Next Vancouver speaker

John Fluevog

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November 3, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Death

Our November speaker, designer and retailer John Fluevog will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Death.

John Fluevog is an independent designer and retailer of forward-thinking footwear and accessories. Since 1970, he has been steadfast in creating unique soles for unique souls that have been seen everywhere from the feet of Madonna, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Jack White to the runways of high fashion. Recently, John was recognized by The Two/Ten Foundation of Canada as The Canadian Footwear Industry’s Shoe Person of the Year and John Fluevog Shoes was recently named one of the world’s most innovative companies in the fashion industry by creative business experts FastCompany. When you wear a pair of Fluevogs, you’re wearing decades of traditionally made, untraditional design.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

By opening my heart and soul to it. I then take care to listen to it —respect it— and have the boldness to do it. In short I just start.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

First answer would be everywhere… next in reflection of what was said or what I saw. I rarely get things from the outside inspiration. It comes from inside. Its a subconscious thing that pops up at odd times. I know when I really should do something when images keeps re-accruing and popping up in my brain.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Watch and listen. Realize that its your created self and not your ego thats at work. Step aside and listen and trust. Make quiet time and solitude a discipline

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

Beethoven…he heard things when he was blind and took the energy and boldness to write them down. He heard and saw and it had to come out.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Open up my Chicago store when I was out of money and close to bankruptcy. Then when I was trying to do it all hell broke loose including the end of my marriage.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

I was told that my shoes and ideas were good enough to be and international brand.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck

Don’t worry about it .. I find that having a blank piece of paper or blank mind helps. If I try too hard it only stresses me out which is really not good I go to a quiet place and wait and if that does not work I just carry on and hope that someone else has some god ideas.

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?

The most important thing we need as creatives is to have a strong moral compass. By nature we are experiments and explorers and in that roll its easy to be self destructive to ourselves and others.

Considering this month’s theme is “pioneer”, this page in “New Aging” by Hollwich & Mau caught our attention:
“The older we get, the more we approach unknown territory. However, we should replace the word “old” with the term “pioneer”. We are the Vanguard, pushing the depth of human experience to the next threshold. We’ve earned the freedom to explore the rest of our life without limits and hesitations. We can do things we never dreamed before. (at Vancouver, British Columbia)

Chuffed to be a support partner of @UrbanariumVan and #VanPlayTalks! (at UBC Robson Square)

Our October speaker fashion historian, Ivan Sayers will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Pioneer.

Ivan Sayers is a fashion historian who specializes in the study of women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions from 1700 to the present. He has collected period costumes for over 50 years and now has one of the largest and most comprehensive private collections of historical clothing in Canada.

As well as collecting and curating, Ivan presents illustrated lectures in the form of a historical fashion show. He usually covers women’s fashions of the 19th and 20th centuries in whole or in part, but also does thematic programs. He now produces Historical Fashion shows and Museum exhibitions across western and central North America, and lectures at several local universities and colleges. He is currently the Honorary Curator of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume whose mandate it is to establish a museum of clothing and textiles in the lower mainland.

Ivan has received awards from the Western Canadian Designers and Fashion Association, the Vancouver Historical Society and was given a distinguished service award by the British Columbia Museum Association in October 2010.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

I am re-creative. I try and recreate a display in fashion that explains the time and place in history that it was happening.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

Students inspire me to keep on top of my research. So that it is accruate and thought provoking. I want others to learn the aspects of history in costume.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

Today with so many collectors it’s best to specialize in one aspect rather than try to collect a lot. I would have done so sooner.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

I would like to hear Jeff Wall speak. Why he does his photography and what it means to him.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

I am far more better off that I thought I would be with my carreer choice as a fashion historian. My career choice has been validated by my friends, my students and my audiences. I receive letters from people saying how I inspired them to take a greater interest in costume and in history.

Where was the last place you travelled?

