:: Make and Meaning :: Meet Melvin

Written for Make and Meaning by MEETMEATMIKES on MAY 5, 2010
I think that it’s really important to have a creative approach.  A kind of tried and true methodology that you can turn to when you need to make, or get inspired, or start to straddle the territory between the two. There are books, blogs, seminars, tweet-fests, pod-casts and more,  all devoted to getting things cracking in the Department de Creative. We know that some people approach making haphazardly and perhaps quite fluidly, whilst others are incredibly disciplined in their thing-spinning strategy.  I am totally fascinated by these variables. routes and motivations.  I love the complexity of it all.  But I also think there are some super-simple approaches that we can try, aside from all that Content and all those outside influences.
How about this approach… let’s call it ‘The Unbuckling  Approach’,  just because a lot of us  like to pin labels on things.  If you like you can call it Melvin. Up to you.  Because it’s all about you.
The Unbuckling Approach is a way of tackling things based solely on your own resources, experiences, imagination and surrounds.  It involves sitting in your own real space, in your own time, in your own house and asking yourself for ideas.  It might involve coffee, tea, wine, music. It might not. Only YOU know that.  Do what’s true to you.
The only given is a commitment to sitting still and letting things wash over you.  I guess it’s the opposite of meditating, if I understand meditation correctly (I have NEVER meditated, let me be frank!)  This approach is all about trusting that you have really good ideas in you, ideas you have been storing away for a rainy day, ideas that are waiting to have their seat-belts unbuckled.  They are the kind of ideas that are full of life and promise, but also blessed with remarkably good manners.  They will reveal themselves if you would only take the time to ask them.
These ideas are not really conscious.  They are swimming about in the shady, cool recesses of your being waiting to reveal themselves.  The way they reveal themselves, indeed the order or process which leads you to them may defy logic.  But not all ideas are logical and indeed the way we think and create can often mimic the plot of Bowie-in-tights circa Labyrinth, so fear not.  These ideas are often so courteous, they may stay politely queued for an eternity if you do not take the time to call their number.
If you stop and ask yourself for ideas, if you sit still, unbuckle, soak things up, let your mind wander and take some time to trust yourself, ideas will bounce in and out like space-hoppers.  Like cheery, surreal Epiphanies they will show themselves.  You are their ringmaster, shall we say.   It is up to you to piece the grinning hopping Epiphanies together into something you want to work on.  That’s the cool part.   It’s also up to you to know that you have the good stuff in you, that Melvin is in the hood, so to speak.
Have you tried this?  Am I talking about you?  Do you know Melvin?
xx Pip

PS : I wrote this piece for the creativity blog Make and Meaning : but I would like to archive it on my own blog too!

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