Eric “Mean” Melin

Eric “Mean” Melin

Eric “Mean” Melin

Senior Social Media Community Manager, Callahan Creek

Eric Melin is an Air Guitar World Champion and TEDx speaker who espouses the creative virtues and fire-in-the-belly inspiration that can be derived from air guitar. He’s also an award-winning business communicator and social media community manager at Callahan Creek. For two years, Eric was social media chair for AAF-KC, and is the President of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Perhaps he is best known as the 2013 World Air Guitar Champion, and a tireless ambassador for the sport of competitive air guitar—and its dream of achieving world peace.

Presentation Topic: Challenging Assumptions in Creative Problem-Solving (To Achieve Airness)
For creative professionals, there’s that dreaded moment where it feels like you’ve hit a brick wall. You’ve looked long and hard at the problem, but every answer that comes out feels rote and uninspired.

In his role as Senior Social Media Community Manager at ad agency Callahan Creek, Eric Melin applies appropriate brand voice and solves customer problems every day, but the biggest creative challenge of his life was the road to becoming an Air Guitar World Champion.

This talk dissects the very real strategy behind a very unreal competition and finds all kinds of commonalities with ad life. Its subject may be absurdly specific, but its themes are broad, and it resonates with anyone in the creative field who has come up against extreme mental block in their professional life.

This presentation—besides going through a brief and hilarious history of the air guitar—talks about maintaining your passion while going through the arduous steps of any creative process. Epiphanies rarely happen in a bubble. Sometimes that light-bulb moment only happens after much research, trial and error, and some hardcore critical thinking about the problem.

Good creative is more than “raw talent.” It’s talent and strategy. Even in something as inherently absurd as air guitar, you still have to create a plan and execute it.

A recent Cambridge study illustrated that playing air guitar is highly beneficial to the creative mind. It frees up actual musicians to think beyond the limitations of the instrument, and it improves creativity. This talk will show you how to go beyond perceived limitations and embrace absurdity in your creative problem-solving. It will also leave you excited and inspired to create your own breakthroughs.

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