year later, I was inspired by a photograph of his I saw on social media, and in my spare time took to drawing it. I sent it to him, and this opened an opportunity for me to meet a friend of his from Melbourne. We ended up collaborating together to create some really cool art- but it all started from that one message of encouragement! 

So what am I trying to say? 

Celebrating others brings OPPORTUNITY. You may not know it at the time, but valuing others and encouraging them when you feel they need it is what opens new doors for us to walk in. So I dare you to build a healthy habit of encouraging your friends and the people who inspire you. 
Just wait and see what good comes from it!

Rachelle Dusting









Healthy Lifestyle

What does it take to achieve your fitness goals and live a lifestyle of health and wellbeing?

I haven’t always been healthy- for the most part of my life I grew up in NZ where everything was fried, covered in butter, salt or sugar. No wonder health problems run rampant in my culture and both Australia and NZ are well known for our very high obesity rates!

The truth is, the lifestyle I lead is far from that of what I was raised in. The difference between me then and me now is CHOICE! We all have the freedom to choose what we want to do with our lives, we have the freedom to choose what we put in our mouths, what we do with our time, who we want to be around.

After being overweight, unhappy and depressed about my body image I made a CHOICE to change, I decided enough is enough, I need to do something about this or I’m going to end up like this person or that person and quite frankly all the people around me at the time were not going to help me be a better person so I knew that I had to change that too!

So that is the first step- SURROUND yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.
It’s true that you are who you hang out with. Once I changed this, the rest was a lot easier because I had accountability, reassurance and support.

Secondly you need to have a strong WHY- if your why isn’t strong enough you will fall off the health & fitness band wagon real quick!
There has to be a desire to want more than where you are at now. 
If you don’t want it bad enough you won’t get it. Mine was that I don’t ever want to go shopping and feel miserable because I have to get the next size up to what I usually am (this was the turning point for me by the way).
Find out your WHY and continue to remind yourself of it.

Thirdly, EDUCATE yourself about yourself- find what you love to do, experiment and try different things. 
You might prefer running, or lifting weights, group classes or outdoor training. Whatever you enjoy, keep doing that and don’t waste your time doing things you don’t like - it won’t make your journey enjoyable! 
When you get started ask a lot of questions and figure out what works best for you. Understand that everyone is different and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you, so make sure you strive to discover your own formula.

Lastly, ENJOY the journey- we only get one body in our lifetime and I truly believe it is imperative that we take care of it to the best of our ability and enjoy the journey while we are at it.
Smashing fitness goals and living a healthy lifestyle is so rewarding and has many benefits that far outweigh any excuse. Walk into your changes with a positive mindset and use these simple steps to help you stay the course. 

Yours in health & fitness,

Maurica Wilson

Ryze Up Fitness





I recently listened to a TED talk by the author of the book EAT, PRAY, LOVE. On publishing the book, Elizabeth Gilbert’s became an overnight best-selling author, her work successfully produced on the big screen as the movie we know it to be, starring Julia Roberts.

Elizabeth is exasperated with the pressure she feels is on her new works to be just as successful as her best-seller, for her to avoid a major career face-plant. It’s here that the conversation gets interesting…or just weird. Depending on which way you look at it.

Elizabeth starts to talk about the idea of a ‘genius’: a mysterious ‘thing’ responsible for the ideas and imaginative thoughts that are dropped into our minds. She claims that this creative genius is responsible for our ideas- and not us.

Mystical Creatures Chelle? Really?

Ok. I know it sounds fluffy- but stay with me!

I think creative blocks are less about the fact that we have “no ideas”….because we think a million of them each day! Creative blocks are more about the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves- or the pressure we feel is being put on ourselves from those around us- to have to produce something “successful” instead of something authentic and good.

When we tap into our ability to imagine and create (which is something we do SO much more than we think we do!) we rarely do it with the intention of just us in mind. Most of us create things to be enjoyed and appreciated by ourselves AND others- which could be why creative blocks happen.

So what do I do Chelle???

Ha. I heard your thoughts scream a mile away. Just chill.

