Creatives for Creatives: my favourite podcasts about the art & business of creative work

I’ve written before about how much I love listening to podcasts during pretty much every waking moment. Walking to work? Podcasts. Freelancing? Podcasts. Out for a run? Podcasts. On a long drive? Yep, podcasts. Most of the time I listen to podcasts for entertainment, whether they’re fiction or true crime or, my favourite genre, folklore and paranormal. However, there are also plenty of great podcasts out there that can educate, inform, and best of all, help you with your creative work.

Obviously, podcasting is a creative medium in itself, but it’s also increasingly becoming a way for creative business owners to share their secrets, talk to other creatives, and discuss the process of creative work. Whether you’re a blogger, a wedding photographer, an artist, or just keen on learning about how you can enhance your creative process or maybe even turn it into a side-gig or a career, here are some of my favourite listens for getting the creative juices flowing.

Ctrl + Alt + Delete (listen)
Ctrl + Alt + Delete is the podcast that inspired this post, since my latest Book Depository delivery arrived in the mail yesterday with Emma Gannon’s The Multi-Hyphen Method. I’m excited to start reading it because Ctrl + Alt + Delete is one of my favourite podcasts for creatives. Each episode, Gannon interviews a (usually female) creative about their work. Bloggers, activists, entrepreneurs, and more, the podcast is an entertaining and insightful look at a wide variety of fields, and in many cases, these creatives are “multi-hyphenates” like Gannon herself, following multiple career paths at once.

The Goal Digger Podcast (listen)
Wedding photographer Jenna Kutcher is an entrepreneurial and social media pro, and in this workshop-style podcast she shares her wisdom on building a brand and a business. With the help of other creative business owners, she provides advice on creating a brand voice, boosting engagement, connecting with clients, and all the things you need to know to turn a side-hustle or a creative hobby into a full-blown business and income.

Start-Up (season one) (listen)
What makes season one of Start-Up so fascinating is that it’s a work in progress. Now, Gimlet Media is one of the best-known podcasting companies, but Start-Up chronicled the real-time process of its origin story, from pitching to potential investors (including listeners!), finding a business partner, and getting feedback. While it’s more of a business podcast than a creative podcast, it’s another interesting look at the financial side of creative work as well as making podcasts, especially given how many creatives these days are interested in having their own podcast (myself included).

Launch (listen)
Launch is like Start-Up but for books, a semi-real-time podcast that chronicles the creation of a book from concept to publication. It must be said that host and now YA author John August has a huge leg up in that he is a successful screenwriter (Big Fish, the Charlie’s Angels films) and therefore has a much easier time doing things like getting an agent than most aspiring novelists; however, it’s still a great tool for writers who might have a manuscript or an idea for a manuscript and are wondering what comes next.

99% Invisible (listen)
If a podcast is short, it has to be extra good. I can easily put on an hour-long episode of an okay podcast and zone out, but if I have to click back into the app every few minutes it has to be worth my time. 99% Invisible is 100% worth my time. While later episodes are longer, the early, five-minute episodes are just as good in revealing the details of creation, often focusing on architecture but also delving into the design behind every aspect of life. For those who appreciate the process of inspiration and the attention to detail that comes with a successful creative work, 99% Invisible is essential.

How Do You Write? (listen)
Everyone knows that all modern-day writers have the same process: stare at a blank screen, refresh twitter, complain about writing, repeat. However, the words need to get on the page eventually, and this is where we diverge. The How Do You Write? podcast features a different writer every week, going through the good, the bad, and the procrastination of their writing process. It’s a genuine and honest look at what it means to make time to write and the obstacles or triumphs that come along the way.

Song Exploder (listen)
Song Exploder also traces the creative process, but rather than taking a general look at a creative’s general body of look, it delves deep into a single song and aspects of its creation from inspiration all the way through post-production and release. With a wide range of artists and genres, you’ll find out the secrets behind your favourite tracks and discover the creative genius of musicians you haven’t heard of it. The editing and production of the podcast itself is excellent, and it’s thoughtfully and wonderfully hosted by Hrishkesh Hirway.


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