I went to Vienna in the early part of the summer to see the costume exhibition ‘Kauft-Bei-Juden’ at the Jewish Museum in Vienna.

Our September speaker paper artist, Tara Galuska will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Compassion.

When Tara Galuska was five she wanted to be either an artist or a unicorn. The unicorn plan didn’t come to pass but her dream of being an artist did! Tara is a paper artist whose delicate and intricate miniature paper plant artworks explore interior spaces and the plant owners themselves.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1984, Tara spent her early childhood in Zambia before moving to Australia. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two cats (and many plants).

Over the last two years Tara has built a thriving art practice and business and creates artworks for clients from all over the world. In addition, she works with select brands to create custom work for their projects including Urban Outfitters, The Land of Nod and last year she lent her paper engineering skills to a commercial for Tide. Tara also works with THRIVE Art Studio a place that creates community and support for female artists. She facilitates groups, hosts events and mentors women in achieving their art and business goals.

Tara would still like to be a unicorn.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity is such a gift in my life as having it on my side means that anything can be figured out.

One of the first things that comes to mind when defining what creativity means to me is problem solving. Maybe this has something to do with a background in studying design or maybe it’s because the first creative people I knew, my parents, were excellent creative problems solvers. I don’t see problems as a negative but rather as an opportunity to really flex my creative muscles

In my artwork right now I am really diving deep into asking myself why I do what I do. This means my work now is filled with opportunities for creative problem solving and for the most part I am loving looking at everything from the visuals to the core of who I am and what is important to me.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

I think my best creative inspiration and energy finds me but I have to be ready and receptive. When I focus, listen and pay attention all the creative ideas, information, and resources I need are right there in front of me as a source to tap into.  Being consistently in this ideal state can be hard for me sometimes as a Type A personality who loves goal setting and doing all of the things but that’s what makes life interesting!

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

I wish I had known about self compassion! Surely I must have heard about the concept along the way, I mean I watched a lot of Oprah. But somehow it wasn’t until I was 26 and having a very hard time that I heard what it was and my mind was b-l-o-w-n. It changed not only my creative life but everything in between. I heard what I need to hear about self compassion at the right time but super young Tara really could have used it too!

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

There are so many amazing artists here in Vancouver I’d love to hear speak! I know you’ve already had our THRIVE Mastermind members Danielle Krysa and Ola Volo speak at CreativeMornings but we’ve got a whole lot more who I know would be amazing. Sandeep Johal, Aimée Henny Brown, Nomi Chi… the list goes on and on!

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?

No one else cares about what I do as deeply as I do. They don’t even care half as much as I do! It was so freeing to realize this and really helped me understand what people meant when they said there is no such thing as failure. I now push myself to fail fast, fail often and use it to learn and grow.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?

I am not into guilt. I don’t see feeding or exploring my creativity as something to feel guilty about so I am guilt free. I feel the same way about chocolate cake too!

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

She’d be so excited and blown away! I honestly didn’t have a clear or even slightly hazy vision for my future as a sixth grader or even young adult. I didn’t see example of the kind of life I live now so would not have known to dream it. My main strategy was just to try do the next thing that felt right and it’s lead me right where I need to be.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Do the work! We say it to each other here all the time at THRIVE but honestly it is almost the answer to everything. 

Our August speaker, Self-taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Genius.

Self-taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez left his home country of Venezuela at age 16 for Ottawa, where he attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Institute. His wanderlust and ambition shortly took him to Toronto to work at Centro under illustrious chefs David Lee and Mark Thuet.

Determined and hard working, chef Alvarez decidedly absorbed as much knowledge around Toronto and had experiences at Pangea, Adega and Scaramouche, Canoe under famed chef Anthony Walsh, Aquavit and Morimoto. Alvarez took his first Executive Chef role at Tomi-kro.