No- seriously. Chilling here is the key. Go out for a walk. Take a breath- take another breath! By stepping back from our situation, we gain perspective. Stepping back is something an artist often does- not because they tire from say, painting, but because they become so engrossed in what they’re creating, they could be missing something vital if they don’t step back to see the whole picture.

I know. It’s tough. But, at the same time- it’s so stinkin’ simple! Whether we believe it or not, our life is to be enjoyed and appreciated at whatever age we are, and in whatever we are putting out hands and heart to achieve. If you’re having a mental block, a creative block, a writers block- try take the pressure of yourself in having to produce something that’s “successful” and focus on what you can achieve that is authentic, good, and completely and utterly you.

Rachelle Dusting

Practising Artist 




5 Tips to help you get started on your health & fitness journey 

Here are some practical tips to help you KICKSTART and SUCCEED in achieving your health & fitness goals. These derive from some of the common mistakes that I see from people who fail, or give up on their goals- take heed and you will be better for it!

Tip#1 Don’t go Cold Turkey- you see or meet someone that you want to look like so you decide I’m going to stop eating bad food, I’m going to sign up to the gym, I’m going to be totally awesome etc… This is the first mistake people make when they get started, I encourage you to increase your food intake with wholefoods that are fresh and slowly reduce your intake of junkfood or chocolate whatever you know is not helping you at all, there are plenty of healthy alternatives for the foods that you crave, do your research, educate yourself.

Tip#2 Train Smart not Hard- Finding balance in your life is an essential part of your happiness, if you are spending too much time at the gym or working out you will lose your life to it. You don’t need to spend hours slaving away at the gym, start off small twice a week and then increase to 3 times per week then maybe 4 times per week, every individual has different needs so discuss with a personal trainer what you need to do to reach your goals.

Tip#3 Have a Plan of Action in place- If you have no direction you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Sit down with someone who is experienced or hire a Personal Trainer to devise the best plan for you, from when you’re going to workout to what you’re going to eat it is totally worth the investment if you want to succeed!

Tip#4 Limit your time with Social Eating Settings- I know people who eat out 4-5x per week and most of the time it is at a fast food restaurant selling greasy foods and we all know that this food is not good for you! Cut down as much as you can on these kind of dates, but if you’re a social butterfly eat before you go so that you don’t eat as much, or consciously make an effort to choose healthier options from the menu.

                Maurica Wilson 






In 2012 (my final year of studying Visual Arts), I hopped on the social media train and uploaded my first image to Instagram. It was something completely bland and unexciting. It went something like:

luke-warm cup of coffee

earlybird filter

gawd-awful border

...I know, please don’t judge me.

I scanned the entire hashtag history of anything to do with art, painting and realism. It was here that I discovered the work of painting wizard and artistic powerhouse, Maria Teicher. 

Maria was in the middle of studying her Masters in Fine Art at the New York Academy of Art. My jaw literally dropped as I scrolled through her feed. I was completely in awe of her ability to capture people with a paintbrush. 

To me, Maria’s skills were out of this WORLD. I had to let her know. So I found her Art Page on Facebook and wrote to her introducing myself, asking her a couple questions on painting and on ways to become an artist.

Like any young person, I was terrified at the thought of writing to someone so good at what they do- the fear of disappointment and rejection close to my thoughts. In that moment I mustered up enough courage to hit ‘Enter’ and send it through- almost forgetting to breathe in the process!

One thing that is SO important to remember is that no matter how recognised someone is for their profession, people are people! Those artists, musicians, designers, doctors, sport stars, all got to the place they’re in because they aspired to walk in the footsteps of someone else before them, put themselves out there, asked a lot of questions, and mustered up enough COURAGE to meet people who could ensure their questions were answered! 

In the end, Maria didn’t just reply to my questions- but wrote a whopper essay in her reply. Maria gave me tools and tips that were practical for my career, but she also gave me more questions that I should be asking myself as an emerging young artist! Her insight was invaluable to me and my progress that year.

