There aren’t any podcasts exclusively about urban sketching…yet. (EDIT: as of September 2020, there is!!! See below for more information). However, below is a round-up of some of the podcasts that cover the wider topics of drawing, sketching, illustration, art and creativity. Now and again, there is the odd episode that is solely about urban sketching or an interview with an urban sketcher.
I have highlighted urban sketching episodes (or just my general recommended episode to listen to) for each podcast below.
Drawing Inspiration by Mike Hendley
Mike is a self-taught part-time artist from Canada, specialising in pencil and digital drawing. He occasionally shares his thoughts in an episode by himself but the majority of episodes feature interviews with other artists.
Mike has had some great guests on the show such as James Gurney, Lisa Congdon and just recently Ian Fennelly but I was super excited to see that he had interviewed one of my favourite urban sketchers who I discovered via Instagram a couple of years ago, Captain Tom. He’s not someone I expected to pop us as a guest and it was fantastic to hear more about him.
Episode 17 Two Artists in a Truck Urban Sketching with Captain Tom
In this episode, Mike interviews one of my favourite urban sketchers, Captain Tom (you can see the rest of my favourites in my post here).
Mike and Tom sketch from the inside of a truck while they have their chat. I learned a lot about Captain Tom and Mike’s interview style is relaxed and natural.
CHIUSTREAM by Bobby Chiu
Bobby Chiu is an award-winning concept and character designer. He teaches digital painting and has published a few books. This podcast covers a range of topics with an overall focus on concept art. The episodes range in length from a few minutes to over an hour.
The episodes are predominantly interviews with professional artists, from 3D Character Artists through to award-winning plein air painters. It’s so interesting to hear anecdotes and advice from high profile professional artists working in a range of industries. I have no doubt there are nuggets of gold sprinkled throughout these podcast episodes. I am working my way through them!
I’m still working my way through this podcast so I don’t yet have a particular episode to recommend, however, there is a series of short episodes called “Plein & Simple” with plein-air painter John Burton that I’m particularly enjoying so I would say those episodes are a good place to start.
Liron’s Art & Creativity Show by Liron Yanconsky
Liron has a great YouTube channel and I have found his videos on watercolor painting super useful. I just recently discovered he has a podcast too. It seems he has two actually, the one named above and a second called “Liron’s Daily Art Thought”. He seems to be running both concurrently, I’m not sure why.
The Daily Art Thought show seems to be literally short daily (although not quite daily) update of between 5 – 10 minutes. The Art & Creativity Show appears to be a weekly show. I think he would be better off consolidating the two shows personally.
The weekly shows are a bit longer, around 15 minutes. Liron is good to listen to, he is a confident speaker and likes to teach and encourage his listener. His episodes are him discussing what he’s learned lately, a new way to paint, sketch, think about things, business, marketing etc.
Liron doesn’t interview any guests, it’s just him. I think this is refreshing and probably why his episodes are shorter than other podcasts because it’s just him talking. He doesn’t ramble, he sticks to the point and I certainly think he provides original and informative content.
Episode 106 Why LinkedIn is so Important for Artists
I enjoyed this episode, I feel like the information Liron gives is original and well thought out. I hadn’t heard this information before. He follows up with why LinkedIn is important and how he has used it to build fruitful connections with art supply business. A great fresh angle and concise, no filler!
Kick in the Creatives
A podcast by two friends, Sandra Busby and Tara Roskell. Both are based in the UK, Sandra is a professional still-life artist and Tara is a graphic designer. They are both natural and chatty. Their podcast episodes are generally long-form, 1 hour or more.
Episode 59 Artist Ian Fennelly on Art and Mental Health
I’ve heard Ian talk about the strong links between art and mental health across various interviews and videos. He discusses how sketching keeps you grounded in the present, helps you to appreciate the smaller details of what you’re sketching which you wouldn’t otherwise see and slow down. I love hearing Ian talk, as I have said a number of times, I’m a big fan.
If you want to read more about urban sketching and mindfulness, you can check out my post here.
Sketching Stuff by Charlie O’Shields
You may recognise Charlie’s name, he is the founder of Doodlewash, a hugely popular website and community about watercolour painting and sketching.
I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really get into this podcast but if you are a fan of Doodlewash and Charlie already then this may be one for you.
Art Supply Posse
I don’t know too much about the makers of this podcasts. The episodes focus on interviews with artists and makers as well as manufacturers and retailers of art supplies.
