A number of factors conspire to help me create an idea. I need to be in an environment that lets me relax and dream. A place, physical or mental, where I can let go and surrender to the childlike perception of “anything goes”. The perception that there are no boundaries and no definitive “yes’s” or “no’s”. I don’t like to simply pull ideas of out my head, either. I draw inspiration from the current, like movies, magazines, and my personal favorite: the mall.
It was from one such outing to Modesto’s very own Vintage Faire Mall that the idea for HotPicks was born. Half a century old, I cruised through the store Hot Topic and thumbed popular music related magazines such as Revolver and Guitar World. I was looking for a hole, an in – an aspect of the guitar pick no one had seen or capitalized on.
The shape of the guitar pick never differed, even slightly. The 351, as its known, was designed over eighty years ago. And because I’d never played an instrument, never picked up a guitar, never strummed a line, I thought, “I’m gonna change that shape.”
I’d also noted that skulls were extremely popular. As I examined a skull sticker, I noticed that the shape of the skull looked kind of like a guitar pick could, if the tip of the chin was changed. And it hit me. I knew that if I wanted to break into this industry with something new, it had to be shocking, something edgy and cool. I was going to change the shape of the guitar pick into a skull.
“I’m going to change the shape!” I excitedly informed Rob. His response was decidedly less enthusiastic.
“Wait a minute,” he hesitated. “You can’t change the shape of the guitar pick. It functions in a specific way. It’s the way it’s always been. Changing the shape would require molds, which are expensive, and reeducating the public…”
But before he could derail the idea any further or throw up boundaries we normally surround ourselves with as adults, I had him play with a rough prototype I’d cut out of a credit card. It looked pretty badass – but would it play?
It did! And it had attitude. The skull had added elements that gave a new dimension to his play. He couldn’t believe it.
Where did we go from here?