So if there’s someone you aspire to be like, break through the fear of intimidation you might have, and write them!  Remember, people are people- and YOU have the COURAGE to step out, be confident, and ask the questions to get to where you want to go!

Rachelle Dusting

Pracitisng Artist




How can I stay motivated to work out?

Set some realistic goals: The reason why most people fail to stay motivated to work out is they set unrealistic goals for themselves and feel disheartened when they don’t feel like it’s possible anymore! Realistically if it were that easy everyone would be fit and healthy and feel 100% confident with the way their body looks. Be honest with yourself and set some measurable small goals that will lead you to your ultimate goals!

Create a vision board: If you see it, you’re most likely to achieve it! Having a daily reminder of what you want to achieve is a great motivator. Place your vision board in a place where you pass all the time!

Plan ahead: Literally your whole week, what days and times are you going to work out? Try and schedule in the time where you feel most awake and have enough energy to get to the gym or park for your workout. If you’re not a morning person fine don’t train in the morning then! Whatever time you schedule in make that a priority, don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your hour of power!

Find a training buddy: someone as awesome as you are and that’s got similar goals. To choose the right training buddy make sure that they will keep you accountable, they will help keep you focused, they don’t have too many injuries, they want to smash their goals just as much as you do!

Eat well: Nourish your body with clean nutritious food, there are plenty of healthy, affordable options out there, and let’s be honest there’s no point in training hard if you’re not going to eat well. Plan what you’re going to eat don’t leave room for fast food options, you’re body deserves the best!

Maurica Wilson



CREATIVITY - Artists, Engineers and Paper Airplanes


CREATIVITY - Artists, Engineers and Paper Airplanes

As an artist, there’s one conversation I find myself in time and time again.

Person: “Oh- you’re an artist?”

Me: “Yeah!”

Person: “Ha…yeah. I can’t draw at all. I swear there’s not an artistic bone in my body…”

Me: *Cringes* EERRP! No Deal!

Hold up- No Deal? What Deal?!

Sometimes we confuse being ‘arty’ or artistic with having mad skillz to paint or draw. And that’s understandable- art, arty, artistic…they all kind of sound the same. But an engine isn’t engineering- engineering is the act of getting that engine started. You could engineer a car into motion; you could also engineer the perfect paper airplane. In the same way, you could also say that an engineer would design a car into motion and that one could create the perfect paper airplane. Do you see where I’m going with this? Whether you’re a Maths buff, or a Chemistry Pro, a Sports freak, or a whizz in Home Ec –  being artistic and creative is the expression of how we do things - and there are a million and one ways for us to express this! We each have the ability to be great designers, great artists, great engineers – great creatives.  

So how do you express your creative and artistic side? Creativity is expressed through your imagination. And if you’ve ever had a dream – big or small – then you have an imagination!

Another important thing to remember is that creativity is expressed differently. You’re artistic expression is unique. It’s individual. It’s going to look different to your friends. Embrace it- better yet, work it! Use that part of you that’s different to stand out and make a difference in the world around you. No one can think the way that you’re wired to think!  

This year, I dare you to take this creative challenge – start coining phrases like I AM CREATIVE. I AM ARTISTIC. I AM IMAGINATIVE. Because you can use that beautiful imagination with that beautiful mind you’ve got and make 2015 the most inventive, creative, and artistic year yet, in whatever area you enjoy most, or feel passionate about!

Rachelle Dusting

Practising Artist





Life without music would be like life without the enhancement of colors: dull and monotonous.





Hey, it’s me Tasa!

Music is something that every person has his or her own specific opinion about. Different people have different taste, and various types of music have many ways of leaving an impact on someone.

It can be relaxing, angering, soothing, energizing, and many more. There are so many types of music out there today. Rap, pop, rock, country, indie, alternative, hard-core are some of the abundant types in the world.

Music sends out either good or bad messages that have big impacts on how people act. People usually become friends with others who have a same taste in music as the rest of the people they hang out with, or it can be vice versa.

