Category Archives: Design

JDM Style Plates for


A little while back myPlates asked me to design some JDM inspired plate designs. These are the results, and most of the community is voting for design “B” which makes me happy as that’s the plate design I wanted passed.

I’ve had a few die-hard JDM fans critique the design though, suggesting it needs to be EXACTLY like plates in Japan in order for it to work. What these guys don’t realise is that I’ve had to work within very strict confines. IE: I can’t just print anywhere on a plate. There’s a strict grid of where content can go, where the numbers and letter have to go, etc. I also can’t use the Japanese font for letters and numbers as the letters and numbers on all plates in NSW have to pass number recognition technology (speed cameras and the like). Having said all that, with the huge amount of people voting for design “B” I’m sure I can push a little to have it as close as possible to the Japanese plate design. We’ll see!

Posted in Cars, Design | 7 Comments

Feng shui


I was in the hotel lift earlier today and noticed this framed certificate on the wall that proudly states that the Avalon Hotel here in Gothenburg, Sweden is Feng Shui Certified.

Despite the hotel being under covers on the outside (construction, or cleaning? I can’t be sure), I’ve been comfy ever since entering the front doors, and quite surprised that everything just seems to be in the right place.

The more I look, the more I see and understand what they’ve done. Rounding off sharp corners, the calming green curtains, the generous pile of pillows of different hardnesses. The in-house CD’s, one titled groovy, the other titled cozy.

I’ve always thought of Feng shui to be plain logic, it’s like any good design, when it’s really good you don’t even see it or question it as it just works so well. IE: When I entered my hotel room I was just comfy, straight off the bat. Now that I’ve seen the Feng Shui Certified poster on the wall I’ve gone through my hotel room in a little more detail and I swear, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Hooks: There are places to hang things everywhere. My layers of clothes have a place to hang, as opposed to putting them on a chair or the bed (mess). There are even more places to hang things in the bathroom, towels (which are massive!) wherever you like (one hook close to the shower makes sense) and hooks to keep your clothes off the floor where they could get wet.

Bathroom: The buttons to flush the toilet are behind the lid. IE: You have to close the toilet lid to flush the toilet. It’s a smart move as keeping the toilet lid shut is good Feng shui. Why? Well you’ve heard the complaints many women make about guys leaving the lid up, or people dropping things into the loo by accident, and then there’s Mia, my cat who tends to like drinking out of the bowl. There’s a little bin next to the toilet, it’s raised off the floor, so too the toilet brush holder. This makes cleaning the floor around the toilet easy. Again, its the little things.

Whilst I can see the logic behind most of the common Feng shui tips I’ve heard of, the one that alludes me is stepping in shit, or being shat on, which the Chinese say is good luck. Come to think of it, now I’m certain that stepping in shit or being shat on has anything at all to do with Feng shui!


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2015 begins now

Another amazing Luca Ionescu piece for my walls!

In just the span of a few minutes I’ve received an amazing framed Like Minded Studio print in the mail from LYNX (looks like the LYNXPERX dealio I’m on is coming good!), managed to work on a deal for a new set of semi’s for my GT-R (finally!) and I’ve also been invited to an all expenses paid flight to QLD and test out some new rubber on WRX’s and VW Golfs at a race track next month.

Looks like my plans for starting the year off in February have just gone out the window!

Posted in Cars, Design, Spam | 1 Comment


Who doesn’t love free goodies in the mail?!

There were 2 big wooden boxes (both of which instantly filled my lounge room with great scents). One had a whole lot of Lynx gear in it.

Under all that gear was this rad Sheryo x The Yok T (which I ended up wearing all day in town today).

The other was rather fancy, with a golden latch, and inside a comb, mirror, brush and a sliding compartment which reveals Lynx’s new hair products (very cool).

I’ve never used antiperspirants before, but the stuff in this picture I’m definitely going to use on a daily basis. Hair stuff, 2 types of Shampoo & Conditioner in one and 2 different types of body wash too. For more info on this gear, visit LYNX.

Posted in Design | 3 Comments


New Photography Portfolio.

I’m a WordPress guy (well, an HTML guy actually, wish I could turn back time and dominate the web like I did once in the 90’s lol), but recently I’ve been thinking about setting up a photography folio of some sort as tumblr is just not cutting it (6 months into shooting and I’ve got too many images now, and with tumblr I can’t re-organise or sort images).

I started looking into some WordPress base themes but failed to find the right solution (short of hacking to death and using plugins to make it all happen). My developer flatmate suggested I look at Squarespace. I did some research, played with a demo for a few hours and found it pretty damn impressive in regards to getting your content onto a site as quickly and as easily as possible. It’s a bit buggy, and starts to take a toll on your browser (I had to close the window a couple of times and log back in to get it up to speed again).

You can check out my work in progress so far (I signed up for 12 months at around $170 with the use of a coupon code). PS: NSFW Nudity Warning!). Visit:

Posted in Design, Photography | 2 Comments

Ogilvy Talk

Ogilvy entrance.

