Amena Brown is a poet, speaker, author and event host. Named one of Rejuvenate Magazine's Top 40 under 40 Changemakers, Amena is the author of five spoken word albums and two non-fiction books: Breaking Old Rhythms and her latest release How to Fix a Broken Record.
In this season premiere episode, Stephen talks to Amena about success and failure, the effects of social media on artists and how vinyl records became one of her entry points to relationship with God.
This episode was recorded live at The Breath & the Clay creative arts conference. Listen in to this conversation starter with Jonathan and Melissa Helser on emotional health and the creative process.
**This episode includes a detailed look into what is ahead for Season 4 of Makers & Mystics.
This episode comes to us LIVE from The Breath & the Clay creative arts gathering in Winston-Salem, NC. Stephen discusses the importance and responsibility of honesty in art-making with John Mark McMillan, Vesper Stamper, Josh Riebock and Mykell Wilson.
Vesper Stamper is an illustrator and author who was born in Nuremberg, Germany and raised in New York City. Her family was an eclectic mix of engineers, musicians and artists who didn't think Voltaire too tough for bedtime reading, Chopin Valses too loud for wake-up calls, or precision slide rules too fragile as playthings. She married filmmaker Ben Stamper right out of college, and together they have two wildly creative children. When Vesper earned her MFA in Illustration from School of Visual Arts, Ben gave her an orange tree. She illustrates and writes under its leaves and blossoms at her grandfather 's old drafting table, in the pine woods of the Northeast.
In this episode, Stephen talks with Vesper about her debut, young-adult historical novel, What The Night Sings. The two discuss Vesper’s creative process in writing and illustrating the book and how her interest in the Holocaust led her on a search for redemption in the midst of unimaginable circumstances.
Mykell Wilson is a California native working in the Entertainment Industry. He is a fire-starter of inspiration, a man of faith and a hard-working individual. Mykell is a gifted singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and choreographer; He is also a published author and motivational speaker on self-development. Mykell's dance has allowed him to work and/or tour with Prince, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and most recently Justin Bieber's Purpose World Tour. Known to some as "Mighty Mykell" he aspires to be a living example of hope and authenticity. He is the only "Mykell Wilson."
In this episode, Stephen talks with Mykell about the importance of knowing who you are, the value of humility and what it takes to never give up on your dreams.
Joel McKerrow is one of Australia's leading internationally touring performance poets. He is the Artist Ambassador for 'TEAR Australia' and co-founder of community arts organization, 'The Centre for Poetics and Justice.'
Joel is a TEDx speaker and performer and frontman poet of 'Joel McKerrow & the Mysterious Few.'
This conversation was conducted in Joel's hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Stephen and Joel discuss his poetry, social justice and reframing the way we understand our lives through creativity and writing for others.
In October of 2017, Stephen Roach joined United Pursuit for their Reunion Retreat held on Johnny Cash's land in Nashville, Tennessee. As part of the event, Stephen shared two keynote talks on the interface between creativity and spirituality.
This episode features excerpts from Stephen's talk On The Relationship Between Faith and Art and encourages artists to pursue their creativity without tired, religious constrictions.
Emily Freeman is an author, listener and creative director living in North Carolina. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of four books, including SImply Tuesday and A Million Little Ways. Emily is the host of The Next Right Thing Podcast and co-founder of a growing community for writers called hope*writers. She teaches an online course called Create + Complete where she helps people live as wholehearted creatives in their faith, work and relationships.
In this episode, Stephen Roach and his wife Sarah talk with Emily about keeping our creativity alive even amidst the demands of our everyday lives.
Ty Nathan Clark is a well-known abstract artist living and working in Waco, Texas. He is a devoted activist, writer, cinematographer, and philanthropist. His work is informed by an in-depth study of civil rights movements, literature, philosophy, and theology.
Ty’s art has been described as “parabolic” in nature, telling stories in visual representations of the human condition. He uses a variety of mediums and textures to create what has been termed a “dismantled imagery, representing the incomplete bits and pieces of personality and memories that make up each human being.”
2017 year-end review featuring excerpts from Brian Zahnd, Josh Garrels, Anna McGahan and others.
