How a little less noise in our lives can allow us space to make insightful inspirations

Leaf it to the Turkeys Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020 ©

One day, on Facebook, I noted my neighbour having a bit of a rant about people who use leaf-blowers. I get on well with her and had to admit to her that while I rarely used it, I did in fact own one. Now if I am going to use it, I call out to see if she is home.


‘Oh, sorry. Just wanted to see if you were out. Wanted to use the leaf-blower’

Noise in our lives can be distracting, both literally and metaphorically. In a recent conversation with architect Troy Smyth, he gave me a very…

My-father-plays-dominos-better-than-your-father-plays-dominos Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

Except for Carpe Diem, My-father-plays-dominos-better-than-your-father-plays-dominos (said very quickly in a monotone), is all of the Latin that I thought I knew.

But it turns out there is another Latin phrase that I know: Vice versa, but now a common English phrase. Curiously while vice is a word in its own right, versa is not a word in English. It is, however, the name of a Digital Agency in Melbourne, specialising in Ai.

Kath Blackham, the founder of Versa, explains that the name is derived from the word conversation, literally the middle bit a discussion.

Kath had come to my attention…

Lemon Speed Racer Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Douglas Adams

This was our mantra when we were at university.
For me, though, it was more of a case of the sound of deadlines hurtling, seemingly out of no-where, towards me.

I recently had a conversation with Dani Venn, a celebrity chef who holds the dubious honour of been voted out of the Masterchef kitchen twice, both times whilst holding an immunity pin. Dani’s journey in becoming a self-taught chef gave me great insights into her creative process under pressure. I loved that Dani’s…

Old Hat at This Watercolour
Paul Fairweather 2020

My father wanted to be an archaeologist but was given no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps and study engineering. After retiring from a successful career as a local Government Engineer, he completed his Masters in Archaeology. He also took up painting and writing. He continued to volunteer for Local Government Engineers’ Association and Vinnies, but he never let any of those things define who he was or was not.

Some ideas just pop. Others just fizz out.

IDEASMITE Digital Graphic
Paul Fairweather 2018

Some ideas just pop. Others just fizz out.

This weeks episode of The Common Creative is Creative Fermentation. Chef Garry Flynn shares a story of his entrepreneurial adventure in making Elderflower Presse (soft drink). The thing about Garry’s story was that it, in the end, it was one tiny element blocked the soured the project.

I entered New Farm through a very small door.

I entered New Farm through a very small door. In 1995 I was living at Toowong but was spending a lot of time in New Farm, either eating at the Deli or drinking at Gertie’s with my good friends James and Peter.

James informed me that in his view the best way to get a foothold into a suburb was to rent the smallest piece of real estate possible, a post box.

So I secured one, and within a year, I had moved into New Farm and have been here ever…


Do you remember the feeling you had when you raised your hand in class to make a suggestion? Or the very moment when you posted a love letter and the envelope dropped into the postbox? When you pushed the button for your first (and maybe every) social media post? It is the feeling you get when you first show someone a drawing, or share an idea, or build up the courage to suggest your view in a meeting. It is when you hold up both your arms and say, “Look at me!” The feeling is hard to describe, but I…

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Inclinometer Watercolour 2020

When I was very young, one of my treasured possessions was a little telescope. It wasn’t powerful, but it was an exquisite, small object. It came in a little leatherette hard case with red velvet inside. And inside the case was this little silica gel sachet with the printed warning, DO NOT EAT.

I was always led to believe that contents were poisonous.

Reflective Sunday Watercolour Paul Fairweather 2020

Years ago, friends of mine had a very successful cafe in West End. One of the owners told me that Sunday was their best trading day, but it was a nightmare. Customers were fighting for tables, hungover or still drunk, abusing the staff and complaining about every little thing.

So they made the tough decision to not open on a Sunday.

There was a massive outcry from the customers, but within a month they were back to their same trading figures, and in the end, everyone was happier.

GOODBYE AUBERGINE Original Watercolour Paul Fairweather 2020

Last Monday, I started the week by painting an aubergine, the humble eggplant. Over the years, I have painted this unusual vegetable many times, continually amazed at the depth and changeability of the colour. At times almost black, but then a deep bluey purple and at other times, a crimson-purple, and always sort of iridescent.

One of my favourite quotes from Albert Einstein is:

Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no-one else has thought.”

As one of the critical aspects of creativity is looking at things differently, and the humble Aubergine is excellent to study…

Paul Fairweather

Writer Speaker Husband Dad Architect Artist,

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