Mela Blust on Creativity

Featured Artist Mela Blust is incredibly creative, working across a number of media, including photography, some of which is featured here.
AHP Assistant Editor Amanda McLeod chatted with Mela about her creative process.

Amanda McLeod: You work in so many creative media. Can you describe your ideal creative environment - what’s the perfect storm that gets your creativity fizzing?

Mela Blust: I am an art machine. So many things inspire - the sky, blood, geese in flight, religion, children dancing, crying, sunlight filtered though trees, pain - anything. I prefer my nest. I create at home, mostly alone, set to music.

AM: What are your poetic influences?

MB: I tend to write through darkness. Things that are painful, dark, and difficult...those always produce a poem.


AM: Writers and artists often talk about legacy. What do you hope to leave behind with your work - can you describe what YOUR legacy will look like?

MB: If one human being reads my work and they feel at home with their demons or they can come to terms with something...I will be content even in death. Growing up, I never truly felt understood. Humans spend their lives avoiding their darkness and, as a result, I think we lack an outlet for it. I think it needs to be normalized to reach down into the not-so-pretty, dusty corners of our hearts and pull out what's hiding there.

AM: If you were handed an open mic in front of your dream audience, which poem would you read? Why did you choose that one? 

MB: I would read "rattle". It is the story of my life. If any one poem could give you a synopsis of Mela, it's that one. "rattle" is forthcoming at The Sierra Nevada Review in late spring.

AM: What’s your writing process like? Talk us through how a poem might take shape for you.

MB: Sometimes I get a line or two in my head and I just sit down and write the whole poem. Or I
get a few lines in my head and they haunt me and I email them to myself. My email is a mess with fragments of poetry. My poems don't typically see a lot of editing. They edit me. I'm just the vehicle they ride to get here.