Life Drawing Class

The power of life drawing as a tool for self-acceptance

Fancy getting your kit off in front of a group of artists keen to draw your every curve?

Before you shout “hells no”, there’s a chance you could be swayed after getting the goss on the Gold Coast’s latest initiative led by two passionate and inspirational women.

Bobby Napier and Jesse McDonald are the brains behind Sketch Marks, a unique program of empowerment designed to liberate ladies battling body image and self-esteem by incorporating the art of life drawing.

Sketch Marks is all about finding self-love, body confidence and power and both Bobby and Jesse have poured their heart and soul into this project.

Their ‘Reframe’ program is designed to change the way women perceive, and relate to, their body. Using mindfulness techniques and lessons derived from Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Bobby and Jesse are so confident in what they teach; they believe there’s no doubt they will have you seated in the artist’s studio completely naked and comfortable in your own skin!

On completion of the four-week program, participants pose as an artist’s muse for a small group of professional and emerging artists, and receive some of the artworks created on the night, to see themselves interpreted, rather than represented; appreciated rather than advertised, and understand their body is a work of living art.

During the life drawing session, the model is encouraged to share her story and her struggle openly to break down the barrier between artist and model.

If you’d like to join the Sketch Marks movement – as a life model or an artist – be sure to follow Sketch Marks on Facebook.

Editor’s Note: This article is for general information and entertainment, and is the expressed opinion of the author and not a paid advertisement. Be sure to check current addresses, opening hours and contact information directly with the venue/service in advance of any booking/purchase.

Botanical Bizaar Community Garden Talk

Botanical Bazaar is the hottest gardening festival to hit the Gold Coast

The Coast’s biggest gardening festival rolls into town this September – and Botanical Bazaar is proof, gardening isn’t just for grannies!

Designed to educate and inspire, Botanical Bazaar will showcase urban gardening, sustainable living and the best botanicals to hit the market this season.

Browse over 100 green exhibitors’ including homewares, bee-themed vendors, kokedamas, flowers, vegie pods and hear from celebrity gardeners on how to keep your outdoor garden or indoor jungle flourishing.

Get creative with workshops including flower crown classes and meet succulent sisters and insta-sensations – KT & Biddy – with hints and tips on how to design your own indoor urban jungalow.

Grab your posse, head along and enjoy a relaxing day at Nerang’s beautiful community gardens with live music, food, drinks and more plants then you can poke a stick at.

Botanical Bazaar is on Sunday September 16, 9am to 4pm at Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang.

Avoid the queues and pre-purchase your tickets online now at

Editor’s Note: This article is for general information and entertainment, and is the expressed opinion of the author and not a paid advertisement. Be sure to check prices, addresses, opening hours and contact information directly with the venue/service in advance of any booking/purchase.

Gold Coast Sunrise

Conquering self-sabotage

From the moment you wake up you have a choice: you can either be on your own team or not.

You can choose to feel overwhelmingly let down by the world – that’s easy. Switch on the news and you’ll be bombarded with a constant stream of human beings treating each other poorly. Sadly, we are not hard-wired to be kind to each other.

Or, you can take a breath, return your focus to your own life and really back yourself to fill your potential.

Feeling overwhelmed by the world paves a very easy way to let yourself feel powerless. Your inner voice will take over as it chants negativity to you. Fear will rule you and you can waste your whole life being held back by it.

We all have a critical inner voice. I wish I’d known sooner that I didn’t have to listen to mine, let alone be a slave to it.

Now I understand that a destructive thought process is often ruling people who engage in addictive behaviour. That is known as our critical inner voice. It tells you, you’re not good enough, you’re unlovable, or you’re a nuisance to everyone around you. This can either lead you to living a life on pause, not fulfilling your full potential or down the path of self-destruction (drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, for instance).

It’s also known as the “anti-self”. So, it’s that part of you that isn’t actually helpful and isn’t operating in your own self-interest.

When that critical, super judgemental inner voice takes control of your life, your decisions and your thinking, it can pull down anything you begin to build. It can lead you to tear apart meaningful relationships, push anyone who gets close away, self-harm or self-punishment in a range of ways.

Psychologists say that this “anti-self” is shaped by early life experiences. What we’re told when we’re very young can shape our core beliefs about ourselves. We accept them as being true.

Realising that is the very first step to overcoming self-sabotage – recognising that it’s there and how long you’ve accepted falsehood as truth.

This is why I frequently write about how liberating it is when you realise that you are not your thoughts. Your inner voice may like to start running wild and telling you all sorts of stories, but they’re not actually true.

There is a beautiful moment of awakening when you realise that, in fact, you’ve been sabotaging yourself all along. Those quiet, whispering thoughts aren’t correct. They don’t know it all. They’re not helpful. They’re limiting you and you don’t have to listen to them.

