What inspires your best creative work—audio stimulation or the sound of silence? Some artists need absolute quiet; others, not so much. Jennifer Wick, a prolific artist with 283 Minted Design Challenge wins to her name, says she is unable to work in silence, so she fills the void with good music and talks. “I remember getting my first walkman in sixth grade and raiding my older sister’s mixed tapes, finding a whole new world of music that put me in such an inspired mood,” the Pennsylvania artist says. “From then on, I’ve always worked with music or the news in the background.”
Especially during Minted’s busy holiday stationery design challenge season each spring, Jennifer’s working ritual includes several podcasts per week, in addition to Pandora, HGTV, and the Food Network. If you’re looking for recommendations for podcasts to help stimulate creativity, you’ve come to the right place. With so, so many great podcasts to choose from, we’re limiting our list to seven, but we’d love to hear your ideas—share them in Comments below.
Podcasts About Art, Design, and Creativity
Danielle Krysa is the blogger behind The Jealous Curator, the author of Creative Block, and the host of Art for Your Ear, the podcast featuring “inside-scoop stories from the artsiest people” she knows. Minted artist Kelly Schmidt likes Art for Your Ear for its tips and tricks about artists’ technical aspects, creative process, and materials. “Danielle talks to artists about challenges they face and how they found success,” Kelly says. “There are common themes about artists who are parents, as well as comments about insecurities as artists, which I’m guessing many of us relate to.”
Kelly suggests listening to the episode featuring fellow Minted artist Jaime Derringer (“Design Milk by Day & Sketchbooks by Night”), and to inspire holiday spirit, Kelly likes “The Best Gift Ever,” in which 12 artists talk about the best gift they’ve ever received. She also loves: Xochi Solis: “Paper Nerds Unite“; Kiana Mosley “Late One Night“; and Maryann Moodie: “Textiles Treasures, and a New Tribe.”
Design Matters is the world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, artists, curators, musicians, and other leaders of contemporary thought. Host Debbie Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, and Seth Godin.
Creative Commoners explores a particular topic about the creative process, with each host bringing their own flavor and experience to the mix, and plenty of witty and tangential banter to keep things fun. Jennifer Wick recommends “Episode 140: How the Creative Mind Works” (skip to 15:35), in which the speakers talk about their creative processes and the mind exercises they do to help get ideas flowing. “For me, I’ll do whatever it takes to put myself in the holiday mindset,” Jennifer says.
Podcasts About Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Recommended by Minted Artist Susie Allen, Being Boss is a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, hosted by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson. With episodes ranging from “Vulnerability as a Creative with Dr. Brene Brown” to “I’m Stuck on Picking a Name,” they share “let’s get real” advice from other boss guests, as well as their own experiences doing the work, making it happen, and what they’re still making up along the way. Get a quick sample of the Being Boss vibe in Kathleen Shannon’s “4 Mantras for Being Boss in Work and Life” right here on the Julep blog.
If you like business insights, Jen Wick recommends this free series from Paul Jarvis, founder of The Creative Class. With nearly 20 years experience as a successful freelancer, Paul discusses everything from pricing to dealing with difficult clients, gaining an audience, etc. “As a self-employed designer, I find this podcast really helpful,” Jen says.
Podcasts About Life and Stories
This National Public Radio show is hosted by Terry Gross and features a number of contributors. We love the insightful interviews with creative heavyweights like Zach Galifianakis, Robin Williams, and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter.
This longtime NPR show, recommended by Minted artist Amy Carroll, weaves its stories from various contributors around interesting topics ranging from creative epiphanies to long-lost loves. Looking to get into the holiday or New Year’s spirit? Try these episodes: “Say Yes to Christmas” and “Wake Up Now,” featuring stories of people trying to wake themselves up or shake up their own lives.
About the Author: Amy Schroeder, Minted’s Community Content Manager, founded Venus, the magazine about women in the arts and DIY culture, and has written for Etsy, West Elm, and NYLON. Connect on Instagram @thevenuslady.
Published March 23, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.