Watching and Listening


Curly dry grass
Sometimes I listen to podcasts while I draw or fold laundry

There are a few places on the internet that I keep going back to, that provide me with a great deal of pleasure. At the moment there are a couple of podcasts that I like a great deal, and one video series.

I’m hoping if I tell you what I like you’ll tell me about something that you like.

Design Matters

My absolute favorite podcast on the internet is Debbie Millman’s Design Matters. Millman interviews interesting and thoughtful designers, artists, authors, typographers, illustrators, entrepreneurs: smart, creative and quirky people who, it would appear, have led charmed lives to get to where they are, but this is just not the case. I absolutely love the questions that Millman asks, many of which are prepared from the extensive research she does for each interview, but many of which are obviously not scripted. She constantly amazes me on how she knows just exactly where and how to ask for more clarifications. Nothing gets by her instinct to tease out the most interesting details about the fascinating people she invites to her podcast. Sadly, there are only 243 interviews posted. I haven’t gotten through all of them, but I’m gaining. Just listening to these interviews opens the world of how creative people move through their lives.


Now and then I go down to NYC to take a class from the talented and accomplished book artist Susan Mills. Susan is a prolific artist and instructor,who also has created a podcast which focuses on the book arts, http://www.bookbindingnow.com/ What a boon, to me, to be able to hear the back story of so many people I know only slightly or only by reputation.  It’s such a pleasure for me to hear people whose interests are so closely aligned with mine. Are there any other book arts podcasts out there? If so, let me know. Mills has 104 episodes, which I am slowly working through. Susan and I met up in early December 2015, and I became her interview #100. 🙂


Trish Witkowski has the best t-shirts on the internet. For the past, 6 or 7 years she wears a different one, each a pun about folding, while she shows off  a folded piece of paper that she knows we’re going to love. Which I do. These very short segments aren’t tutorials, but she gives enough info that I can generally, though certainly not always,  figure out how to create what she’s presenting. Witkowski is absolutely enchanting in these mini-episodes. Anyone who is interested in folding paper needs to subscribe to Trish’s Foldfactory.com channel. The work shown  is 100% geared towards designers and created by firms for advertisers, but this fact doesn’t at all diminish the rigor of the work shown. If anything, the work is sharper and more inventive for having to consider certain constraints.

So, that’s it, my big three at the moment. My list changes.  For the longest time, while I was first learning to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, I was nearly addicted to Lynda.com. This is a subscription service, but probably the best way to learn Adobe. If you ever decide to subscribe to lynda.com, which I would heartily endorse, to get the most out it you must TAKE GOOD NOTES and keep them organized. There is no way of absorbing everything you can learn at lynda, but you can learn what is possible and, if you have taken good organized notes, you’ll know where to find what you need as your skills increase. Lynda.com also has lots of great content besides Adobe tutorials… actually, the site seems to have evolved from a mostly programs-tutorial site to something much broader for the creative and the curious.

I also used to be a big ted.com fan. I watched everything I could find for a while, but then, as there were more talks than I could possibly keep up with, I sort of lost interest. Or maybe my interests started to narrow. Or both. So now I rarely watch a Ted Talk unless it has been recommended to me.

I’ve never heard a  Radiolab Podcasts that I haven’t like, but, like the Ted Talks, I find I rarely think of listening to Radiolab because it seems, at the moment, I’m feeling more focused and less generalized in what I want to be thinking about.

What gems have you found on the web? Let me know!


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