Creative Juices

Get your fix of wellness and things that inspire us.

Creative Juices
BAD DAD 2013 painted by Michael Zavros, Oil on Canvas, 110 x 150cm. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art.

Because ideas need fuel, creative people keep the tank topped up. Some of our faves spill on how they keep their juices flowing.

Michael Zavros, artist, Brisbane

Michael Zavros in his Chandler studio. Picture: Renae Droop 

The award-winning artist is known for his luxurious, intoxicating, hyper-realist works.

“The best thing about being a creative person is applying creativity outside the studio, outside my practice. No matter what I’m doing, I question its logic. Is there another way to do this? It means you're seldom bored, you make your own fun. I don’t need to be entertained much.” 

What do you eat?

I can’t eat dairy because of a gut disease and I try not to eat a lot of breads and pastas. I love meats, salads and eggs - everyday. We have our own chickens and our eggs are always fresh. Because the chickens are free range and they eat a lot of grass the yolks are a brilliant orange.

Do you cook?

My wife Alison prepares most of our dinners. We share breakfast duties and because we both work from home, either one of us makes lunch.

Do you snack while you create?

I eat a lot. Long hours of concentration mean I’m always putting petrol in the tank. I snack on nuts and fruits and protein and energy bars. I drink espresso coffee up until around midday and try to stick with water at least until dark.

What is your go-to when you need to dig hard for inspiration?

I like digging in the earth and getting my hands in the soil. Gardening makes me happy. Any kind of change sparks inspiration. Getting out of the studio gets me out of my head and opens me up to inspiration.

What makes you feel happy on the inside?

I love the endorphin and exhaustion mix after exercise especially after swimming. Swimming makes me feel calm and centred and the monotonous laps allow me to process work and life problems.

Liz Casella, textile designer, Los Angeles

Working between her studios in Los Angeles and New York City, Liz creates heavenly prints for global fashion and interior brands like Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Jason Wu and Michael Kors.

Creativity is such an amazing way to express yourself, whether it’s in a design or the way I dress.  It can be fun, minimal or serious - the themes are endless.”

What’s on your menu?

I eat mostly healthy foods, fish and meat and a small amount of dairy. Since moving to LA, corn chips and anything Mexican have become a big part of my diet. 

Do you like to cook?

I haven’t cooked in years! My husband is the best cook and loves it. We rarely eat out. Most nights he makes meals from the cookbook Gjelina: Cooking from Venice California by Travis Lett. I’m very lucky. 

Are you a snacker?

I snack a lot whilst I design, usually beet chips and apples. I love coffee and try to have Matcha as often as possible. 

What is your go-to when you need to dig hard for inspiration?

I love going to flea markets and thrift stores when I travel and getting lost amongst the vintage clothing. I have racks of vintage that I’ve collected over the years and am always trying to work out how to push something old into a new look.

What makes you feel happy on the inside?

Getting a good night’s sleep and hugs from my husband. 

Jaclyn Valero, Head of Production, Hungry, New York City

Jaclyn Valero Hungry

Working with clients like Virgin Atlantic and Sephora, in the city that never sleeps, requires energy and creative fire.

“I love working with other creative people and wearing whatever you want to work. Some agencies I have worked at have felt like fashion shows.  It really inspires you to up your sartorial game.”

What do you like to eat? 

My best self eats kale, sweet potatoes, salmon, acai bowls. I love Honey Brains, Chop't, Sweet Greens, and the Whole Foods Salad bar. My busy self eats poke bowls from the Poke Spot (with zoodles!), Lucky Charms, and WelleCo Nourishing Protein Chocolate. Ever since you guys introduced me, I am in love.

Do you cook your own meals? 

Maybe a couple of times a week, I really don't have time. I have considered paying someone to do weekly meal prep for me, but then again, I like buying lunch because if I bring it I will NEVER go outside at all during the day. Buying lunch is my mandatory outdoor constitutional.

Are you a snacker?

I love Kombucha and Coffee (not together). I drink so much coffee - and try to drink double the water of coffee. Other than that, I am not much of a snacker.

What is your go-to when you need to dig hard for inspiration? 

Internet browsing and petting cats.

What makes you feel happy on the inside? 

My cats, new shoes, feeling a single breeze on a really stagnant humid day after a run with your eyes closed (pretty specific - but it is glorious), the smell of rivers when the sun is rising, an empty inbox.