I’m sure every creative mind has experienced the dreaded ‘jigsaw moment’, the solution to a design problem lay in front of you, but there seems no way to fit the pieces together. James Webb Young advised in his advertising classic ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas’ to:
“…make absolutely no effort of a direct nature. You drop the whole subject and put the problem out of your mind as completely as you can… turn to whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions. Listen to music, go to the theater or movies, read poetry or a detective story.”
Or, for me it would seem, walk the pooch.
Taking my Jackadoodle Poppy out and getting away from the constant influx of emails, to-do lists, schedules and deadlines, helps distract from the day to day anxieties they provoke. It allows my mind just enough space to trail off into its subconscious nooks and crannies. It’s here that magic can happen. I’ll unexpectedly resolve a design problem I’ve been wrangling over, or discover a creative idea I didn’t know I had.
Not one to hail the benefits of exercise (gym IS a dirty word in my book) I’d prefer to put my subconscious provocation down to the things I see on the walk, rather than the walking itself. I’m distracted
by the small things, the paint peeling from a garage door, the numbers on a gate or perhaps the small gems that catch my eye on the pavement. Yes, I am a self-professed ‘street comber’ and sometimes I can’t deny the compulsion to rehome, repurpose and rejuvenate life into those precious little curiosities that speak to me from the pavement.
And so to stage 5 of Webb Young’s book
“…the stage which might be called the cold, gray dawn of the morning after. In this stage you have to take your little new-born idea out into the world of reality.”
Without further ado, I introduce the Junkomatic. An art project taking mixed media to it’s extreme, I’m planning to incorporate elements of Arduino, graphic design, print making and perhaps even sign painting to craft a coin-operated junk vending machine examining ideas of value, memory and belonging. I’ve unconsciously sauntered into the realms of psychogeography, and I think it’s a term that will fit this project well. Exploring my urban environment through its discarded artefacts. Historical fragments lost to the concrete, what secrets do they hold in the journey they’ve travelled so far? Disregarded and seemingly obsolete, yet refound and reimagined, will they take on new value and belonging?
Time to don my tool belt.