Audio Listening Discoveries of 2014 / by Mary Jennings

Podcasts and Audiobooks: While painting, I will sometimes require something to keep my conscious mind busy while my subconscious mind can get to work painting some great work. I found the need for just that this fall when I was blessed with a few commissions back to back.  Thankfully, I stumbled upon a podcast that has been wonderful.  It's called The Savvy Painter, for artists who mean business, by Antrese Wood. In her words, by listening to the Savvy Painter podcast, you will:

  • Learn from artists who have been there before.
  • Expose yourself to new ideas that inspire you to push your studio work farther and build your business.
  • Learn to analyze other peoples marketing solutions and adapt them to suit you.\

The books I was able to listen to came from my public library. They were available, otherwise, I might not have gotten them.  I loved listening to the autobiography by Booker T. Washington titled. Up From Slavery.  It blew my mind how many parallels he discusses are still prevalent today. From his experiences as a slave, his observations about the people around him, his hunger for education and the desire to provide education and good sustaining skills, his clarity and determination throughout his life were inspiring.  The book is full of quotes that will promote thinking the is relevant for today and encouraging if not refreshing. Some of his thinking might not be popular with several groups, but I appreciated hearing his story. 

Another great book I listened to from the public library was Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande was fascinating.  Written by a surgeon and capable storyteller, it details how implementing the use of checklists can improve more accurate productivity and reduce errors.  He provides examples from piloting an airplane, performing surgery, running a busy restaurant kitchen, managing an investment portfolio and even constructing an enormous skyscraper. It was really worth the listen and I will implement some of this checklist strategy to my performance as an artist. 

I have to tell you that I do still actually read books and love to turn page after page, but I am not good at reading before bed and that doesn't allow much time for sitting still. The audio books are a wonderful way to stay on the receiving end of some great writing while I am using my hands and eyeballs for other things.  

If you do get the opportunity to listen (or read) any of these above mentioned podcasts/books, I would love to hear what you thought.  Leave a comment if you would like or email me your thoughts.  mary@maryjenningsart.com