I'm trying to create a wavy, psychedelic text effect. Tutorials on YouTube say that I need to be able to use the "Create Gradient Mesh" option under "Object" but when I select Object, Create Gradient Mesh isn't highlighted or able to be accessed in any way. I have updated my version of Illustrator and I'm using my desktop, not working off my tablet (where this isn't an option at all).
I'm very determined to learn this particular effect so any help is very gratefully appreacitated.
It's not clear whether you've tried to make a gradient mesh directly from a type object, but that is not possible; nor is it possible to make a gradient mesh from compound paths, which is what you get by creating outlines or expanding type. Even if you release these compounds, any letter containing a counter (hole) will still be a compound path. If you release those compound paths, you have the problem of how to put the counters back once you've grouped the letter-shaped paths and created the gradient mesh.
My suggestion is to make the gradient mesh from a much simpler shape such as a rectangle or ellipse, Arrange the type object on top of it, select both, and create a clipping mask.