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Idealog—in the ideas business

Win! Note to Self journals!

Note to Self journalsSam Thom wants you to get in touch with the writer, artist, designer and poet within. In an age of infinite screentime, he says nothing quite compares to the feeling of putting pen to a fresh page.

Thom says it was always a dream to start and run his own business, and in June 2010, the then-22-year-old put university aside to pursue making his own stationery brand (he's now returned to finish a Bachelor of Arts and is contemplating a commerce degree too). 

The result is the earthy Note to Self line of journals, made in New Zealand from environmentally-friendly materials. Unlike many, they're very much gender-neutral with just a burst of colour on the inside covers. There are two ranges: one for writers (lined) and one for artists (unlined). And at $26.99 for a set of three different sizes, they're affordable for both student types and those after a unique, quality gift idea.


We have three sets of the full Note To Self range (six journals) worth $60 each to give away. Leave  a comment below by May 30 and tell us who your creative idol is.

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Creative idol has to be Wes Anderson. The way he makes his movies stand out as not just great stories, but really strong 'design features' just makes me happy. And want to watch his movies over and over again.

My creative idol is John Banks.

It's an inspiration to watch him at work knowing that whether or not he is a genius or a complete bumbling idiot anyone in New Zealand can capture the spotlight in a live action impromptu political satire action.

Having just heard Michael Redwood from Special Group talk I would have to say he is particularly talented at thinking laterally on projects and turning creative ideas into viable campaigns for the corporate industry.

I have so many creative idols. I spend a lot of time looking at creative and artistic websites and magazines etc. I love illustration - I wish I had some peoples' talent! Slightly underground artists such as Rik Lee and Sara Blake do awesome work, and one artist who I adore is Francoise Nielly. His colours and work with faces is incredible. There are far too many people to name though. It amazes me every day how many people and companies are out there making beautiful and such cool things! Architects, clothing designers, industrial designers, typographers…the list goes on. I love them all!

Catherine Renolds

My dad who is a wild life artist in South Africa:-D

Justin Bieber. His hair is a work of art.

John Key - look at the creativity he brings to the words like truth, honour, honesty

Melanie Ballard

Karl Largerfeld - mental as anything yet a visionary designer, preserved entirely in diet coke, dresses only in black and white, with a cat called Choupette and a team of thousands. his quotes are hysterical “”I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.”

Gary Richardson
Gary Richardson

Simon Cowell. Just absolutely controls and influences - and creates - so much of our TV, web and music every day. Just about every hit group has either come from him, one of his creations, or in response to one of his actions.

Ludovic Lazareth

My idol is Philipp Keel who, in a similar vein to these diaries, created a response to having too much information and not enough meaning when he produced the Keel diary.
These type of Self Journals are essential for us to get a grip on our “techno-obsessed” lives, helping us to gain an insight into who we are, and why we do what we do. Can I win one of these, now, pleeeaaase ? I love a good scribble every once in a while !

id say late sir paul callaghan…a fighter idea-list scientist writer technologist do-er forger of new roads social commentator no holds barred….ill take that in any hairstyle or colour of coat.

Roberta Gledhill

Andy Warhol - for doing so much with so little.

I would also nominate the late, great Sir Paul Callaghan, who continually generated and spun off ideas - a creative efflorescence like solar flares!

Jules Verne.
He took science and adventure and made it amazing.

Vincent Van Gogh, I love the emotion he expresses in the texture of his paintings.

Audrey Hepburn - such style, grace and unsurpassed acting excellence!!

I adore Henri Cartier-Bresson - his photographic talent inspired me to throw caution the the wind and pursue my passion and become a photographer.

Some might not see him as being a creative idol but for me Steve Jobs is the epitomy of creativity. He inspired me to settle for nothing less than the best and to keep innovating.

Al Pacino - his acting inspires me to keep following my dreams

the one who created me. just to mention how my fingers creatively grown to each own length. make me able to hold things right.

Don Tapscott, for being a leading visionary and change agent in Education, Government, Wealth… the list goes on.

I'm not sure I could name just one creative idol but here is a great quote by Rachael Ray: My biggest influences are strong, creative woman that chart their own path, lead their own lives & drive the course of history.”