Everyone loves coffee, right? Especially the 3 a.m. writer and the late night musician. In this Bonus episode, Stephen introduces us to Chris Miller of North Carolina's own, Maker Coffee. Listen in for a special offer.
Become a Makers & Mystics patron and receive discounted tickets to The Breath & the Clay and a free canister of Maker coffee shipped to your home!
Get tickets to The Breath & the Clay. **Early Registration ends December 31st, 2017!
Featured Music in this episode is provided by Chris Miller's music group FYR FYTR
In this episode, Actress Anna McGahan shares about the rigors of the acting world, her faith in Jesus and the challenges of being a Christ follower in the entertainment industry.
Josh Riebock is the best-selling author of the memoir, Heroes and Monsters and My Generation. He is host of the popular podcast, The Marrow, and a sought-after storyteller and poet at venues around the country for his captivating artistry and honesty.
In this episode, Stephen talks with Josh about cultivating honesty within artistry and how beauty and terror sometimes appear inextricably linked.
Tom Waits, Nirvana, Charles Bukowski, William Shakespeare, Stranger Things and the love and violence within scripture are among the topics of their discussion.
Ken Helser is a visual artist, storyteller, musician and founder of the 52-acre retreat center, A Place For The Heart in Sophia, North Carolina. For the past 30 years, Ken has mentored students from across the world, teaching them to hear and journal the voice of God through writing. Currently, Ken partners with his son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan David and Melissa Helser at their 18 Inch Journey School.
In this episode, Ken talks with Stephen about the core motives of the heart and how to navigate the deeper concerns facing many artists today. Ken shares from his own journey through rejection, imitation and the discovery of how "the key to discipline is desire."
Featured Music by Cageless Birds
Christine Valters Paintner is a spiritual director and Benedictine Oblate living in Galway, Ireland. She authored the book, "The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom." The book is a 12-week journey exploring the interplay between contemplation and creativity. In this episode, Stephen talks with Christine about her thoughts on humility, radical generosity and what it means to be an urban monk and a part-time hermit.
Featured Music by Latifah Alattas of Moda Spira.
In this episode, Stephen talks with singer/songwriter, Jason Upton about linear versus circular creative processes. This episode features previously unreleased material from the artist.
Season 3 of Makers & Mystics opens Tuesday, October 10th! But, before we get started, I wanted to take a moment and share the dates for the next The Breath & The Clay creative arts gathering! Many of the guests who will be appearing in Season 3 of our podcast will be those coming to this next gathering. This season interlude also reveals who my first guest will be and gives a brief outline of what our new Patreon page is all about.
If you would like to support the ongoing creation of these podcasts, you can contribute here.
A special thanks goes out to our first supporters, Beth Herndon, Elisa Cox, Eloise Corlett and Dionne White. Thanks so much for your contributions!!!
In this episode, Stephen talks with visual Paul Benney about his painting Speaking in Tongues, which is now on exhibit in Venice, Italy. Paul describes his secularist approach to the Pentecost story and tells how his exploration of the human spirit led him to a modern interpretation of the biblical narrative.
The Clang Quartet is an improvisational percussion/performance-art show, based metaphorically on the life of Jesus Christ. In this episode, Stephen talks with Clang Quartet founder, Scotty Irving about performance art as a vehicle of the gospel. The two discuss the need for resilience and tenacity in presenting uncommon or abstract forms of art. Scotty tells about his electrified crutch and the meaning behind the sound collages of his "harsh noise" genre of art.
In this keynote talk, Stephen Roach proposes that creativity is our birthright and essential to fulfilling God's original design for humanity. Stephen encourages that we are in the midst of a creative awakening and calls the church to break free from religious oppression into the creative liberty of sons and daughters.
Matt Tommey is a woven sculpture artist living in Asheville, North Carolina. Matt has authored several books including "Unlocking The Heart of The Artist" and "Crafting Your Brand:
Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career". In this episode, Matt and Stephen discuss Matt's process of utilizing natural materials for his sculptural works. The two talk through differentiations between process and product and how artists can move from concepts and ideas to a lifestyle of creative expression. *This episode features music by Zach Winters from the album "To Have You Around".