People may not want to associate with people who have different tastes in music because they’ll argue about what they think is better but it’s just their own opinions. When people listen to the new things out there, they learn different things going on in the world and they become more open-minded because they’re exposed to different people like the artists. They can use music to express themselves, in ways it can’t be expressed through behaviour, or art. You can usually tell how someone’s feeling by the type of music he or she is listening to at the time. It’s a tool used by many.

Groups of people around the world can come together and gather at concerts, shows, and venues to show what their interests and likings are and you see how many people have similar likings as you. I can personally relate to the effects that music has on its listeners and users because it’s a big part of my life. Every day I listen to the words and sounds of different singers/bands with contrasting ideas and opinions. The music I listen to makes me who I am.

I started song-writing at the end of year 6 and I know as an artist how important music is to me. I play piano, guitar, ukulele and sing. Without that I wouldn’t know what defines me, but I’d know that my identity would be completely different. I listen to music all the time and have come to find that it brings many benefits to my life and general well-being. I have also found out that making music brings me joy as well.

I compose songs and all sorts of tunes and it’s great fun. Sometimes I find that when trying too hard to write a song, it just won’t budge! But from years of experience I’ve learnt to let it flow and come to me naturally instead of forcing it. I’m so blessed to have the ability to compose songs, play instruments and sing.


As I grow older I hope to be able to know more and to have the ability to teach the not so fortunate to play an instrument or even to sing! I love the thought of making incapacitated children happy and free. “iZRA MEANS FREE, AND WE BELIEVE FREE IS WORTH THE FIGHT”

Much love,






Conquering a double knee operation, a wheel chair and 10 months out of action, Brad Harrington has fought his way back to claim this year's title of WA u/16 State Champion for Bodyboarding. He was good enough to sit down and fill us in on what makes him tick!!

1. Tell us about your sport:

Well the sports I do are Surfing and Bodyboarding.
Surfing is were you are standing up on a surfboard and the tricks you do are majority rail to rail stuff like turns, getting barrels.

Bodyboarding is were you laying down on a bodyboard with fins whilst wearing flippers. The tricks you do are mainly barrel rolls, backflips etc... but you can also do spins, carves and cutbacks.


2. How long have you been doing it and why do you love it ?:

I have been surfing since I was 8 years old, so about 5 years. I have only been surfing competively for about 3 years.

I love it because when I am out there I am generally with all my mates having fun. When you're out in the waves you sort of get away from the everything for a while.

I have only been Bodyboarding for about 2 years, and competing for 1 and half years.  I love it for the same reasons I love surfing.


3. Have you had any stumbling blocks and how did you get though them ?:

Well I had a disease in both my knees called Osteo Endertrsitis Desseceans and used to suffer bad knee pain for about 2-3 years. After trying many things and going to many different doctors it ended with me having a  double knee operation when I  was 12. They put 5 screws in the right knee and 3 in left. I was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks after the operation which was very hard to adjust to that life because I was always such an active kid. Then i was out of action for about 10 months. I was not allowed to do anything. I could not do any running, surfing, bodyboarding, footy, skating.  It was very hard mentally and physically, especially after school when all my mates would be off having fun and I was stuck at home. I turned into a bit off a X Box nerd for a while there..lol. 

The way I got though it was to stay postive and look forward to getting better and stronger for when I could finally return to it all. Going through something like that gives me a new appreciation for life and how lucky I really am!

4. What competions have you been in and are you working towards any others?:

Brad Harrington 3.jpg

I  have been in way too many to list haha. I have always competed at local Surfing and Bodyboarding club comps and I travel down South alot for comps and also up to Scarborough and Trigg beach too.. Luckily I have such good, supportive parents..

Last year I finished Champion boy at Secret Harbour Surfing Club and I also won WA u/14s Runner up State Champion for Bodyboarding. Mum and I went to Nationals last November with the WA State Team and I finished 9th..Not as good as I was hoping for but what an experience!!

This year I won WA u/16s State Champion so at the moment I am working towards the Australian Bodyboard National Titles in Coffs Harbour NSW in August 13/18th.