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Nothing inspires good writing more than profoundly beautiful music.

I love blogs. I have many who inspire me day to day. But my total fav is Ashley Ann from .. she is inspiring to me on a creative note but also as a mother. Makes me want to do good.

Spike Jonze. So many cool projects.

My creative idol would have to be the Spanish Architect Antoni Gaudi.
even though he passed in 1926 to this day builders are bringing his drawings to life. Every piece of work is absolutely amazing and a true inspiration. He showed passion in what he did and is a true idol of mine =)

ummm, that's a tricky one, so many I can't chose one - but I'll go for my friend Lisa Chandler, who has amazing tenacity and vision in her pursuit as an artist - and her paintings are great too!

my creative idol as a young graphic designer is Kate Moross. Her unique style which is sought after by large corporations and appeals to each person while maintaining a artistic flare. I hope to bring my flavor to such a large audience in the future.


Australian performer IOTA (seen and heard on NZ stages in the spectacular Smoke & Mirrors) is a multi-talented and highly creative performer who never ceases to stun with his innovative style. Clearly he has created his own niche, and I am truly happy that he has done so!

Banksy. He is soo creative in pushing the boundaries not just in an aesthetic sense, but socially and politically! Such simple representations yet so creative. Love it!

I love Flox!! Her art is incredible!

I love the jewellery designer Jose Bribiesca and Lois Ashton who together when the Architecture world got tough moved into making jewellery under the brand Ashton Bribiesca. Also, even though my husband hates these rings as they make hand holding potentially painful, he used elements of the design of Ashton Bribiesca rings when he was working with a Jeweller to design my engagement ring!

Diane von Furstenburg. Her biography is a great read and her success is truely inspiring.

Jean-Micheal Basquiat - his painting were like like jazz on canvas & that hair and style were in beatable.

Kiwis! New Zealanders are brilliant to watch - how you go back to your desk / shed / etc and grab a piece of No 8 wire and just go ahead and fix / solve and come up with some fantastic solutions. You're a big bunch of innovators. Just stop playing small: get up, pop your heads up above the field and start playing team and the world will be yours! Plenty of kiwi examples to follow: Peter Blake, Peter Jackson, etc!

I just admire my son who can make absolutely anything from Lego, its just so awesome to see him create stuff and he blows my mind when out of the blue he will have a creation like a monorail that really works, and justs this week he built a rifle which is amazing. During the height of the beyblade craze he built his own with launcher from lego bits. The creative uncaged mind of a child is awesome.

simply John Maeda

Francisco José de Goya (1746-1828) is a great inspiration for my printmaking. I particularly love his series Los Disparates (mad and absurd ideas) focusing on dark, dream-like scenes, political issues, traditional proverbs and the Spanish carnival.

my creative idol is anyone who works at or is involved in creating in the imaginary forces studio! (especially Karin Fong) They are master mind magicians when it comes to awesome animation and motion graphics… sooo much fun!

check it out

Jane Jacobs - An advocate for cities. She wrote 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' in 1960. It is the bible of community based urban design and went beyond planning to define the spirit of the times. She saved neighborhoods from bad planning……by being creative about design for people.

Mike Giant – The things he can do with just a sharpie are ridiculous.

My wife, Jasmin. She's created 5 humans, all who are masterpieces and have an exponential creative capacity. These 5 creations bring into our home music, art, science, sport, controversy and creativity. They bring joy, excitement, challenge and meaning. I actually do keep a hand written journal detailing these creative creatures - Sarai, Salem, Malachi, Ezra, Lia - created in NZ by Jasmin McKay.

Maurice Gee - whom we hounoured last night with a standing ovation at the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival. We all create our lives through story telling. Gee is simply a master of that art.

Journals are essential to creativity and the great New Zealand artist Len Lye knew that almost a century ago. He used to go to sleep with his journal under his pillow to encourage his sub-conscious to help him explore ideas he was investigating. Lye is inspirational to this day

without exception - that lady Mother Nature. Where ever, when ever, the natural environment has all the inspiration needed to do the right thing the right way. 'How on earth' did some of the forms, patterns and structures get created - totally inspiring if short of ideas - look at nature - its all there!

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