I started listening to podcasts instead of music at the start of the year. The most basic reason was that I didn’t have a subscription to Spotify so I couldn’t download music, and I didn’t always have data. I discovered that you can download podcast episodes from Apple Podcasts, so I went with that.
Podcasts for me are much better to listen to on the commute than music. With music, I don’t have to really engage my thoughts—I just let the tunes flow and it helps me with my work. Podcasts, on the other had, needs me to be engaged with the conversation. It’s like you’re in class listening to your professor, or if you’re in a TED Talk.
My podcast topics these days are mostly about art, side hustles/business, and romance (novels, including the author and reader community). Here are my top 5 (in no particular order), selected mainly for the quality of the episodes, the speakers, and the frequency of their updates.
1) 3 Point Perspective
The 3 Point Perspective is a podcast hosted by illustrators Will Terry, Jake Parker, and Lee White. They talk about illustration— “how to do it, how to make a living at it, and how to make an impact in the world with it.”
What I love about this podcast: They talk about things beyond actual illustration skills: How you can be a better student, lessons they learned (yes, they still are learning!), the importance of finishing projects, and so on.
My favorite episode: Episode 2: Am I too old to get started? Though I’m far from a beginner, I’ve still got ways to go. This episode was great because their examples were for people past their 20s who were able to make it as illustrators.
2) David Tennant Does a Podcast With…
Actor David Tennant has a lot of fans, thanks in part to his work with Doctor Who and Harry Potter—more so now that he’s done Broadchurch and soon, Good Omens. Venturing into podcasts with David Tennant Does a Podcast With… seems to be a casual move, but on the other hand seems fitting.
What I love about this podcast: David’s voice is just wonderful to listen to, and each episode goes right off the bat—no long introductions, no advertisement or sponsorship spiels. Just David and his guest, and their conversation is very much like one between friends. Honest, heartfelt, real.
My favorite episode: It’s a very new podcast, and I loved every guest David has had so far. This far, I’d say my favorite guest is Whoopi Goldberg. I enjoyed listening to her story about how she stumbled upon acting, her encounters with other actors, and how important it is to be kind.
3) Overtime Design Podcast
Dribbble’s Overtime Design Podcast goes behind the scenes with designers and artists. Hosted by the site’s co-founder, Dan Cederholm.
What I love about this podcast: As with the 3 Point Perspective, this podcast is about design, illustration, art, and everything creative. However, Dan talks to different people and they share their journey as creatives—how they started, the challenges, how they got to be where they are now. You’ll definitely pick up a lot of learnings, and find that perhaps you’re not alone in your journey.
My favorite episode: Lauren Hom. I love how she talks about how her passion projects opened up opportunities for her to earn money and step out from the rat race. She’s realistic but encouraging, and while she doesn’t pretend it’s not easy, she makes you feel that it is possible to do.
4) Smart Podcast, Trashy Books!
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is a community website of people who love romance fiction—but the discussion here is so much more about that.
What I love about this podcast: Aside from the very obvious fact that it talks about my favorite genre, it explores a lot of other topics that fall within the periphery of it. There’s the usual author interviews, but conversations can cover art, the publishing industry, plagiarism, racism, gender and sexuality, etc. Even if you’re not a romance reader, there will be topics that may be of interest, but are discussed within the world of romance fiction.
Favorite episode: I’m pretty biased, but I really enjoyed the episode when Mina Esguerra was a guest. It was great to hear about #romanceclass, and how it’s creating waves across the romance writing and publishing industry. I also enjoyed the episode with Regina Flath who talked about designing book covers (which lead me to reading new YA books).
5) Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Like most people, I got to met Jonathan Van Ness through Netflix’s Queer Eye. I didn’t know he had a podcast until I started listening to podcasts in general. Getting Curious has no particular niche. Rather, the topics are just about anything that Jonathan is interested in, including the environment, self-care, current affairs, and figure skating.
What I love about this podcast: The description of the podcast is “A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness is curious about”, and he is curious about a lot of things! While he asks a lot of questions, you’ll also know how smart and prepared he is because of what he asks. I’ve listened to episodes with topics I didn’t think I’d be interested in, but I come away a bit more informed about things that are relevant. He talked about how separation affects families (during the time when immigrant families where being broken up and children detained for months), the difference of British English and American English, trans rights, and if your vote makes a difference.
My favorite episodes: Honestly, I started listening for Jonathan’s interviews with his fellow Queer Eye cast—Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Tan France, and Bobby Berk. I continued to listen because Jonathan is an engaging host, his topics are timely and relevant, and his guests are people who really know what they’re talking about.
I’ve since added a few more shows to my list. Maybe I’ll make another post, for the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2019. Do you listen to podcasts, and if you do, what do you listen to?