John Fluevog talks about the dark days to the Bright days to the creative lifestyle he lives.

John talks about his humble beginnings of where he came from, to how his dad helped him get into owning half a shoe company which he had little knowledge of at the time. We hear about how John almost lost his business and a strangers voice saved his company to tell him to keep on going with his business. John has learn to push his ideas and boundaries of his creative pursuit with the shoes he makes, challenging the “norm” of a typical show designer.

About the speaker

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.

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