How to be an explorer of the world.

How to be an explorer of the world.

August can often be a bit of a dead time in theatre unless you are up at Edinburgh, so thought I’d chat a little about one of my favourite books which brings me tons of inspiration.

How To Be an Explorer Of The World focuses on seeing inspiration in the banal and every day, something that here at Pop Heart we always use within our own work. Its written by Kerri Smith who is also the author of the more famous Wreck This Journal. A main mantra of the book is EVERYONE IS AN ARTIST. We all have the capacity to create, every single one of us, all of us possess our very own view of the world, isn’t that cool?  I wanted to share some exercises from the book, some adapted into my own thing too. Ps I basically steal her ideas all the time when I have a creative block, they are so helpful for a starting point.

Found sounds

Wherever you are sitting right now, how many sounds can you hear? Count them, list them, or write them down. You could make a story up about one of them, why is the sound being made etc? How does a particular sound make you feel? What would that sound look like if it was a monster? Draw it. Inspired by these ideas we ended up making a soundscape of facebook statuses and used it in our last Fringe show Am I F#*kable.

Document anything and everything.

What you had for dinner, overheard conversations, what you are wearing, people you see, different paving stones, safety signs, socks, dogs in the park, clouds, different shaped windows. Whatever catches you eye today write in down/draw it/ take a photo. You never know what it might inspire! Which leads me to….


Leaves, (I love leaves) stones, rubbish, cuttings from the newspaper of a certain colour, adverts from old magazines, different fonts, letters, bills, food packaging. A shoe box of findings put into whatever order seems appropriate to you is an exciting starting point for any piece of work and a cute way of documenting your day, your week, or your thoughts.

Now forgive me if I’m starting to sound a little odd, “what have you been doing today?” “Oh, I spent an hour cutting out pictures from a newspaper and then I made a collage.” I actually do that. We are surrounded by interesting objects and ephemera every second of every day, things we take for granted because they are so normal to us. But we all can tap into the best resource of all- our imagination, and use paper, pen, scissors, glue, or whatever is your bag to channel those findings into a piece or a journal.  Whether you are doing it to find inspiration or because it’s just fun, its super healthy (and interesting) to look at the world with fresh eyes, or as I like to call it- my art goggles.

What does the world look like through your Art Goggles?




Collage from using a page from a 1970s book about make plus felt tips!


Prints made from found objects.