My name is John Fanning, and I believe everyone is creative. I’m grateful to be able to share insights I’ve gleaned about the Walls that lead us away from creativity and the Doors which inspire us towards creativity. Later, I’ll have conversations about creative practice and inspiration with many of the writers, artists and creators I met at the retreat I founded in the south of France, and here in the Portland, Maine area. Listen anywhere you get your podcasts, and please subscribe, rate and review the podcast if you enjoy it, so others can find out about it. CREATE.
non nobis solum nati That’s a quote from Cicero’s On Duties, which he seemingly got from Plato. It basically means we’re created for the sake of others, to benefit each other as much as possible, from the Stoic ideal of giving and receiving kindnesses. So, I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with John […]
I don’t think that an artist should bother about his audience. His best audience is the person he sees in his shaving mirror every morning. I think that the audience an artist imagines, when he imagines that kind of a thing, is a room filled with people wearing his own mask. That’s a response from […]
“It has nothing to do with me.” “But it must hurt you?” “Why would it? It has nothing to do with me.” That’s a back and forth the writer and academic Umberto Eco had when being interviewed about critics and criticism, on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs. So, I’m John Fanning and this is the […]
Everybody’s hurt. What is important, what corrals you, what bullwhips you, what drives you, torments you, is that you must find some way of using this to connect you with everyone else alive. This is all you have to do it with. You must understand that your pain is trivial except insofar as you can […]
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. So that’s supposed to be a quote from George Bernard Shaw. I don’t know where I came across it first but it has a Wildean way about it that I’ve found hard to get out of my head. I couldn’t […]
I think the chanciest thing is to put spirituality in art. Because people don’t understand it. Writers don’t know what to do with it. They’re scared of it, so they ignore it. But if there’s going to be any universal consciousness-raising, you have to deal with it, even though people will ridicule you. That’s a […]
Whenever there is inspiration, which translates as “in spirit,” and enthusiasm, which means “in God,” there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of. That’s a quote I’ve often repeated to people from the German author and teacher Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. I’m John Fanning and […]
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. That’s a quote from Albert Einstein’s book The World As I See It. I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with John Fanning podcast. How’s it goin out […]
The post Episode 27: Emotions, Feelings and Emotional Memory appeared first on John Fanning.
What worked for you on Tuesday will work on Thursday, a claim that cannot always be made when what you hold in your hand is a paintbrush or a camera or a pen. What was exactly right for your last painting will be completely wrong for this one. Creative people love to claim they know […]
When despair for the world grows in meand I wake in the night at the least soundin fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,I go and lie down where the wood drakerests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.I come into the peace of wild thingswho do […]
The post Episode 25: Awareness, Sacredness and Distractions appeared first on John Fanning.
In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion; in order to serve men better, one has to hold them at a distance for a time. But where can one find the solitude necessary to vigor, the deep breath in which the mind collects itself and courage gauges its […]
The post Episode 24: Process, Retreats and Dark Nights of the Soul appeared first on John Fanning.
Your hand opens and closes, and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. That’s part of a poem transposed by Coleman Barks in his book […]
And that, of course, is the lingering problem: The maintenance of an arbitrary division between “literature” and “genre,” the refusal to admit that every piece of fiction belongs to a genre, or several genres. There are very real differences between science fiction and realistic fiction, between horror and fantasy, between romance and mystery. Differences in […]
“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” That’s a quote from the character of Master Qui-Gon, in “Star Wars, Episode I, The Phantom Menace, written by American writer, director and producer, George Lucas. More on that later. I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with John Fanning podcast. How’s it goin out there. Hope […]
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. That’s a quote from The Analects attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with John Fanning podcast. How’s it goin out there. Hope all is well. This is Episode 20 of my series of episodes on […]
“No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius.” That’s a quote from Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova from the 1956 book “Pavlova: A Biography” edited by A. H. Franks in collaboration with members of the Pavlova Commemoration Committee. I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with […]
The post Episode 19: Mentors and Talent Borrows, Genius Steals appeared first on John Fanning.
Much Madness is divinest Sense —To a discerning Eye —Much Sense — the starkest Madness —‘Tis the MajorityIn this, as All, prevail —Assent — and you are sane —Demur — you’re straightway dangerous —And handled with a Chain — That’s a quote from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I’m John Fanning and this is […]
Dancing is very like poetry. It’s like poetic lyricism, sometimes, it’s like the rawness of dramatic poetry, it’s like the terror — or it can be like a terrible revelation of meaning. Because when you light on a word it strikes you to your heart. That’s a quote from the American dancer and choreographer Martha […]
I love my rejection slips. They show me I try. That’s a quote from Sylvia Plath in her posthumously published The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, and I’m John Fanning and this is the Create with John Fanning podcast. How’s it goin out there. Hope all is well. This is Episode 16 of my series […]
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern. That’s a quote from William Blake’s 1793 poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I’m John Fanning and this is the […]
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