Spark & Fire: Epic Creative Stories-logo

Spark & Fire: Epic Creative Stories

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Creativity. It’s as mysterious and elusive to humans as love. We stalk it. We crave it. We try to bring it out in ourselves. Every creative work you’ve ever loved has a hero’s journey behind it. Whether it’s a book or a building. A movie, a mural, a musical. It starts with a spark. Then: Endless iteration. Inevitable setbacks. Magical people who appear to help. And the breakthrough idea — that takes on a life all its own. On Spark & Fire, for the first time ever, you’ll hear what was happening in the mind of a creator as they brought their iconic work to life. But this isn’t an interview show. It’s a story — told entirely in the artist's own words — against the backdrop of originally composed music of the prepared piano. In Season One, you’ll hear from Yo-Yo Ma on the Silk Road Project, director Rian Johnson on making Knives Out, Isabel Allende on The House of the Spirits, Kemp Powers on Pixar’s Soul, architect Thomas Heatherwick on The Vessel, choreographer Bill T. Jones on Afterwardsness, book designer Chip Kidd on the cover of Jurassic Park, executive producer Kamilah Forbes of the Apollo Theatre, Susan Orlean on The Orchid Thief and more. With host June Cohen — cofounder of WaitWhat, former executive producer of TED Talks and co-host of the TED conference — in her first hosting role since TED. What really happens on the road to success? You’re about to find out. Let these epic stories spark your own creative journey. Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original series in exclusive partnership with Skillshare. www.sparkandfire.com

Creativity. It’s as mysterious and elusive to humans as love. We stalk it. We crave it. We try to bring it out in ourselves. Every creative work you’ve ever loved has a hero’s journey behind it. Whether it’s a book or a building. A movie, a mural, a musical. It starts with a spark. Then: Endless iteration. Inevitable setbacks. Magical people who appear to help. And the breakthrough idea — that takes on a life all its own. On Spark & Fire, for the first time ever, you’ll hear what was happening in the mind of a creator as they brought their iconic work to life. But this isn’t an interview show. It’s a story — told entirely in the artist's own words — against the backdrop of originally composed music of the prepared piano. In Season One, you’ll hear from Yo-Yo Ma on the Silk Road Project, director Rian Johnson on making Knives Out, Isabel Allende on The House of the Spirits, Kemp Powers on Pixar’s Soul, architect Thomas Heatherwick on The Vessel, choreographer Bill T. Jones on Afterwardsness, book designer Chip Kidd on the cover of Jurassic Park, executive producer Kamilah Forbes of the Apollo Theatre, Susan Orlean on The Orchid Thief and more. With host June Cohen — cofounder of WaitWhat, former executive producer of TED Talks and co-host of the TED conference — in her first hosting role since TED. What really happens on the road to success? You’re about to find out. Let these epic stories spark your own creative journey. Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original series in exclusive partnership with Skillshare. www.sparkandfire.com

Location:

United States

Description:

Creativity. It’s as mysterious and elusive to humans as love. We stalk it. We crave it. We try to bring it out in ourselves. Every creative work you’ve ever loved has a hero’s journey behind it. Whether it’s a book or a building. A movie, a mural, a musical. It starts with a spark. Then: Endless iteration. Inevitable setbacks. Magical people who appear to help. And the breakthrough idea — that takes on a life all its own. On Spark & Fire, for the first time ever, you’ll hear what was happening in the mind of a creator as they brought their iconic work to life. But this isn’t an interview show. It’s a story — told entirely in the artist's own words — against the backdrop of originally composed music of the prepared piano. In Season One, you’ll hear from Yo-Yo Ma on the Silk Road Project, director Rian Johnson on making Knives Out, Isabel Allende on The House of the Spirits, Kemp Powers on Pixar’s Soul, architect Thomas Heatherwick on The Vessel, choreographer Bill T. Jones on Afterwardsness, book designer Chip Kidd on the cover of Jurassic Park, executive producer Kamilah Forbes of the Apollo Theatre, Susan Orlean on The Orchid Thief and more. With host June Cohen — cofounder of WaitWhat, former executive producer of TED Talks and co-host of the TED conference — in her first hosting role since TED. What really happens on the road to success? You’re about to find out. Let these epic stories spark your own creative journey. Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original series in exclusive partnership with Skillshare. www.sparkandfire.com

Language:

English


Episodes

Tell us: Who are you? And join us on Clubhouse every Wednesday

4/1/2021
Spark & Fire is on intermission, returning May 4. Until then, we have 2 invitations for you: 1. Tell us who you are! If you have time right now – take our survey: sparkandfire.com/survey. It works great on a phone. We’re curious about your own creative practice and how we can support that with what we do! 2. Starting April 7, join us on the Clubhouse app every Wednesday at 4pm in the Creativity Club. You’ll hear from guests and advisors of the show as we dig into the creative life. On...

