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Spark & Fire

The hero’s journey behind the world’s most iconic creations.

A podcast celebrating creativity and innovation.

Spark & Fire is a WaitWhat original, in exclusive partnership with Skillshare.

Photographer Stephen Wilkes developed his signature Day to Night photo series to explore his passion for how time passes. Learn the story behind his photo of the 2021 Inauguration as he explains how he developed his signature style – and where to start as you develop your own. 

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What do you do with the first glimpse of an idea? You share it. And stay with it.​ Spark & Fire follows Kamilah Forbes’ journey in bringing Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me to the stage of the legendary Apollo Theater (and then to HBO during a pandemic!) in a story of collaboration and trust, joy and challenge.

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WHow do you change the creative brief? You start with play. Spark & Fire follows the journey of “Vessel,” a massive piece of public art, from its roots in traditional indian forms, to its sophisticated construction and multi-year assembly, to its reception by the public.

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When faced with a crisis, how do you move forward? Sometimes, you look backward first.​ As he faces down a creative crisis, dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones tells a powerful story of creative grit, love of art and reckoning with legacy — in his own fierce, fiery, funny words. He’s joined by his Associate Artistic Director, Janet Wong; together they offer inspiration and ideas to fuel your own creative journey.

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Isabel Allende was 39, a refugee looking for a lost sense of connection to her home. So she started writing a letter to her grandfather back in Chile. To tell him that the family stories he’d told her – of love, tradition, loss, magic – were safe with her. This letter, page by page, became the beloved epic The House of the Spirits. On Spark & Fire, hear how Isabel found the time and space to write.

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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. Chip share how he got started and how he got unstuck — over and over — with lots of smart, actionable advice for anyone setting out on their own creative quest.

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How do you move past a creative crisis? Apply pressure. From the moment she heard about it, Susan Orlean knew she had to tell the story of “The Orchid Thief” – a wild tale of obsession set in the swamps of Florida. But somewhere deep in the telling, she lost her own footing.

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How do you make an authentic character? Start with your authentic self. When screenwriter Kemp Powers joined the writers’ room at Pixar, he found a story waiting to be told  … anchored within his own story. In his story, listen for the spark of your own creative journey.
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