We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Bindon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melanie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. From a young age, I’ve been interested how visual art and the creative process can communicate in ways that are open to many interpretations full of individualized meaning generated from the same stimulus. Nurturing this passion has always seemed like a clear path forward for me as it is how I process the world around me, my experiences, and the experiences of others. Art is a great place to creatively problem solve, to bring light and wonder into a person’s day, to empathize and share our visions, opinions, and dreams. By centering creativity in my career, I can live in the realm of the fantastical, the intentional, and variety that creation brings every day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I create to engage, inspire, and aid the imaginative expression of all people. I love the overlap between traditional and contemporary materials and methods of creation. Collaborating with other artists from a variety of disciplines is a personal passion especially when creating works that invite viewers to actively engage and participate in their experience. I am most proud of my work when it feels challenging and slightly uncomfortable to create because taking risks with your work is important for authenticity and improvement. To make it to where I am today, I had to continually push into areas where I felt vulnerable or a tendency to shy away as this guttural feeling often serves as an indicator of something that should be explored. Reflecting on both my successes and failures with an open mind for constructive criticism has led me to understand what works and what doesn’t. It has not always been easy but it has always helped to know that the art is in the process not the product and each step forward has continued to be full of meaning even when it is a challenge. I’ve learned that it is important to show up every day because the muse can only present herself when you are working. Not everyone will appreciate what you create but if you share your work, those who do will find you. I want the world to know that creativity is for everyone and that playing is a lifelong way that humans learn, explore, and connect.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a close friend was visiting Denver, I would search for off-center Broadway shows, take them for a dance night at the Mercury Café, eat at Torchy’s Tacos and Jerusalem Restaurant, get out to the mountains for dispersed camping, visit the hot springs, and relax on my front porch to have a deep conversation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have helped mentor my creative growth over the years. The support of my local creative community has helped my reach where I am today and I continue to be grateful for the role each artist and organization has played in my development. A huge shoutout to Cory Gilstrap of Imagined Creations for nurturing my development as an emerging artist in the Denver area. I first met Cory through a Design and Build internship at the Museum of Outdoor Arts and have since had the pleasure of co-teaching together, working on large scale puppets, and appreciate him as both a mentor and friend.