Recognise it. Challenge it. And then start to work on self-compassion.

Everything you need to know about Domayne’s HUGE one-night sale!

This Thursday Domayne Bundall is hosting their annual ‘Domayne at Home’ event where for one night only, shoppers will be treated to store-wide discounts, canapés, drinks and style advice from two of Australia’s leading magazine editors.

This really is a shopping event like no other!

Along with store-wide discounts, shoppers will have the chance to win a massive 50 per cent off their purchase on the night.  One lucky person will also win a stunning getaway for two to the swanky Byron at Byron Resort and Spa.

And if that wasn’t enough reason to flick your Thursday night plans, then this will be.  Style enthusiasts will be able to learn from the best in the business with Vogue Australia’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann and Vogue Living editor Rebecca Caratti on hand to chat all things fashion and home trends.

Edwina McCann, editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia (left) and Rebecca Caratti, editor of Vogue Living (right) will be on hand to give advice on the latest trends

Edwina McCann, editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia (left) and Rebecca Caratti, editor of Vogue Living (right) will be on hand to give advice on the latest trends

With more than 20 years’ experience in the luxury fashion market, Edwina is one of the most respected and highly regarded editors in Australia. What Edwina doesn’t know about fashion, simply isn’t worth knowing.  She has been the editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia since 2012 and earlier this year was appointed Editorial Director of the Conde Nast brands in Australia – encompassing Vogue, Vogue Living and GQ.

Rebecca has an equally impressive repertoire of experience in all things design, interiors architecture, lifestyle, travel, and entertaining.

Together, Rebecca and Edwina will share the latest fashion and home trends to come out of Milan and how these trends will transform home interiors and outdoor summer spaces in Australia.

Brenton Lawrence, former Australian rugby league footballer and now an ambassador for Tempur and the player Wellbeing Manager for the Gold Coast Titans, will also be making an appearance.

Fancy sipping drinks while you shop up a storm in true VIP style? Then make it a date at Domayne’s exclusive ‘Domayne at Home’ event this Thursday from 6 – 9.30pm.

Get your personal invitation delivered to your inbox now…

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This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by Domayne Bundall


Lonely path beach

Why don’t we talk about loneliness?

Considering it’s so common, loneliness is not something we often discuss. It can conjure up images of an elderly person sitting alone and has unhelpful connotations of being unpopular. None of these come close to reality.

Feeling isolated can have nothing to do with your age, how many friends you have around you, or even how busy your social life is.

The more I’ve read to learn about depression the more loneliness crops up as a contributing factor. This makes sense when you consider that lack of connection in any form can be the beginning of feeling isolated. So, feelings of loneliness and lack of connection can precede depression and floundering mental health.

Being alone and being lonely isn’t the same thing. There’s a notable difference between loneliness that’s draining and upsetting compared to restorative, chosen solitude.

Writing for Psychology Today, Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project identifies seven types of loneliness:

  1. New-situation loneliness. Such as moving to a new city or starting a new job.
  2. I’m different loneliness. Confronting feelings of standing alone.
  3. Being single loneliness. Of course there’s nothing wrong with being single but some miss having an intimate attachment.
  4. No animal loneliness. Felt after losing a much-loved animal.
  5. No alone time loneliness. You may have lots of friends around you but don’t feel that close connection.
  6. Un-trustworthy loneliness. Sometimes in life you can start to doubt that your friends closest to you actually have your best intentions at heart.
  7. Quiet presence loneliness. This is why some people struggle to live alone – they prefer to have the quiet company of another human being around even if they’re not in the same room or talking.
  8. These are all worth thinking about if you have a feeling of loneliness that you just can’t shake.

It’s worth investing time in really trying to identify what the root cause of your loneliness is. What is really driving your feelings? Is your loneliness causing unhappiness? If so, that’s something to address as lingering loneliness is not good for our mental health.

Psychologists often say that feeling connected to others is a key part of happiness. In this respect, the old cliché is true, turning the spotlight away from yourself and giving to others can be really rewarding. Volunteering can tick several boxes because you’re filling a need within your own community and making connections at the same time. Double win!

If you’re used to spending a lot of time alone, and have a feeling that it’s no longer serving you well, you may need to remind yourself to make time for others if you need to until it becomes a habit.

Some people are naturally more sociable than others but you don’t have to swing from one extreme right over to the other. Little pockets of time with others can start to break down that wall. A quick chat with a neighbour on your morning walk or with the person who makes your coffee can chip away at feelings of isolation. You don’t have to suddenly cram your diary with events and late nights!

As with many things in life, being aware of loneliness can be the beginning of changing it. By its nature, loneliness can make people feel more negative or critical so they may push friends away rather than seeking them out. Even taking that on board can be the start of fixing it.