A few months back I trawled the podcasting airwaves for great podcasts for creatives. Since then my travels have continued, and I’ve found more superlative listening to share with you.
The beauty of design lies in what it doesn’t show and tell. So much thought goes into aesthetics, form and function that, when it’s good, our experience is seamless. 99% Invisible tells the stories behind the everyday items and places we take for granted. It also delves into quirky cultural marginalia, such as why a lone phone box in the Mojave Desert became so famous, and why for ten years, designer Nicholas Felton issued an annual report of his life – as an infographic.
As a series, it’s a masterclass on what works in architecture and design, what doesn’t and why. And presenter Roman Mars’ radio voice is nectar for your podcasting ears. Essential listening for any creative.
Here’s the Thing
As soon as the intro, ‘So What’ from Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, hits your earphones, you just know this’ll be be a stylish listen. Alec Baldwin interviews actors, directors and musicians on their creative process, the realities of their industry, and what lies behind celebrity. Baldwin’s status attracts A-list guests including Dustin Hoffman, Paul Simon and Julianne Moore.
The conversations are frank and frequently funny: neither Baldwin nor his guests shy away from acknowledging the very real challenges of artistic life. Entertaining and insightful, it’s well worth 30 minutes of your time.
The Media Podcast
This round-up of industry news and comment on print and broadcasting gives you the stories behind the organisations that deliver the headlines. If you want to know what’s going on in radio, TV and Fleet Street, this is for you.
Presented by affable Olly Mann, broadcaster and co-presenter with Helen Zaltzman of the Sony Award-winning podcast, Answer Me This, The Media Podcast isn’t confrontational like the BBC’s Media Show, but a lively and accessible way to stay abreast of what’s happening online, on the airwaves and on the page.
Presenters Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor round up serious heavyweights in the music industry and quiz them on their creative process. If you’re into music, you’ll love this – and even if you aren’t, you’ll still gain something from hearing what makes artists in other media tick.
My favourite interview from the podcast archives is with Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout. This is an artist who has forged his own path, never compromised, and remained delightfully eccentric. Successful creatives have a lot to teach us, and there’s always something new to learn.
99U has been a hub for creatives for a long time now. It’s legend among anyone who designs, writes and makes for a living, and who considers being a creative their calling. Their podcasts deal with the business end of creative life as well as the internal stuff that we need to deal with in order to thrive and make work. Check out their books too, which are equally savvy and supportive.
After the Jump
This podcast has finished broadcasting now, but its archive of 100 shows is a rich vault of counsel and inspiration. Artist interviews, money talk, marketing, social media and self-care are the order of the day. Everything the creative needs to work both on and in their business is right here.
This is an essential programme in my RSS feed, and the reason is that etiquette isn’t just about social niceties. It’s also about good business behaviour and thinking around how we relate to each other in professional situations. Working through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning of the Emily Post Institute in the USA (the American equivalent of Debrett’s in the UK) present this engaging and thoughtful show.
Both presenters give corporate training at Emily Post, and they know what it takes to keep ourselves and our work relationships happy. After hearing this you’ll be motivated to be poised and utterly graceful in your communication – which can only be a good thing!
One Hack Away from Wonder Woman
This is a new podcast on the scene, presented by copywriter Lorrie Hartshorn. It’s ideal for anyone in that industry, but great for any freelance creative. So far Hartshorn has tackled typical issues that every creative businessperson has to deal with, such as how to deal with requests to work for free, how to get more clients on LinkedIn, and how to work smarter, not harder.
Hartshorn is a fine communicator and that sings out from her podcasts. Take just 15 minutes out of your day to check in, and you’ll come away with a wealth of sensible advice.
Currently on hiatus, The Nudge still has an archive of more than 30 refreshingly direct broadcasts on creative life. Design is the main topic, but the show also deals with other proverbial thorns in the creative side, such as meeting deadlines, staying motivated, and when and how to say ‘no’.
The group discussions are sometimes cheeky (the presenters are Australian), so be prepared to strap yourself in and hear how things really are at the creative coalface.
The Hot Copy Podcast
A podcast for writers, this show presented by Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver is deliciously frank and inestimably practical. What do you do when your client goes AWOL? How do you fire a client when they’re being a pain? How do you build your confidence as a writer, and how can you get testimonials from the clients you love, so you can tell the world you’re fabulous and secure even more lovely clients?
Toon and Weaver guide you through the process, week-by-week. It’s a terrific listen, so if you write for business, or if your business is writing, subscribe right now!