My Favorite Podcasts: 01

I listen to a ton of podcasts. Or I did, finishing up my homework on many a late night. I really love making something with some background noise that does double-duty and teaches me something, too. They’re usually design or illustration-related, but I also listen to a lot of advice—which feels like psychology from the spot next to someone on the couch, for me. You know? Remembering that how we all think, feel and do so differently is really interesting.

What I wish listening to podcasts was like | image source via Flavorwire

What I wish listening to podcasts was like | image source via Flavorwire

Here are my top 5 favorite podcasts from the last year:

1. Mortified

This podcast is my world right now, guys. Described as ‘a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids’, and based on the (amazing) documentary Mortified Nation (on Netflix), if you ever wrote in a journal as a tween and have an inkling it would be super-embarrassing now, imagine that being read aloud by you on stage. What?! The stuff tweens say! Everything from a girl who wrote Judy-Blume style sex scenes before she knew what happened during sex, to a kid who hated going to naked summer camp. It makes me laugh, and then want to hug them and peek through my own old journals to see what gems lie within. You’ll be addicted if you ever wrote a break-up poem in highschool, or were in any way a bit of am awkward misfit.

2. Savage Lovecast

I think anyone born beyond 2000+ knows and regularly consumes Dan Savage (on The Stranger or, in Vancouver, The Georgia Straight every week) already, but for me this is a must-listen podcast. Does anyone remember ‘Sex Talk With Sue’ on late-night TV a decade ago? It’s like that, but of-this-time and open-minded (not that Sue wasn’t, bless her). I really enjoy Dan’s political rants at the beginning—truly some of the only news and views on sexuality that matter to me (and should, to every being with private parts). It’s just really awesome, real relationship advice.

3. Dear Sugar

I read Wild. I loved it. I didn’t know before the novel that Cheryl Strayed wrote a cult-favorite column called ‘Dear Sugar’, which this podcast revives. With Steve Almond, the sugar before she wrote as sugar, together they tackle life and relationship questions from listeners. I find this one really deep and interesting: heartfelt would be the way to describe it. Thoughtful. Each episode is one question, and they really take the time to get to the heart of it and offer their empathy and experience in response. Can be good and tear-y, sometimes...but always hopeful. Always profound and human.

4. Sean Wes

I’ve been listening to this for a few years, now—a continual favorite! Hosted by a hand-lettering entrepreneur, it’s all about making a living from your passion online, covering everything from how to stay motivated, value-based pricing, and how to find your own style, to dealing with nitty-gritty business stuff and talking self-employed income with your spouse. I put this on when I’m working on something new, or when I need to feel inspired—it’s refreshing to watch someone’s business grow and have them share how they’re doing it simultaneously. Also, I find Sean’s concise way of looking at things a bit of a brain rush: I either agree or really disagree with him, and I love that that conflict makes me consider all the sides of something. (If you like this, he also shares advice via video and on these same topics, too!)

5. Big Illustration Party Time

This one is an oldie-but-goodie, for me. I found it after they’d stopped recording and am still working through the backlog, but imagine two cool-but-nerdy animator-types (okay, they draw comics and illustrate, but they really remind me of animators) talking shop: how to find work, how to define a style, adventures in marketing and trade shows, etc.—but with some beer and surfer-dude voices. I have to admit, some episodes (the really comic-centric ones), are too nerdy even for me and I skip em, but I wish they were still podcasting. They have some really awesome guests on and cross-over shows with for more shop-talk, too!

I have also been known to enjoy Mysterious Universe (a little kooky, I know), Loveline (when I need a laugh—plus, Dr. Drew!), and a few other design ones that might get a post of their own soon. Kind of a mixed bag, I know!

What's your favorite podcast (or two)?