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Artistic License with Rachel Woodall from WGN Plus


Blanchardstown, Ireland


Artistic License with Rachel Woodall from WGN Plus




Katie Horwitch and the Art of Positive Self-Talk

Katie Horwitch is a writer, a fitness trainer, a motivational speaker, and so much more. Today, we are going to talk about an organization she started that I believe is very important for our society – it’s called Women Against Negative Talk, or WANT for short. It’s all about learning the art of positive self talk, as well as shifting the negative habits we have formed along the years. That is what today’s episode is all about. To find more […]


Josie Dunne: Planting her Chicago roots in authentic, danceable tunes

Josie Dunne is a mega-talented singer-songwriter from La Grange, Illinois. She’s blossomed out of the Chicago burbs in a big way, and she’s toured with names like Ben Rector, Julia Michaels, and Andy Grammer. Her music? It speaks for itself. The first time I heard her, I was an instant fan. There’s just something AUTHENTIC about Josie that is both refreshing and endearing. Her music carries that authenticity… and it’s super dance-able. I sat down with Josie to chat about […]


John “JJ” Thornhill: Finding the synergy of music & movement through fitness

I discovered John “JJ” Thornhill through Aaptiv, an audio-based fitness app. As I took John’s classes, followed him on social media, and started interacting with him, I realized that John was more than just a super fun and motivating trainer. We had a lot of things in common..mainly, a love for art (and MANY arts at that.) Not only is John a killer trainer, but he is also a talented musician…the music in this episode is his! Listen as I […]


Author Alyssa Wees on weaving her passions into her words

Remember how I am always encouraging you guys to look for art in the world around you? Well, I do that, too. Alyssa Wees just published her first novel, “The Waking Forest.” She is also one of my very dearest friends from back in high school. I wanted to feature her on the podcast because she did the most incredible thing by actually publishing a book! I’ve known her for over a decade, and she’s been writing the entire time. […]


Chad Ellis: Podcasts, Community, & an Antarctic Isolation Horror

It’s that time again… with podcasts continuing to boom the way they are, I wanted to check back in and see what YOUR favorites are! (This one included, of course!) Then, I sat down and spoke with fellow podcast maker and enthusiast, Chad Ellis. His podcast, Station Blue, is a fiction show that he describes as an “Antarctic isolation horror.” Delve into the world of fiction podcasts, the creative process, the evolution of the medium, and more. You can find […]


Ceasar F. Barajas: Why Wouldn’t You Want Some Peace in Your Life?

For anyone who follows me on social media (or knows me at all,) you know how much I love working out. From dancing, to yoga, to hitting the gym, I am always trying to find new ways to move. It’s helped me on my best days and my worst. That is why I have decided to dedicate the next few episodes of Artistic License in some way to the art of fitness. This episode is a special chat with Ceasar […]


Have you had your annual art check-up?

Once in awhile, I like to scan the world around me and do a check-in on what kind of art is nearby. I always SAY it is everywhere, but sometimes, it can slip by unnoticed. I interviewed several individuals who surround me in my life and asked what they’ve been up to. By listening, I opened my eyes to some pretty awesome stuff. Hopefully, you’ll be intrigued to check out some of these arts and/or do an “art check-up” of […]


Joe Diamond on Magic: “The Art is in the Mystery”

Joe Diamond has been called many things: a mind reader, an illusionist, a psychic, and a magician. The coolest thing about him is that he combines all of these into his art. Rachel Woodall sat down with Chicagoland magician, Joe Diamond, to talk about the art of magic: how he chose this as a profession, the nuances of the art, and why he thinks everyone should learn at least one magic trick.


Artistic License: Chad Ellis on Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

What is your definition of adventure? Whether it’s climbing the pyramids in Egypt or hiking through your local forest presercve, there is adventure to find everywhere. Last year, Chad Ellis hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT spans 2,659 miles across California, Oregon, Washington, and up into British Columbia. It generally takes hikers six months to complete the trek. Rachel Woodall talked to Chad about his adventure along the trail, the culture among the hikers, the logistics of...


