I Made a Mess

Lookit! I trashed my living room:

and I have just barely gotten started.

I wasn’t going to do Mystery Build this year.  I had a huge time last year, when the theme was “Interpret a Song.”   They give you a box full of mystery supplies, and a deadline, and then you take it away and stare at everything for a while, and mess up a whole bunch of sketch models, do a little cursing, give up in despair, start again, enjoy it, and end up with  something to show everyone.  (Kind of like design school, actually.) Last year I won $50, which I spent on a ticket to see Willie Nelson, and a free Mystery Build kit for this year’s contest.

They mailed me my 2012 kit the week before Christmas, and I got really excited, and it sat under my Christmas tree.  It has been staring at me for eight months, and I totally had a plan, and then I got  sidetracked, and haven’t felt especially creative.  I haven’t made anything more complicated than a baked tomato with egg in the middle since Memorial Day.  I couldn’t even think about a contest.  It sounded too hard.  It seemed too close.  It seemed like it would involve leaving my couch.

And then I had a whole week in which I got to sleep, and go to yoga, and camp in the mountains, and hear lots of music, and everybody was nice to me.  I was sitting at my desk yesterday, and BAM! like that, I wanted to make something.  I wanted to go home and rip open my Mystery Build kit and see what I could do with it.  I wanted to make little models, and glue things together, and paint things.  All at once I felt creative again. Whew.  That didn’t even take very long, in the grand scheme of things.

Note: nothing you see in that mess on my floor is from this year’s kit.  What’s in this year’s kit is a total secret. Don’t even ask.  I’m really good at keeping secrets, unless they’re my own, which is why I don’t have any secrets.

This year’s theme is “Your Favorite Movie.”  I narrowed it down to my top ten. I was going to do Cinema Paradiso, because that really is my favorite movie; however, I’ve never been able to convince a single other human being to watch it.  Seriously.  It’s a love song to all movies, everywhere.  It’s a multigenerational bromance.  It is a sweet and innocent love story, with a bit of mystery, and it has one of the most beautiful scores ever written.  It also has the best last scene of any movie I’ve ever seen, and people, I have seen some movies.  I spent eight months trying to figure out how to make a sculpture about it.  Couldn’t do it.   Complete artistic block.

I also considered The Philadelphia Story, Guys and Dolls, Fight Club, North by Northwest, The Shawshank Redemption, or, best guilty pleasure movie of all time, Fletch. As in,

“What’s your name?”


“What’s your full name?”

“Fletch. F. Fletch.”

“What do you do, Mr. Fletch?”

I’m a shepherd.”

I take it back.  I will own Fletch proudly. It is an excellent movie.  But I’m not making a sculpture about it.

And so: one month to Mystery Build.  It’s not too late to enter.  You can get your kit here.

Better get started.

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