Recipe for Creativity: Willy Wonka, Jelly Belly, and Avoiding the Freeways

“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it in dew,      

cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?”

“The candyman. The candyman can.
The candyman can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”

Maybe I just love candy way too much, but those lyrics are brilliance. He ‘mixes it with love.’ Folks, he ‘makes the world taste good.’

Goodness. I’ve got to watch it. Thankfully, somebody took the time to put it on YouTube…

Grow down. Let’s take a few minutes and watch it together… (if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, at least watch around 1:58 when a little girl gets an unintentional uppercut by the countertop.)

Though most of us will never meet Mr. Wonka (or Gene Wilder), we may meet David Klein. He truly made the world taste good when he reinvented the jelly bean in the 1970’s with his famous brand Jelly Belly. Klein’s story is expertly told in the film of his life Candyman: The David Klein Story.

Quotes from Mr. Klein to feed your creativity…

“I always like to do things in new ways. Always.”

“I like to be as creative as possible in anything that I do.”

“I never like traveling freeways. I like going side streets because you’d see something different every time. You go on the freeway, you eliminate your choices.”

Quirky, childlike, and a bit of a salesman, Klein revolutionized a few simple ingredients and, yes I’m gonna say it, made the world taste good.

Isn’t that what we want as creatives? We want to take our creativity… our screenplays, our recipes, our sales presentations, our paintings, our teachings, our pottery, our books… we mix them with some passion and love, and we want to see a change in someone by what we do.

We want to enliven the senses of the world with our creativity.

For Wonka/Klein, they did it with candy through the five senses. They truly made the world taste good. I’m so glad they did. So glad, in fact, that I’ll most likely eat some candy in their honor today.

I’m curious. Why do you create? Why spend the time, the work, the energy?

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Candy is Art, Candymakers Artists

Walking into an old time candy shop is like walking into an enveloping fog of pure joy.

I think I’d like to own a candy shop like that. Maybe when I’m like 70 and am a weird old man. The kids would say ‘let’s go see that crazy candy guy.’ Yeah, I wouldn’t mind being known as the crazy candy guy with the cool candy shop.

My adorable nephew exemplifies how I feel about sweets. You do me proud Joshy!

Names for my shop:

Candy is joy.

Joy Candy.

I Candy? Maybe not.

Candy is a comfort. Seeing and feeling and smelling all the lovelies in the bulk aisle of a grocery store–too much. Puts me on the edge of acceptability. Almost can’t take it.

Look at it–it’s sole purpose is to tantalize the senses. The color, the texture, the carefully orchestrated scents and smells. Come on.

Candymakers are artists unrealized.

What’s not to love? How can someone not like candy? It’s like saying “I don’t like color, joy, and anything other than my job.” This person is an alien. Or they’ve divorced themselves from their true passions.

One of my passions is candy. Not that I sit around and eat it all the time. Sometimes I just look at it or think about it, and after an hour or two of that, it’s time to move on to something else. Maybe taffy instead of the chocolate.

Oh, chocolate. We live in a town where they make M & M’s and man, when the wind blows just right, we’re breathing in chocolate. Little bits of it.

Incidentally, that’s what always grossed me out so much about farts–the thought of where that smell came from and the science of why I’m smelling it–too much. Particles from that place are floating around and entering into my nose. Actual. Particles.

So I’d rather be smelling chocolate. Or fudge. But not that other thing.