Five design and visual arts podcasts for keeping up with the creative industry
From deep dives into leading creative studios to crucial perspectives on arts and popular culture, here’s everything you should listen to this month.
- Liz Gorny
- 14 September 2022
Whether you’re a podcast veteran or novice, picking out a good one can often feel like staring around an overstocked bookshop. There’s no shortage of options, but knowing which can offer a truly unique insight can be a little tricky. This is only made harder considering the notoriously unbranded covers that audiences have to choose between – a topic we recently discussed with Koto’s James Greenfield following the agency’s work for the People Doing Things podcast.
Whether you want to be taught unexpected creative lessons, look at an industry phenomenon in a whole new light, or simply keep up to date with the latest from some of the most exciting studios out there, we’ve narrowed down the options. Below are five must-listen podcasts for staying informed on all-things design, creative and visual arts.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out our very own It’s Nice That podcast! Series One, now available in full on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, features conversations with the likes of artist, author and director Miranda July, acclaimed photographer Joshua Kissi and The New York Times Magazine creative director Gail Bichler.
Hosted by illustrator and designer Justyna Green, On Design offers a contemplative look at design through numerous lenses. Particularly great for deepening your understanding on the hows and whys behind the work of leading industry figures, On Design also serves as an amazing collection of conversations on how each guest sees the world.
In the past, Justyna has welcomed the likes of Pentagram’s Yuri Suzuki, illustrator and artist Jade Purple Brown, and Allbirds head of creative, Alex Valdman, to the show. From discussions on AI, the metaverse and what it’s like to work at Rapha, Justyna always manages to tease out brilliantly timely insights on the creative landscape today. With the next season of the podcast (launching 7 September and supported by The Conran Shop) featuring the likes of Stefan Sagmeister, Ricardo Cavolo, India Mahdavi, Sabine Marcelis and more, many exciting topics await.
From episodes including The Class Ceiling in the Arts, Black in the Time of Corona, Donald Glover’s Atlanta – Stance is the arts and culture podcast to turn to for perspectives that get to the core of a cultural, artistic or social moment. Stance’s founder, journalist and curator Chrystal Genesis has crafted a series full of fascinating and vital topics often not discussed in the industry.
New listeners can expect conversations with creatives like photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga who, alongside other guests, unpack Montreal’s bustling creatives scene. Also featured on the podcast are artists and world-renowned sculptors Nari Ward and Antony Gormley, who share opinions on the subversive nature of art, plus culture editor at Gal-dem, Kemi Alemoru, who explains “how sex is depicted in music, film and wider popular culture through the lens of Black women”, explains the Stance site.
Graphic Support Group
The world of graphic design is an industry that doesn’t offer much in the way of therapeutically supporting its workers. That’s where James Chae and Drew Litowitz come in. Founders of the Graphic Support Group podcast, the duo explore the emotional and psychological dimensions of design practices via their podcast. Talking to “a cadre of amazing graphic designers”, they hack away at “past traumas, spiritual mantras, PSDs, PTSD and inner peace”, their site explains.
To find out more about the podcast, how it came to be and the uniquely vulnerable approach behind each episode, read our recent feature with James and Drew. In the article, James expertly surmises the premise of the project: “We talk to people who are interested in imperfection, the fringes of beauty and what design really is.”
“Raising the BAAR” in Art, Culture, and Society
“What works? What is changing in today’s visual art ecosystem?” These are the kind of questions the “Raising the BAAR” in Art, Culture, and Society podcast asks – a series plugged directly into the evolving and “exclusive world of art”, its bio states. Curated and produced by Jewell Sparks, the founder and brainchild of art advisory and residency BAAR, the host talks to a range of artists, gallerists, collectors, and curators, amplifying their experience through a series of episodes and soundbites.
For anyone wanting to delve deep into topics pertinent to the art market, curation and creation, previous episodes of “Raising the BAAR” include conversations such as “how to hold art institutions, gallerists and collectors accountable for their efforts, and the sometimes unintentional, yet impactful effects of the exploitation of underrepresented artists”. Short soundbites also unpack a range of issues, such as looking beyond institutionalised validation when it comes to creating, releasing and assessing art.
For those wanting to focus on branding and keeping up with everything creative agency-related, Private View(s) is for you. Made possible by client-creative “matchmaking” agency Aufi, the podcast came out of wanting to expose the wider industry to the “inspiring” conversations it gets to hear everyday. Private View(s) breaks down studio processes, studio culture, topics and issues everyone needs to consider when creating a brand.
The roster for each season has included some of the top design and branding agencies out there. Collins, Made Thought and RoAndCo all featured within the first season, while series two welcomed AllofUs, Character, DesignStudio, Gretel and more. Tune in to hear from studios working with clients like The New York Times and Netflix, talking about topics including human behaviour, ego and how they infiltrate the creative approach.
Justyna Green: On Design (Copyright © On Design, 2022)
Chrystal Genesis: Stance (Copyright © Stance, 2022)
Graphic Support Group: Episode Two with Somnath Bhatt (Copyright © Graphic Support Group, 2022)
Aufi: Private View(s) (Copyright © Aufi, 2022)
Jewell Sparks: “Raising the BAAR” in Art, Culture, and Society (Cover Harold Smith, Black Man, Brown Suit, 2021, Acrylic on Canvas 48 x 36in. Image courtesy of Jewell Sparks, The Sparks Family / BAAR Inclusion Factors Collection)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.