Duration:00:01:49

How to build your creative vision: Photographer Stephen Wilkes on the 2021 Inauguration Photo

2/23/2021
Making art is a distillation of all your life experiences – from the half-remembered images from your childhood to your fascination with what's happening around you right now. Photographer Stephen Wilkes developed his signature Day to Night images to share his passion for how time passes – and soon found that they also helped him explore everything else that interested him: nature, city life, even politics. Learn the backstory behind his famous photo of the 2021 Inauguration as he explains...

Duration:00:35:32

How to move a big idea forward: Apollo Theater’s Kamilah Forbes on “Between the World and Me”

2/9/2021
"I want to make this into theater, in a way that’s never been done before." When Kamilah Forbes first reads "Between the World and Me," by her friend Ta-Nehisi Coates, she's moved, shaken, gutted by its truth and beauty. She dreams of presenting it at Harlem's Apollo Theater, a legendary space for Black art and excellence. First step: convince Ta-Nehisi. Spark & Fire follows the journey from book to stage to HBO – during a pandemic – in a story of collaboration and trust, joy and...

Duration:00:42:43

How do you create? Start with play. Thomas Heatherwick on designing “Vessel”

2/2/2021
How do you change the creative brief? You start with play. The designer Thomas Heatherwick was asked to create a monumental public work for the plaza of vast new development in the heart of Manhattan. The expected route would be to copy what’s worked before on other plazas in other cities – a statue, a fountain. But Heatherwick knew he had to push past what was expected. Spark & Fire follows the journey of “Vessel,” a massive piece of public art, from its roots in traditional Indian forms,...

Duration:00:43:17

Turn crisis into art: Tony-winner Bill T. Jones on “Afterwardsness," his pandemic masterpiece

1/26/2021
When faced with a crisis, how do you move forward? Sometimes, you look backward first. It’s March 2020, and legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones is weeks away from a world premiere, when his company is forced into lockdown. All seems lost. But what comes next paves the way for a transcendent performance at the Park Avenue Armory called “Afterwardsness” — one of the only large-scale performances held anywhere during the pandemic. On Spark & Fire, the larger-than-life Bill T. Jones tells this...

Duration:00:49:21

How to keep your family stories alive: Isabel Allende on “The House of the Spirits”

1/19/2021
How do you write the stories of your life? Any time, any place, any order. Isabel Allende was 39, and a refugee from her native Chile, when she started writing a letter to her dying grandfather — recounting the family stories he'd told her – of love, loss, memory, magic. This letter evolved into her first novel, the beloved epic "The House of the Spirits.” With her trademark warmth and wit, Isabel shares how she found the time and space to write as she rebuilt her life – and how her 500-page...

Duration:00:42:26

Where does inspiration lurk? Chip Kidd on designing the cover of “Jurassic Park”

1/12/2021
What do you do when you’re stuck? Something else. Designer Chip Kidd got a dream assignment: Create the book cover for a soon-to-be-blockbuster: Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. Oh, and make it iconic. When the pressure to perform is that high, it's easy to get creatively paralyzed. Chip recounts exactly how he got started and how he got unstuck — over and over — on the journey to create one of the best-known book covers of the 20th century. He tells the story in his own fast-paced, funny,...

Duration:00:38:20

How can you move past being stuck? Susan Orlean on “The Orchid Thief”

1/4/2021
How do you move past that "wobbly moment" in your creative journey? Just move. From the moment she heard about it, Susan Orlean knew she had to tell the story of "The Orchid Thief" – a wild, true story of obsession set in the swamps of Florida. But somewhere deep in the telling, she risks losing her own footing. Spark & Fire follows Susan as she pursues the story that "set her brain on fire," pushing past a creative crisis to write the magazine article and then book that in turn inspired the...

Duration:00:51:40

How can you create an authentic story? Kemp Powers on writing Pixar’s “Soul”

1/4/2021
How do you create an authentic character? Start with your authentic self. When Kemp Powers joined the writers' room at Pixar, he found a story waiting to be told ... anchored within his own story. Spark & Fire follows Kemp on his own hero's journey of co-writing and co-directing Soul, Pixar's first film with a Black protagonist, from his first trip to the Pixar campus to his development of the main character – and his passionate pitch for the beloved barbershop scene that nearly got cut from...

Duration:00:43:09

Introducing ... Spark & Fire

12/10/2020
Every creative work you've ever loved has a hero's journey behind it. The first spark. The endless iteration. The inevitable setbacks. The magical people who appear to help. And the breakthrough idea. On each episode of Spark & Fire, an iconic creator tells their own story about the crooked path to creation. No host. No interview. It's the creator – entirely in their own words – against the backdrop of original music for the prepared piano. In this trailer, you’ll hear Season 1 guests,...

Duration:00:04:14