Does Every Picture Tell a Story? A Conversation with Artist Joseph Watson for Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #51

Sto­ry­telling is an essen­tial part of Las Vegas artist Joseph Wat­son’s paint­ing method­ol­o­gy, whether he’s cre­at­ing city scenes or pub­lic sculp­ture or chil­dren’s illus­tra­tions. So how does the nar­ra­tive an author may have in mind affect the view­er, and is this dif­fer­ent for dif­fer­ent types of art?

Joseph is per­haps best known as the illus­tra­tor of the Go, Go, GRETA! book series and does online stream­ing of draw­ing ses­sions through Insta­gram and Face­book. On this episode of Pret­ty Much Pop, he joins your hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt to explore the pic­ture-nar­ra­tive con­nec­tion and more gen­er­al­ly how know­ing about the cre­ation of an image affects our recep­tion of it, touch­ing on Guer­ni­ca, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Seuss, The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, and more.

You can browse Joseph’s work at, and you’re real­ly going to want in par­tic­u­lar to look at a cou­ple of the works that we con­sid­er explic­it­ly:

Oth­er sources we looked at in prepa­ra­tion for this dis­cus­sion include:

Fol­low Joseph on Insta­gram @josephwatsonart; also Twit­ter and Face­book.

Learn more at This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This week, it includes a par­tic­u­lar­ly philo­soph­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tion of the notion of escapism and how dif­fer­ent that is from so-called seri­ous pur­suits. Is this just a ver­sion of the high-low cul­ture dis­tinc­tion that we large­ly reject­ed in episode one? This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.