Hey it’s Brian! Brian was speaking too, about his new company Common Ventures.

Aus Infront on the big screen.

I’m on a high from a talk I gave at Ogilvy earlier today. Every fortnight Ogilvy have a Lunch & Learn event where everybody gets together and somebody presents on a chosen topic. The whole point is not just to learn, but be inspired.

I was invited to talk on the topic of Start-Ups / Small Businesses. Basically following your passion/dream, breaking out of the mould, pursuing something, tuning it into a business and making it successful.

Of-course I had a lot to say about the topic. Starting with Australian INfront through to Zen Garage, of finding happiness by being in the moment of doing what you love.

Conversations with Pauline helped to get me in the right frame of mind for this talk. I found myself patting myself on the back driving on route to Ogilvy, not just after the talk driving home.

I only had 15 minutes. I’m more used to having an hour to present! I had to take big chunks out, but I shared a little, showed a little and I had an absolute blast. A quick Q&A at the end let me say a little bit more, which was great. I just wished there was more time as I love any opportunity to speak (haha!).

Posted in Design, Spam, Zen Garage | 1 Comment

Zen Bamboo iPhone cases



Super happy with these Zen Bamboo iPhone cases made by Melbourne based company Natural Aspirations. Each one is different to the other, and lovingly hand made to order. They’re really thin too, and the quality is AMAZING.

I couldn’t sleep last night. At 3AM I was in bed playing with my phone, ran out of things to do on it (lol) so I thought, OK Apple… I’ll fucking update the iOS. I hit that update button and BOOOOM, the phone went into recovery mode instantly. I don’t often have my phone connected to iTunes so I’ve lost a LOT of images, messages, contacts etc as my last back-up was earlier in the year.

At least my iPhone looks hot now with this new case…

Find them in our online shop:

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Eames Aluminium Group

Nyaw Mia!

I scored 2 amazing Eames Aluminium Group chairs today. Mum’s moving into a much smaller house and can’t fit these in her new home so she’s very generously given them to me. These chairs were designed in 1958, unbelievable right?! They’re so modern, corporate, fantastic lines, timeless!

Posted in Design, House | 2 Comments

Semi-Permanent Sydney 2014

Andrew and Murray have done so well. Really proud of both guys.

Semi’s now held at CARRIAGEWORKS, which is a much more suitable home than the old Darling Harbour Convention Centre.

Ved and I hit Semi-Permanent today to catch Tony Hawk speak. Tony was so chill, modest but really proud as well. His theory, that if you’re doing something you love you’re already winning, rings true in relation to Zen and the future. Big time!

I’ll be at Semi over the next few days. Conferences are funny beasts. To get the most out of them you really need to sit through every single presentation, because it’s usually the speakers you least expect that blow your mind and change your life forever.

Having said that I won’t be attending all the talks this year, but intend to get as much out of the talks I see as I can.

PS: I had a mate ask why the hell I wasn’t the one speaking at one of these events, to which I replied I have spoken at Semi-Permanent, in front of 3,000 people no less and yes, I’m damn proud of it!!!

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The Death of Facebook

11 Million reach/week.

Facebook have killed the reach on commercial pages, and are now forcing page owners to pay to get their posts out in front of their fans.

About a month ago the Zen Garage Facebook Page saw massive spikes in reach. We were reaching 10 million people a week (!), and our likes were going up 1000 a day. A lot of others were experiencing something similar. I even witnessed people who had no interest in Facebook at all, all of a sudden become Facebook addicts (who else doesn’t find getting a billion likes and shares on a post you make a lot of fun?).

Then, even quicker than the reach came, it died and we literally went from millions of reach a week back to 100,000 reach a week. This happened over a week. Our likes though, for reason started to ramp up and went from 1k a day to 2k a day then just a few days ago that too died in dramatic fashion. Someone at Facebook turned something off as we went from 2k likes in one day to no likes at all on one day, then 3 likes the next day and only around 80 likes a day right now.

To put things into perspective: Zen’s Facebook Page was getting 2k likes a day organically, and now it’s getting none, and if I pay Facebook for more likes it costs $50 a day for an estimated 200 likes a day. Get fucked.

I’ve been somewhat proud of the social media marketing skills I’ve developed over the past few years. Building communities is what I’m best at and Facebook has been one of the largest “new” tools I’ve invested a lot of time and work into, but I just can’t help but feel absolutely ripped off. This is phishing at it’s worst. I understand that Facebook has to make money, but it’s how they’ve gone about it that’s wrong.

Honest truth is I’ve been dreading the thought of looking back over the past few years of my life and realising that I spent all of it on Facebook. That’s been a very real fear of mine for the past couple of years, perhaps I should feel lucky I’ve only really lost 2 years to Facebook, and not a whole lot more.

I know what I have to do moving forward. It involves a whole lot of work fucking harder, just like I did in the old days. Am I bitter? A bit, but I’ve got no one to blame but myself really.

Posted in Design, Zen Garage | 5 Comments