I’m going to let you in on a little secret, a very personal and very hidden secret… I’m a nerd. I know it will come to a shock to anyone who knows me, has seen the Iron Man standing on my desk at work, or the pictures of me and my daughter in matching Superman outfits. More importantly I am a creative nerd, and I have a similar story as the one Adam Savage from Mythbusters shared in this weeks video, except instead of wanting to be Han Solo I wanted to be Superman.
When I was sixteen I carved an octagonal disk out of wax with strange symbols in it, put it in a mold, melted it out, and shot molten silver into the leftover hole using a spinning crucible. After the metal cooled it was sanded and polished until I had a replica of a piece of Clark Kent’s ship from Smallville that acted as some sort of alien hard drive. To quote Savage “it gets better.” I made a wooden holder for the disk, embedded it into my bedroom wall, painted the wall to look like stone, painted kryptonian symbols on top of the stone, and wired the holder to play sound from my stereo when the disk was put in the holder.
Like I said, nerd. But as dorky as this project was it made me as happy as it made my parents mad (I went the “ask for forgiveness” route). Also like Savage I have continued making things from movies and original art.
Ultimately I agree with Savage, that there is no real difference between creating original things or replicas. They are both creative, require real skill, and can give you a sense of happiness. Both types of projects give me the same satisfaction and helped hone the same kinds of skills. I was equally happy when I designed the SJSU ALASC library t-shirt as I was making the Smallville disk, the only real difference is one project is vastly more socially acceptable to show off.