Expanding your mind away from the studio

Some months it is difficult to find studio time, and this November is one of those months for me. After attending Art Biz Breakthrough, an art marketing conference in Golden, Colorado, I am off to care for an important person in my life.

Elizabeth Busey, Universal. Reduction Linocut. 10 x 20in, ed of 18.

When I am away from my studio, I miss it. I wish I was the kind of person who could take her sketchbook and create wherever she was, but I’m not. The outside world is my inspiration, not interiors or portraits. So to keep my sanity and the creative juices flowing, I do two things:

First, I take my Iphone everywhere. Having a fairly good camera with me at all times has allowed me to quickly capture ideas that I can use later in my work. You never know when you are going to see something unique. For example, on a college-visiting trip with my daughter, the reflected clouds in a flooded field led to the linocut, Hope Despite the Evidence. And no, I was not driving when I took the photograph.

Elizabeth Busey. Great Unknown. Reduction Linocut. 18 x 18in, ed of 21.

The second thing I do is listen to podcasts. No longer do I have to rush to my radio to catch the latest program. Now I can have mind-expanding information, insight and storytelling in my pocket to be accessed whenever and wherever I wish. This is a terrific use of technology. Make sure to send the podcast a couple dollars if you enjoy what they produce. Always pay for artistic talent!

Here are some of my favorites, along with some newer subscriptions:

For art marketing:  Artists Helping Artists. This chatty show has great ideas for social media marketing.

For great stories: This American Life and Fresh Air. I can even learn about hip television programs, even when I can’t watch them.

For soul-building topics: On Being. I also love the On Being blog which you can subscribe to on Facebook.

For mind-expanding information: Planet Money, RadioLab, and the TED Radio Hour. I am a better businessperson because of Planet Money’s concise explanations of complex ideas. And don’t miss RadioLab’s exploration of the visual system of mantis shrimp. The TED Radio Hour is a great option if you want a synopsis of curated TED talks.

For environmental topics: Living on Earth (short and sweet) and Climate One (longer and with more varied points of view.)

What podcasts feed your creative brain? How do you expand your mind?

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