Tablet poster by file404 Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years — nearly every industry or interest has its own set of internet radio luminaries. Some podcasts are lighter and looser in concept, more banter-based, while others take on bigger ideas and aim to be informative and educational, with tight scripting and high production values. So no matter what you're looking for, there's likely a podcast targeted directly at your interests. There are so many out there, though, that it can sometimes be hard to find a signal in all the noise.
For help finding these gems, we asked a handful of up-and-coming podcasters what their favorite episode of their own shows has been, and why. As a bonus, we asked some Shutterstock team members to sound off on some episodes of their favorite podcasts that really struck a chord. Check them all out, then share your own favorites in the comments!
Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative
"I think my favorite recent episode of The Accidental Creative was an interview with Cal Newport about passion and work. Cal believes strongly that "follow your passion" is terrible career advice, and that you should instead choose a field that allows you to acquire rare skills, and earn "career capital" that buys you flexibility. It was a really engaging conversation and a fresh perspective on how to do great work."
Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn
"In our busy lives, it's hard to make time for writing, but if you want to finish your book and get your words into the world, you need to take it seriously. In this discussion with Iain Broome, we go through how to set goals around your word count and your book, diarizing and chunking your time, understanding resistance, plotting and organizing your book, the internal editor, and the cycle of writing. It's useful for new or established writers who want to get more done."
Matt McInerney, On the Grid
"We dedicated the full episode to a single topic: Authenticity in Digital Design. We discussed what it could or should mean, how to achieve it, and if it can ever exist. We were very honest about a topic we struggle with. Andy [Mangold] had a bit of a meltdown about it, actually. We spend a lot of our time trying to pin down what it means to be "honest" or "authentic" in design. In a new medium, with less history to define it, one can get a bit lost. We spent an hour struggling with that."
Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl
"One of my favorite episodes of the Grammar Girl podcast is "How Words Get in the Dictionary," because people have such big misconceptions about dictionaries. Many think dictionaries sanction words, passing judgment on what's a good word and what's a bad word; but what dictionaries really do is reflect how language is used. You'll find "bad" words, such as "irregardless," in dictionaries because people use these words, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's safe to use them any way you see fit."
Mark Brickey, Adventures in Design
"Adventures in Design has turned into a project of pride for me. Much like my printmaking career, the last one is always the best one, because it's built from the knowledge of all of those before it. Plus, I haven't found a way to hate it yet, but I will, like every artist eventually does with their own work."
Bonus Shutterstock Picks:
Designer Deanna Paquette on Design Matters
"Steven Heller and Debbie Millman identify different niches of design and the role that each of them has in visual culture. The argument between style and function is not a new one, but this talk offers fresh, honest opinions and references to current designers, while drawing a line through past tendencies in the industry. I highly recommend this talk for anyone obsessed with reassessing the role of design in culture (which, Steven will tell you, is entertainment)."
Designer Adriana Marin on Kevin Smith's Smodcast
"My favorite episode is the interview with Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is one of my favorite authors; he writes short stories, novels, and comic books, such the Sandman series. Gaiman is married to eccentric singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer, and that combination of so much artistic talent makes for quite an intriguing, inspirational, and funny interview."
Designer Jordan Roland on Marc Maron's WTF
"One thing that really helps creativity is to see how other people in creative fields go about crafting their art. What makes this episode with guest Dave Grohl so great is the depth he goes into about the recording studio he recently made a documentary about (Sound City) — the way he talks about the organic nature of sound, and how the room and equipment play so much into the songs, often more so than the musicians themselves. The attention to detail adds another layer to the creative process and how it applies to many different mediums."
Also be sure to check out these leaders in podcasting, always bound to deliver something insightful and new:
99 Designs 99% Invisible The Art of Photography Back to Work The BeanCast The Big Web Show Breakdown The Deep End The Frequency Happy Monday Listen Close MacBreak Weekly Mac Power Users Rooster Teeth This Week in Photo TWiT Unmatched Style Your Dreams My Nightmares
What are your favorite podcasts? Share them in the comments below.