Jul 8, 2014

The relevant worth of Podcasts

I've been self-medicating myself on a fairly heavy dose of Podcasts over the last month or so and I'm now totally hooked on them, real bad. They are fantastic to listen to while drawing and painting, and I also listen to them during my commute to and from work.

Let's get one thing straight, though: I don't just listen to any old podcast I come across. Heck no! I only choose to listen to the very finest quality podcasts; the cream of the crop, the diamonds in the veritable rough.

Naturally, the podcasts I do like to listen to are about the things I have more than just a passing interest in. For instance, there is a fellow that goes by the name 'The Tolkien Professor,' who has several hundred episodes available to listen to for free that go into incredible detail about my favourite author, J. R. R. Tolkien. So I've listened to a whole bunch of those.

But what I am really into at the moment is the fantasy art and general illustration podcasts. And, thankfully, there's a good few of them. Here are the ones I particularly like:

The WIP Podcast is the one that started it all for me. I can't recall how I ended up listening to this one, but I am so glad I did. This podcast is hosted by two married couples, Jeff & Caroline Himmelman and Pete & Ania Mohrbacher.
I've only managed to find episodes 15 through 24 to listen to on iTunes and the internet at large, but I plan on asking the creators (a couple of whom are Facebook friends) if the first 14 are available anywhere.
Unfortunately, the last episode (#24) was recorded over three years ago, so it is unlikely that there will be any new episodes from the WIP gang. I believe the Himmelman's are no longer together, which is probably why, sadly, the podcast is no more.
The thing I really love about the WIP podcast is the feeling of openness and sharing one gets from it. I've heard it mentioned in several places how the Fantasy art scene is one of the most welcoming and sharing groups in the art world; where artists are more than happy to help other artists out and strong bonds of friendship are often forged. This is very evident in the WIP podcast.
Episodes 15 to 24 are available for free on iTunes.

Ninja Mountain is another great one. There are currently 126 episodes (and counting) full of fantastic tips, interviews, discussions, theories and commentaries on fantasy art and related topics. I've only listened to maybe a dozen or so of these episodes, but they are really good and will probably be the next series I will audibly consume once the current one is complete.
All of their episodes can be downloaded from their awesome BLOG.

Sidebar Nation is more of a comic-related podcast, but it is still really good. There are a huge amount of podcasts, some with interviews with the very best comic creators around today. I just listened to a wonderful and revealing interview with the great Whilce Portacio a few weeks ago.
Sidebar is probably the best know comic-related podcast and their website can be found over here.

This is the podcast series I am currently listening to. It's bloody good and I never want it to end!
The thing I really like about the Drawn Today podcasts is the diversity of presenters and their views. They talk about important artistic subjects passionately, and there is a good mix of perspectives and respectful disagreement.
There seems to be a good roster of contributors to the Drawn Today podcast and blog, and many of them go to the big conventions and workshops like the IMC (more on this in my next post), so they bring to the table a certain level of clout and current knowledge of the industry of fantasy illustration.

So, with all of this listening to folks talking about artsing and artsistry, one would assume that I have picked up all sorts of valuable information. One would be right in thinking that! I've actually started writing the really earth-shatteringly brilliant pieces of advice down on post-its and want to make some sort of shrine to them in my studio. Let me share a couple of them with you-

"You are only going to get hired to do the same sort of artwork as is in your portfolio"
-Dan Dos Santos paraphrased, WIP Podcast #2
This is such a simple and obvious thing, but it is so important to keep in mind and has certainly had an effect on my mid-range plans. More to come on this at a later date.

"95% of all painting problems are actually drawing problems."
-attributed to an art teacher, Drawn Today #12
This is another great one to keep in mind as I try and move to a career that deals with much more paint.

"Make great art for the sake of making great art, not for where it is going to appear."
-kinda my paraphrasing of a similar statement attributed to Donato Giancola.
This is one I heard just last night and it is really resonating with me. That's the sort of artist I want to be, who cares about the art, not so much the book cover it appears on.

The next post is going to completely contradict that last quote. I'm going to talk about my artistic bucket list!
Ooh, yeah, how about I show some artwork? Here's some head roughs of one of my favourite characters from The Lord of the Rings...

Boromir. Proud, strong, flawed, redeemed?
See you soon.

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