Ep 52 Urban Sketching with Liz Steel
I’m a big fan of Liz Steel so I enjoyed listening to this interview with her. It was interesting hearing her story of how she discovered urban sketching and that she could make a full time living from sketching.
Art For All by Sketchbook Skool
This podcast is hosted by Danny Gregory. He generally just chit chats with the idea that you listen along while doing something creative yourself. In some ways, it’s like you’re hanging out with him. I guess it did not take off as there was only a short run of episodes in 2018. They’re still interesting to check out, especially if you are a fan of Danny or Sketchbook Skool. Perhaps they will revisit this format in future.
Episode 08: Watercolor Road Trip
Danny is on the road and chats about his habit of keeping a daily illustrated journal as he travels, when he started drawing regularly (his late 30s!) and how this habit keeps him present. Danny’s voice is soothing to listen to!
Plein Air Art Podcast by PleinAir Magazine
This podcast is by Eric Rhoads who also runs the magazine of the same name. It’s nice to listen to a podcast with good production quality. It genuinely does make such a difference to the listening experience. Also, you can tell when someone is an experienced interviewer, the conversation flows much more comfortably. After listening to podcasts constantly for so many years, my little ears do appreciate some production values!
Episode 142: Sharon Bamber’s 1000-mile On-Foot Painting Journey
I am absolutely in love with Sharon’s story. Sharon realised that producing great art wasn’t enough, she needed to find a compelling project, a story, a way of documenting something important.
In the interview Sharon explains how she decided on what her project was going to be, why she embarked on a 1,000-mile walk, producing a painting every 5 miles with a donkey as a companion and raising an incredible $25k on Kickstarter in order to fund such an undertaking.
A truly incredible and inspiring story. It makes me want to find a project and get out there documenting it in my sketchbook. If you only listen to one podcast episode from this post, make it this one.
Sharon’s working on a book about the project, you can find out more about it on her website.
Art Side of Life by Iva Mikles
This is both a podcast and youtube channel hosted by Iva who is a professional illustrator. She interviews visual artists from all around the world. She also has classes on Skillshare. She’s not the most natural interviewer but she’s certainly prolific and also has a solid pedigree in the art industry having worked as a designer for huge clients such as Lego.
Episode 31 with Teoh Yi Chie
This is an old episode (2017) so the interview style is a bit stilted and it’s Teoh’s first-ever interview so he seems a bit uncomfortable. It’s still interesting to hear him talk as an interviewee as I am generally used to seeing him interviewing people or just in a video by himself giving a tutorial or review of a product.
I was interested to learn the background of Teoh who is so prominent in the urban sketching scene but not a “professional”, he continues with his full-time job as an infographic artist and creates his art, website and Youtube channel as a hobby. He has a small child too, how on earth does he find the time?! The sound quality of the interview is not the best in places but you can still hear what he says.
Your Creative Push by Youngman Brown
This podcast is not strictly to do with drawing/sketching/painting but there are the odd episodes which are art-related. This podcast is very in-depth. I personally much prefer podcasts with 45+ minute episodes. The podcast deals with the topic of creativity as a whole, so not just art but I think there are a lot of valuable interviews here with takeaways applicable to everyone involved in creative pursuits. I would highly recommend exploring it and I’m looking forward to hearing more episodes.
Episode 350 Interview with James Gurney
James Gurney is such a fantastic interviewee, he is so natural and so many wonderful stories and insights into art education, becoming an artist and being a professional artist. He is an avid plein-air painter and his Youtube channel is seriously binge-worthy.
The Sneaky Art Podcast by Nishant Jain
Finally, someone has started an urban sketching specific podcast! Thank you to Nishant Jain, also known as ‘The Sneaky Artist’. In the first full-length episode, Nishant interviews well-known urban sketcher Paul Heaston.
It’s a 1.5-hour-long interview and has proper depth to it, starting from how Paul became interested in drawing and that even though he has a Masters in oil painting, drawing from life with a pen in a small sketchbook is his primary pursuit. Nishat is a natural interviewer and I am excited about where this podcast is going to go. Please do check it out!
I hope this list gives you some solid recommendations to add to your library. I’m pretty obsessed with podcasts, I love listening while creating art, going for long walks or drives and even in the bath!!
If you want some of my all-time favourite podcast recommendations in other subject areas, like true crime or personal development, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me over on Instagram @urbansketchingworld – come say hi!