And start listening to excellent art-related (mostly) podcasts—while you draw.
As you have probably seen, I have been mulling over how to detach ourselves from our devices so we get more time to draw. And the gist is that the apps on these devices are designed to glue our eyes to our screens.
And you can’t draw when looking at a screen because you need to look at your sketchbook for that.
So then I thought, well, what about Podcasts? You can draw while listening to something! And I started my podcast, which isn’t too good just yet.
And so, then, I dove into the rabbit hole, as one does, looking for existing podcasts. Instead of, you know, drawing.
But there are already many wonderful, amazing art-related podcasts out there! I can listen to these and, you know, draw.
Because why would I make podcast episodes when I could listen to existing ones and draw?
And then a new idea dawned on me: A kind of TikTok but for Podcasts!
Hear me out! Hear me out!
A clever thing about TikTok is that it just presents you with a stream of videos. There is no need to subscribe or anything; it just figures out the next video to show to you.
They select the next video with the highest chance of gluing your eyes to the screen.
But what if. But what if!
What if there were a platform that just selected podcasts for you, podcasts that were of interest to artists like you and me? A platform where you need only one interaction: click to go to the next podcast.
You know where I am going with this!
I am also a long-time programmer, so I created a website that does just that.
Instead of, you know, drawing.
I selected fifty (for now) cool, pleasant to listen to, calm art-related podcasts to listen to while drawing.
Because the cool thing about podcasts is that they tend to have what they call RSS feeds: files I can download daily, with lists of the podcast episodes that are currently available and where to download them.
You don’t need to create an account or click to accept cookies because your data doesn’t need to be sent to the server! Your browser can download the new information on podcast episodes and start playing.
One fun thing was to figure out an ‘algorithm’ for this. It has to be efficient because, ideally, it should scale to many listeners. And so, for this, you end up with the idea of preparing playlists.
I suspect that is possibly how the TikTok algorithm works, by the way. They use their data to design long, addictive playlists, and when you start swiping through videos, they may switch you to another addictive playlist to try instead. These playlists can be prepared in advance; they are static data that billions of people can download without needing additional computer processing power per user.
But I digress. I can not do that because I am not collecting data. So.
What about just a random playlist?
Hear me out! Hear me out!
I chose around two hundred high-quality podcasts, divided over five categories: Art, Design, Interviews, Comedy, and Business. Each episode is brilliant. Well, I mean, I hope. I haven’t personally checked all of them out. It’s probably tens of thousands of hours of audio.
So what I do is I randomly select a podcast and randomly pick an episode from it. That way, each podcast gets an equal chance to be picked, irrespective of how many episodes it has. And you may be served ‘older’ episodes that are wonderful to listen to.
That’s it! That’s the entire algorithm. And it may be better than all these more sophisticated ones. At least with this method, there is a chance you will hear an older, really great podcast episode.
It is curated by a human—me. You get a random wonderful episode you didn’t know about and you might discover something new. Kind of like walking into a bookstore and randomly walking by a book you didn’t know you wanted.
The 'algorithms' have taken that away from us. They force us down rabbit holes and into echo chambers. Where the statistics-based algorithms rule, there is very little chance that you will run into something completely random and obscure and wonderful.
And so, now, every day, there is a fresh list of one hundred random podcast episodes for you to listen to.
If you know of good podcasts, I’d love to know! I am looking for podcasts that are potentially interesting to artists, have good sound quality, and are calm, so they are ideal for listening to while drawing.
Granted, listening to podcasts is not always a good idea. I wrote about that earlier. Complete silence works best for me when drawing from memory and trying to memorize an image. And when writing, I need to listen to something that does not have words, at least not in a distractive way. Music can be better in that case.
But when just drawing from memory or imagination or inking, I find that listening to a calm podcast can work well.
If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!
to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.
to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.
Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.
If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here.
Check out these pleasing, calm, art-related (mostly) podcasts to listen to while drawing. They have been automatically prepared for you to automatically binge-listen to so that you can start drawing.
Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice! Here is one guide that can help you jog your creativity.