5. Advice:

Keep practicing and then practise some more and if you don't go too well in your first competition don't give up, learn from it, keep training and just keep on giving it ago. Because if your persistent you will get the result you want! You must set goals :)





Brooklyn is one of those people who is able to hang from the roof in just a piece of material and she's crazy flexible to boot!

Brooklyn wrote in to tell us why she gets her kicks out of Aerials and Acrobatics- check it, check it!!!

I love doing many things in the world, but my all time favourites would have to be Acrobatics and Aerials. Which I guess all fall under the same category, but they're all very different.

I love Acrobatics because when I'm flipping through the air or rolling on the ground I always feel happy. It makes me feel proud whenever I accomplish new tricks or skills and I love doing it with friends because it's always fun and a great source of exercise.

I love Aerials to infinity and beyond, if I could do then 24/7 I would! The feeling of being meters off the ground only relying on a Silk, Trapeze or Lyra to save you from falling is amazing. The tricks are hard but I'm always up to the challenge, I have to remind myself to do the best that I can be and never give up.

So whether it's Acrobatics, Silks, Trapeze or Lyra I'll always be doing it because it's what makes me happy and besides, it looks pretty darn cool! Acro & Aerials are what keep me motivated and make me live life in colour.

Ok, so you may not be as good at hanging upside down (without crashing to the ground that is) as Brooklyn, but we'd love to hear what you do 'just for kicks'! Send your entry to hello@izra.com.au 





My first introduction to surfing was reading an inspiring and beautiful book based on the true story, 'The Soul Surfer'. It's about a young surfer who is passionate about becoming a professional surfer. She experienced a life changing event where a shark took her left arm and nearly her life. 

Bethany Hamilton's feisty determination and steadfast faith spurred her towards an adventurous comeback that gave her the grit to turn her shark attack experience into a gift for others. 

That whole story truly inspired me and straight away I knew I wanted to surf, knowing I was making a great decision!

I then started to do surfing lessons and it was frightening at first, thinking about the danger. I knew nothing about surfing, no one in my family surfed, but I was sure and confident that I was being looked out for. 

The moment I stood up on my first miniature wave, I knew why Bethany loved surfing so much and that incredible rush was nothing I had experienced before. 

One of my dreams is to become a professional surfer and one day I hope to meet Bethany Hamilton. I want to tell her that her amazing story has inspired me to get into the water and surf. One of her most inspiring phrases can truly impact your perspective on life. 

"I've learned that life is a lot like surfing. When you get caught in the impact zone, you need to get right back up because you never know what's over the next wave. And if you have faith, anything is possible, anything at all. "




Are you a fan of surfing too? Tell us about it!!







I was 17 when I first tried rock climbing, this was the first day of many and the first taste of a passion that I know will take me to huge heights.

My first time on the rock was quite pathetic really, I used every ounce of energy to make my bloody hands scramble my way to the top. But the feeling of making it was something I soon became crazy about.

The person who took me out that first time could see the same drive in me that he also had, so began the many hours spent together traveling, camping, exploring and climbing anything we drove past. It wasn’t long before I got all my own gear and got really serious about the sport.

There are a few reasons why I love climbing so much, one is the awesome feeling of overcoming an obstacle (rock) that pushed my body, mind and control to the limit. I also have a love for waking up after climbing the day before with sore four-arms and back muscles, yeah and people do think that’s strange. 

The biggest drive for my climbing is the places I have stood and the awesome glory of the world we live in, the outdoors for me is the place I can relax, rest and enjoy some awesome rock.

One of the best places I have climbed would have to be a rock called “Peak Head” in Albany WA. Climbing up the 150m+ rock, in the sun, looking out over the Sothern Ocean as whales swim past and a cool breeze relaxes you- something I will never forget.

If I could choose one place to travel and climb it would be a rock in California named “The Indescribable Hulk". This is a 500m rock and a climb I can’t wait to tick off my list. A snow covered rock in winter and an amazing climb in summer.

I hope rock climbing will take me to places I never thought I would go and meet people all around the world.


Love this sport,









Have somewhere you want to Rock Climb or something you get crazy excited about doing? Send it through for your chance to win stuff if we feature it!