Since I moved to Riyadh, I spend most of my days at home, alone. The solitude has given me a great opportunity to start listening to more podcasts. It’s the perfect way for me to digest some all too important soul food while simultaneously checking some things off my to-do list. Here are my top podcasts for creative inspiration:
The Unmistakable Creative, hosted by author Srini Rao, is by far my favorite podcast. This is the one that gets me fired up and keeps me inspired. It’s also the hardest to describe in a couple of sentences. For each episode, Srini interviews one guest. More often than not, I am not familiar with the individual before listening. However, with guest backgrounds varying from art direction to eco-terrorism, there is a common thread of self-discovery and personal narrative in every interview.
This podcast is from professional soft toy maker, Abby Glassenberg and it accompanies her blog by the same name. Abby does an excellent job of choosing emerging and established personalities from a variety of crafting fields. The shows are always timely. It seems whenever I’m interested in knowing more about a topic; it will immediately show up on the While She Naps podcast. It’s a great practical resource as Abby has each guest provide recommendations, often ranging from tech tools to craft materials, at the end of each show. Most importantly, like the While She Naps blog, the podcast cultivates a sense of community for likeminded, crafty folks.
Hosted by designer and writer, Debbie Millman, Design Matters profiles industry-leaders in design, art, culture and education. Beginning in 2005, Design Matters is the most established podcast on the list and with a lengthy design resume’ of her own, Debbie Millman makes a great host, handling a roster of creative titans with ease. This is really a two-for-one, because in addition to Design Matters, you can subscribe to the Design Matters Archive (2005-2009) separately. The Archive features highlights from the first four years of the program. Including interviews with Milton Glaser, Maira Kalman, Barbara Kruger, and Stefan Sagmeister, it’s well worth going back to listen.
Like While She Naps, Elise Gets Crafty is another great podcast for craft & design entrepreneurs and bloggers. Host, Elise Blaha Cripe has had a popular crafting blog since 2005 and she expanded to a podcast in 2014. She’s a natural host and I love the way the episodes are titled not with the guest names, but with leading subjects such as “gaining momentum with a project”, “using an e-newsletter effectively’, or “pricing your products.” Because I can really relate to her personal and creative journey, Elise Gets Crafty has quickly become a staple in my podcast line-up.
The host of this podcast, Monica Lee, is the founder of an online show by the same name. Smart Creative Women, which launched in 2011, provides professional advice and inspiration for creative entrepreneurs. Past guests have included artist, Lisa Congdon, textile designer, Lisa Levis, Blog Society founder, Jaclyn Carlson and Rachel Faucett from Handmade Charlotte. I particularly enjoy Monica’s energy and earnestness when I’m a bit groggy in the morning.
I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, which details the writer’s yearlong experiment to uncover the greatest factors in achieving and maintaining happiness. When I discovered Gretchen’s new podcast, I thought it might be a good way to keep some of the tips from The Happiness Project in my consciousness. Although the podcast is not exclusively related to creativity, many of the tips deal with productivity, managing day-to-day tasks and self-awareness, all crucial aspects of any creative practice. I also enjoy the relaxed, conversational format. There are no special guests. Each episode is co-hosted by Gretchen’s sister, Elizabeth Craft, and the two trade astute observations about the other as only siblings can.