Alvarez’s career in Vancouver hit a high point in 2009 when the Globe & Mail called the now closed Divino Wine Bar—where he was executive chef—the best wine bar in Canada. He then went on to lead kitchens at Fraîche in West Van, Secret Location in Gastown—where he created 300 unique dishes in 30 days—and now delivers the Latin American flavours of his youth in his own restaurant, CACAO Progressive Latin.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
Creativity is not copying, is evolution. For me, it is a way of life. It is failing to succeed and inspire others. I breathe creativity in my life. I need it to be creative to be where i am right now.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy? I get inspire by nature and also unknown ingredients.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
No matter what anyone says, no matter the failure, keep creating and keep failing and the rewards will show.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?
Salvador dali and Ferran Adria

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Move to a country without speaking the language at 16 (Canada)

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?
A memorable success.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?
See people enjoy my creativity.

What keeps you awake at night?
An idea that i can’t create yet.

Jefferson Alvarez
http://www.cacaovancouver.com

See you tomorrow for breakfast and to hear Vancouver-based @chef_alvarez on his career, creativity, and the theme #CMgenius. (at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts)

Our July speaker, Visual Artist, Shallom Johnson will be talking on the topic of Creativity and Equality.

Shallom Johnson is a Canadian visual and dance artist, writer, curator, educator, and musician. She holds a BFA in Dance from Simon Fraser University and has been active in the visual art, performing arts, and media industries for the past 15 years. Shallom has been creating visual artwork under the alias Indigo since 2008. Her work has been exhibited, presented, and seen on the street in outdoor and indoor spaces in Canada, the United States, the UK, South Africa, and across Western Europe. Shallom currently spends most of her creative time working on a new electronic music project called Suffer The Children, with Chin Injeti and Rian Peters.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?

Creativity is realizing that the less you are certain of, the more possibilities you can explore. It is accepting how little you know, and seeing that as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.

Creativity infuses every part of my being. I wear a lot of hats and each one pulls from this mindset in some way, even the hats that nobody else ever sees.

My career has let me on a winding path along which I’ve gathered many skills and practices along the way…creativity helps me see the common threads between choreography and curation, between painting and poetry. Keeping a creative mindset ensures that nothing I’ve done, that nothing in my future will ever be irrelevant to my journey. It teaches me to see the web that connects my current self with everyone I’ve been in the past and everyone I’ll be in the future.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

Life, love, loss. Personal narratives, and the dark side of the moon. My inspiration comes from everything and everyone around and within me. It often strikes in a moment in which a phrase or an image will solidify in my mind and need to be documented or explored immediately, as if impatient to come into the world. Or, at times it is a gradual accumulation of many experiences that eventually are distilled into something that is a composite of many people, many lives, many thoughts and feelings.

I feel that I am a repository of so many stories, my own as well as those that swirl around me. I may not find the right place for each one immediately, but they usually end up in something down the road.

“The goal is not making art, it is living a life…Art is a result, It is the trace of those who have led their lives.” - Robert Henri, The Art Spirit.

What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

I wish that I had put less emphasis on perfection and spent more time seeing where my mistakes might be able to lead me.

Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

Christian Nicolay, Chin Injeti, Tonye Aganaba, Andrew Young, Nomi Chi.

What’s your one guilty creative indulgence?

Red wine.

What fact about you would surprise people?

A large part of my career involves painting really big murals using boom lifts, scissor lifts, and scaffolding. At the same time, I’m really afraid of heights.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

I am who I wanted to be when I grew up. I have had the chance to explore everything I wanted to do, everything that was in my heart of hearts. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I’m stubborn and headstrong and impulsive and I make decisions that seem crazy at first but somehow work themselves out in the end.

Also, now I’ve gotten past my extreme childhood shyness…I have friends and can talk to strangers without having a panic attack. Most of the time.

What keeps you awake at night?

Right now, jet lag.

Where was the last place you travelled?

I just got back from Mumbai, I was there for a week for my “day job”.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

A good science fiction novel, in bed, with my cats.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Have a cigarette. Cigarettes solve all my problems.

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