Working without some music playing the background or any other sort of noise is not possible for me. Although I admit that I haven’t really tried working in a noise-free environment yet. Most of the time I listen to classical music while working on an illustration or lettering piece. There’s a decent radio station here in Germany, that you can also stream online. But the news interruptions and commercials quickly start to annoy me. Some time last year I discovered some great podcasts, that I can listen to while working. I haven’t looked back since. Not only are they pleasant to listen to, they also provide industry insights, useful tips and tricks and tons of advice for artists and business in general, Well, depending on what you want to listen to.

Here are my five favourite art and business related podcasts, that keep me company during my work hours. All of them are highly recommended.

Chris Oatley’s Art Cast

This one is the first podcast I started to listen to regularly. Brought to life and hoasted by former Disney artist Chris Oatley and founder of the Oatley Academy, this podcast features interviews with people working in the animation and illustration industry. You’ll get insights on how they broke into this competative industry, what inspires them and how they confront art block and other daily struggles in the life of an artist.

You can listen to it here: Chris Oatley’s Art Cast

Paper Wings

Paper Wings is another podcast initiated by Chris Oatley. It’s also co-hosted by Lora Innes and Justin Copeland and focuses on visual storytelling. In interviews with industry leaders and from the experiences of the show hosts, you’ll learn what it takes to create compelling stories.

You can listen to it here: Paper Wings

Sean Wes podcast

The Sean Wes podcast was initiated by Sean McCabe, hand-letterer and typeface creator, and is co-hosted with Ben Toalson, a designer and host of his own podcast „In the boat with Ben“. This show is chockfull of advice for greating a successful freelance business. From daily routines, productivity tips to behind the scenes informations on launching an online course, this show has it all. Whatever topic you may think of, there’s probably an episode on it on the podcast. You’ll get a new episode every wednesday and friday every week. There’s already a backlog of over 200 episodes when I’m writing this article and I still haven’t managed to catch up yet.

You can listen to it here: Sean Wes podcast

There are also other podcasts in the Sean Wes network. I haven’t checked them out yet, but from the high quality of this podcast I’m sure they are worth listening in on.

Pencil vs. Pixel

This podcast is the most recent of my listening list. Pencil vs. Pixel features interviews with creatives of various professions. You’ll get insights from web designers, illustrators, lettering artists, interface and more about what it’s like to work in the design industry. The show is hosted by Cesar Contreras and always starts with the question „Pencil or pixel?“ for the guests.

You can listen to it here: Pencil vs. Pixel

With this list you are covered with every possible art and business related topic. That’s all good and well, but sometimes I need something entertaining. That’s when I turn to my most favourite non-business podcast: Welcome to Night Vale.

Welcome to Night Vale, written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, is a radioshow hosted by Cecil Baldwin illustrating the strange happenings in the fictional city of Night Vale. It’s an absolute joy to listen to the show and follow the weird and curious events in Night Vale. The show is the right thing to listen to if you are a fan of mystery, horror and suspence. And it’s pretty funny, too. New episodes are released twice a month. on the 1st and 15th of the month.

You can listen to the show here: Welcome to Night Vale

The podcast has also been touring the US, Canada and Europe last year and there is a new tour already going on right now in the US and Canada. You can check out the dates here. There’s also a book coming out on October 20th, which also includes a book tour. The dates can be found here. And in February 2016 there will be live shows in Australia and New Zealand. The dates are here . Lots of the shows are already sold out, but there are still tickets available. If you like the show and live near one of the tour cities, I can highly recommend buying a ticket for the show. I was lucky enough to see it last year in Hamburg and it was one of the best times I had in a while.

Have you listened to one or more podcasts I mentioned? How did you like it? Or do you know a podcast you can recommend? I always like to diversify my listening list. Share it in the comments.

Happy listening,