Image of a yellow hard-covered book with the black letters reading Why I make art

Alfred’s new book builds on podcast that focuses on artists’ creative processes

Brian Alfred, associate professor of art in the School of Visual Arts, has authored Why I Make Art: Contemporary Artists’ Stories About Life and Work,” which features stories and works from 30 artists he has interviewed on his podcast “Sound and Vision.

Released in May, the book dives deeper into the featured artists’ lives and work with illustrations that offer fans of the podcast the opportunity to see the artists’ work while providing a more traditional medium for art enthusiasts.

“I liked the idea of reflecting on the conversations and also having the podcast exist outside the audio realm,” Alfred said. “Not everyone listens to podcasts, and I like that people can pick up a book and read about these conversations through the lens of looking at the artist.”

The award-winning podcast debuted in 2016 and during its almost six-year run, Alfred has produced more than 300 episodes featuring in-depth conversations with visual artists and musicians.

Alfred aims to release one episode per week and while his work on the podcast continues, the book has provided him a space to step back and revisit the conversations through a different lens.

“You always see things differently when you look back, and also the ideas take different shape in relation to the other conversations,” Alfred said.

This fall, Alfred is teaching advanced painting critique and digital painting courses, and while the book is meant for anyone who enjoys art, success for him has a specific focus.

“Success for the book for me is one student picking it up, reading about an artist, connecting to something they said or did and being inspired,” Alfred said. “I want it to be a source of inspiration to other artists.”

Access to the “Sound and Vision” podcast as well as ways to buy the book can be found on the podcast website.