Top Ten Podcasts to Inspire Artists

By Diana Brown

July 8, 2019

USA, New Jersey, Female artist painting in studio

Being an artist takes not only talent and training, but dedication, perseverance, guts, and smarts. It’s not just about making the art itself, but knowing something about art history, theory, and practice, finding buyers, submitting to exhibitions, and putting your process and purpose into words for viewers and granters. But art is so important because it moves us, connects us, challenges us, and creates meaning out of what can sometimes be the frustrating experience of being alive. And artists need a steady diet of wisdom, wit, and wonder to keep them creating and experimenting. So whether you make paintings or pottery, sculptures or sketches, installations or exhibitions, these ten podcasts can help enlighten and inspire you while you’re busy doing the same for the rest of us. 

The Lonely Palette host Tamir Avishai interviews unsuspecting museum visitors about a famous painting, from Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Magritte, and more, having them describe it and discuss their feelings and impressions of it, before diving into the history of the artist, of the painting, and the world at the time it was made. A great way to learn a lot about famous paintings, enjoy regular art lovers’ off-the-cuff impressions of it, and make museum guards a little nervous.

Hosted by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson, A Piece of Work focuses on modern and contemporary art and performance. Abbi watches and discusses a Yoko Ono performance with RuPaul, talks about emojis in museums with Questlove, comes to terms with Jackson Pollock’s “action paintings” thanks to a little guidance from dancer and choreographer Mark Morris, and ponders what Andy Warhol would have done with social media with Tavi Gevinson, Broadway actress and editor of Rookie magazine. Fun and informative, this podcast will give you a whole new appreciation for modern art.

The Artist’s Voice interviews an artist each episode with casual, open conversations talking about their work, sharing successes and challenges as well as best practices. Guests discuss selling their work at Union Square in New York City, knowing both sides of the brain to get the most out of your artistic process, making time for creativity, their fifteen minutes of fame, and more. Relaxed and real, The Artist’s Voice is worth hearing.

Created by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists, The Thriving Artist gets down to the business of art, with insights from industry professionals, collectors, and gallerists to learn how to market and sell your art, create a brand, get the most out of art fairs, and more. Episodes about improving your finances, strengthening your sales strategy, and copyrighting your work will help you go from surviving to thriving in no time.

The casual conversations on Artist Decoded with established and up-and-coming artists not only get into the guests’ processes, perspectives, and best practices, but also their inspirations, backgrounds, side projects, current interests and more, making their work more immediate and interesting to the listener and themselves more real, fully-formed people with doubts and insecurities. Informal, inspiring, and intelligent, this podcast helps artists of any experience level feel a little less alone in the world.

A podcast dedicated to photography, video production, editing, and filmmaking, Artful Camera gets into everything: the gadgets and software, the lenses and cameras, the artistry behind those cameras, and more, talking to cinematographers, analog and digital photographers, and filmmakers about everything from shooting for Nickelodeon and the art of editing documentaries to whether websites are still useful and if that new Apple product is worth the price tag. Essential listening for anyone behind the lens.

This podcast puts the “tea” in “art,” with inside-scoop stories about the personal lives of artists, what inspired certain works, stories about artists they’ve worked with, and other hot art gossip. The Jealous Curator talks with a self-described artist and beekeeper, a documentary filmmaker who followed Yayoi Kusama around, a deaf artist, movie magic artist Richard Holland, and tons of others, covering everything from life-changing Google searches to Care Bears to the practicalities of giving birth to dragons.

Bad At Sports is a weekly podcast about contemporary art, presenting the practices of dealers, curators, artists, critics, and other arts professionals. Guests include Joan Giroux, Anna Metcalfe, Goat Island’s Matthew Goulish, and the curators at the Chicago Design Museum discussing arts and ecology, Cuban art and cultural exchange, exhibitions around the world, museum funding, and so much more.

99% Invisible is dedicated to the design we just don't notice anymore: architecture, product design, city planning, and more. With episodes about redesigning hospitals to sound better (which is better for our health), the housing practices in Singapore that led to giant concrete skyscrapers where thatched-roof huts once stood, and examining the design of everything from stadiums and grocery stores to pennies and vending machines, 99% Invisible will have you seeing the world around you with new eyes.

Four women, armed with Master’s degrees and a nice bottle of red, discuss art history, pop culture, modern art trends and more on Art History Babes. Episodes include dives into the lives and careers of Georgia O’Keefe, Frida, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Caravaggio, a two-parter called "Cube Your Enthusiasm" covering Picasso and Duchamp, and even an episode on Bojack Horseman. They also get into the history of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the world of art appraisal, and ancient Egyptian sculpture. Witty and wonderful, this one is worth the time.

If you want to be sure you're listening to the podcasts everyone else is checking out, iHeartRadio has you covered. Every Monday, iHeartRadio releases a chart showing the most popular podcasts of the week. Stay up to date on what's trending by checking out the chart here. There's even a chart just for radio podcasts here, featuring all your favorite iHeartRadio personalities like Bobby Bones, Elvis Duran, Steve Harvey and dozens of others.

Photo: Getty Images

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