Tutor Anna Campbell has become slightly obsessed with podcasts! Here she recommends her favourites to inspire creativity
What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio file, similar to a radio programme, that is available to listen to online via your computer or to download onto your smartphone or tablet device to listen to offline. There are thousands of regular podcasts out there and I got into listening to them through the award winning crime podcast Serial, series 1 (if you were also hooked on that I highly recommend you listen to Undisclosed which looks at the same case in much more depth).
I tend to download podcasts onto my phone to listen to when I am commuting.
Here are some of my favourite podcasts on creativity and how you can listen to them.
Recommended podcasts to feed your creativity:
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Happier is a weekly podcast where writer Gretchen Rubin talks to her sister Elizabeth Craft about research and ideas on how to be happier. The reason I am recommending this for creativity is because her most recent book, and the focus of the podcast, is how to create lasting habits. Often creative people find it difficult to start and maintain habits around their creativity and this can lead them to feel stuck. You don’t have to listen from the beginning, you can start with this week’s episode.
This weekly podcast (that I always listen to on the way to work on a Wednesday!) is a gentle reminder of great ideas on keeping and maintaining habits and of how to be happier!
2. Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has written a book called Big Magic: creative living beyond fear in which she shares her wisdom on creativity. On the podcast she interviewed ordinary creative people (not famous artists) that had got in touch with her about where they were stuck creatively. Liz gave her advice and would also interview a famous researcher or artist on the issue. Series 1 has finished and is well worth a listen. Series 2 is currently being recorded.
3. Accidental Creative
This podcast, hosted by author Todd Henry, interviews artists, authors and business leaders and offers tips on creativity in life and work. This podcast is both creativity and business focussed. An example of a piece of advice that I loved from a recent episode was to end with the beginning in mind. Todd was recommending that when you finish working on something for the day, make sure you know where you need to start the next day before you go and do something else. Julian Fellowes, the writer of Downton Abbey, said that he never stops writing at the end of a chapter or scene, he always writes at least a few sentences to start the next part so he knows where he had planned to go next. I love this advice and have found it really helpful in my own work.
4. Craftcast with Alison Lee
Host Alison Lee talks to well-known artists in their field, including jewellery artists, about their work and inspirations. I always find listening to other artists talk about their work inspiring.
5. Creative living with Jamie
This is one of the first creativity podcasts I ever listened to. Hosted by Canadian artist Jamie Ridler who talks about her own creative process as well as interviewing artists about their creative lives. Even if you don’t recognise the artist’s name it is fascinating and inspiring to hear about other people’s creative lives, how they get inspired and to be inspired myself!
6. How do I listen to podcasts?
You can listen directly from the podcast website on your computer. If you want to download the episodes to listen to when you don’t have an internet connection the instructions depend on what device you have!
a. Apple – iphone or ipad
You will already have the podcast app on your device. It looks like this:
- Touch this icon, which will open your podcast app
- Tap on search, type in the search box for the podcast you would like to listen to
- You can subscribe to the podcast (this means that your device will automatically add new episodes when they are published by the podcaster)
- Alternatively, you can just download and listen to one episode at a time. Tap the cloud icon next to an episode to download
- Downloaded episodes will appear on your screen, tap on it to play it
You can find more information on podcasts for Apple here
b. Android – tablet or smartphone
If you have an Android tablet or smartphone (basically anything that isn’t Apple!) you will need to download a podcast player first in order to listen to podcasts.
- Go to the play store or store on your device
- Type in the podcast player name of your choice (here is an article on the different podcast players for Android). I use Podcast Addict
- Install the app
- To search for a podcast open the app by tapping on it, tap the plus sign and search engine
- Type in the name of the podcast and tap search
- When you have found the right podcast tap subscribe
- Tap in the three lines (top left) and choose the podcast
- Tap the downward arrow to download
- Tap on the episode and the play button to listen
There is more information on using Podcast Addict here.