61 episodes

How do today’s masters create their art? American Masters: Creative Spark presents narrative interviews that go in-depth with an iconic artist about the creation of a single work. Each episode offers a unique window into the world of art and the creative process of artists and cultural icons across a wide range of disciplines, from music and comedy to poetry and film.

Explore more at www.pbs.org/creativespark

American Masters: Creative Spark American Masters | PBS

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 193 Ratings

How do today’s masters create their art? American Masters: Creative Spark presents narrative interviews that go in-depth with an iconic artist about the creation of a single work. Each episode offers a unique window into the world of art and the creative process of artists and cultural icons across a wide range of disciplines, from music and comedy to poetry and film.

Explore more at www.pbs.org/creativespark

    Jo Firestone Proves Comedy Has No Age Limit

    Jo Firestone Proves Comedy Has No Age Limit

    Comedian Jo Firestone was leading a weekly remote comedy workshop with a group of senior citizens from New York’s Greenwich House when something magical happened. Through in-person sessions, one-on-one interviews and a live public performance, a documentary special emerged called "Good Timing." Join Firestone and her crew of funny seniors as they find joy in the creative act and show how important it is to “make each other laugh in a really scary time.”

    • 22 min
    Don Hertzfeldt Animates Stick Figures Into Existential Masterpieces

    Don Hertzfeldt Animates Stick Figures Into Existential Masterpieces

    Two-time Oscar-nominated animator, writer and filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt is considered one of the most influential figures in animation. In his first-ever formal podcast interview, he breaks down the long journey that went into making his 2012 feature film, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day.” The existential story at the heart of the film often mirrors many of the challenges Hertzfeldt faces as a fiercely independent animator with a do-it-yourself approach. His process is arduous, to say the least. The legacy of “It’s Such a Beautiful Day” and Hertzfeldt’s iconoclastic filmmaking technique continue to influence a whole new generation of animators to this day.

    • 32 min
    Atsuko Okatsuka Jokes Around

    Atsuko Okatsuka Jokes Around

    Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka does everything. The touring comic, actress, writer, dancehall dancer and podcast host is everywhere and works tirelessly. She even famously performed a stand-up set in the middle of an earthquake — and got lots of laughs. Okatsuka also just made her late night debut on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” proving to a national audience that she is a rising star with her quick wit and off-kilter approach. Here she talks about what drives her to create and “nerds out” on how she writes jokes.

    Watch and Listen to more from American Masters.

    • 17 min
    How Kim Gordon Makes Music

    How Kim Gordon Makes Music

    Musician and artist Kim Gordon is known for being the coolest person in the room. She is one of the co-founders of Sonic Youth, the band that pioneered alternative rock for 30 years with albums like “Daydream Nation” (1988) and “Goo” (1990). Today, Gordon is focused on her solo work as well as new noisy and avant-garde collaborations. Here the music icon breaks down how she made the satirical song “Air BnB,” a single from her debut solo album “No Home Record,” in this rare glimpse into her creative process. 

    Watch and Listen to more from American Masters.

    • 17 min
    Making Movies with M. Night Shyamalan

    Making Movies with M. Night Shyamalan

    For decades, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has been telling original stories with movies like the Oscar-nominated hit, “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Signs” (2002) and “Split” (2016). In today’s Hollywood system, this has turned Shyamalan into something of an iconoclast. Here he breaks down his independent approach to making his most recent thriller, “Old,” and how his deep love for moviegoing as a kid continues to drive the way he thinks about his craft.

    Watch and Listen to more from American Masters.

    • 23 min
    Jericho Brown Takes on Tradition

    Jericho Brown Takes on Tradition

    Poet Jericho Brown won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection “The Tradition.” The poems are vivid works of beauty and agony - each word delivered with a strong sense of urgency. Brown breaks down the process behind writing the collection’s titular poem, “The Tradition,” and the many layers of his ever-changing consciousness that inspired its creation.

    Watch and Listen to more from American Masters.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
193 Ratings

193 Ratings

ee galitarian ,

Exceptional

A series truly deserving of one’s time. Both entertaining & informative with an eclectic roster of interesting guests.

Well done!

Laineeme ,

American Masters Podcasts

I Love Creative Spark! It's fascinating hearing the artists perspective and inner mind on how they create. Really adds dimension to the art itself. As an artist, I love to hear how others go through the process of creating. The interviewer and producer, Joe Skinner, adds very interesting bits of information that keep the interview upbeat and exciting!

mjph82 ,

Where are the educators?

I love all the wonderful choices of creative people, but I feel you are missing out on one of the most creative groups - teachers! They spend every day thinking of creative ways to make curricula exciting for young minds. Please seek out those innovative educators who turn the subjects they teach into fascinating and inspiring learning opportunities!

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Book of the Month
Roman Mars
Rusty Quill
Jason Weiser, Carissa Weiser

You Might Also Like

NPR
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
This American Life
New York Times Opinion
92NY
The New York Times

More by PBS

FRONTLINE PBS, WGBH
FRONTLINE
Washington Week
PBS NewsHour
PBS Nature
Washington Week