Rattle the Walls- a musical collective determined to make a difference

Our country has changed rapidly over the past year. (Yes, that could be considered a gross understatement.)The unsettled feeling which has plagued many of us makes us each want to act – a call to action which we can personalize to fuel the causes we believe in. Art, in all of it’s forms, is a powerful tool to be used to fight social injustice. The musicians of Rattle the Walls heard the call and came running, instruments in tow. I spoke […]


Podcast Extravaganza: the Blockbusters, the Hidden Gems, and the Best Listens for 2017

On this edition of Artistic License: host Rachel Woodall reflects on her love affair with podcasts, our diverse panel of podcast enthusiasts gives their show recommendations, we share the results of listener polls about genre, and Rachel reveals her top 6 podcasts of 2016. Featured Voices: Christy Rhodes, Carlos Archila, Chad Ellis, Dani Ortiz Featured Episodes of...


Art in 2016: Giving thanks for our favorite art of the year

This post was originally made on Thanksgiving 2016, but it was lost in the shuffle and fell into a black hole on the interwebs. As the new year approaches, we again find ourselves taking the time to reflect on the ups and downs of 2016. We reflect on the good and the bad; the big moments that change our lives, and the small moments that make us smile. We are grateful for the things that get us through our days and […]


Raise the Ranch! A chance to do good this weekend with the Ranch of Hope Reins

With this stressful week coming to an end, we at Artistic License decided to feature an amazing opportunity for giving back and showing support to an incredible place, The Ranch of Hope Reins. Hope Reins offers equine therapy to a variety of individuals and groups, including at-risk youth (and that is only the beginning.) They are being forced to leave their current location after losing a battle with ComEd to keep new power towers away from their property. The Ranch of Hope […]


The Art of Voting: Words from Rick Pearson, Chance the Rapper & Election-savvy Parents

Last week was a historic one for Chicago – after 108 years, our beloved Cubs won the World Series! Then, our rally for the team’s win became one of the largest gatherings in human history. It’s a great time to be in the windy city – there is a joyful buzz in the air. That said, this week will also be a historic one – but the stakes are far more serious. On Tuesday, November 8, we will elect a […]


The Art of Modeling with America’s Next Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzalez

Rachel Woodall and guest host Craig Collins had the incredible chance to talk with America’s Next Top Model winner, Jaslene Gonzalez. As they chatted, they discovered that the ANTM win is only a small piece of her resume. Jaslene is a well-diversified model and performer, as well as a teacher and an aspiring actress. Listen as they discuss the world of modeling, Jaslene’s time on ANTM, her life in Chicago, and the art to it all. Be sure to check out to learn...


The Art of Reinvention

Artistic License is back! Host Rachel Woodall chats with the audience about what’s coming and how, together, we are reinventing and reinvigorating Artistic License. Let’s explore the world around us and look into ourselves to see what art we can find. Upcoming Panelists Needed: Podcasters / Podcast enthusiasts Television enthusiasts Passionate voters / Historians


Artistic License presents Exploring BJJ: Fight 2 Win Pro 13

Rachel Woodall and Samuel Spiegelman speak with five of the competitors from the Fight 2 Win Pro 13 event happening this weekend. Listen to hear about the ins and outs of jiu-jitsu competition from Mike Cimm, Brick Welch, Mark Vives, Taylor Biagi, and Nikki Sullivan. A longer podcast with these five will be available soon, here on WGN Plus.


Artistic License Snapshot: Jason David Frank Talks Martial Arts

Jason David Frank, known for his role as the original green Power Ranger, stopped into the WGN Radio studios to chat with Craig Collins and Rachel Woodall. In this snapshot, JDF talks the benefits of martial arts! For the full conversation, check out You’ve Binge Challenged here.


Artistic License Snapshot: David Noyes, Travel Writer & Photographer

In the first episode of our new “snapshots” series, we bring to you a chat with David Noyes. He uses his artistic drive to capture the world in words and photographs. Listen as we discuss his tips on photography and his award-winning book, The Photographing Tourist: A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography. David’s Website Artistic License: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Artistic License chats with soulful songstress Emily King

Emily King is a grammy nominated, soulful songstress with a velvet voice. After recording the acclaimed “East Side Story” in 2006, she chose to part ways with her label and has been killing it as a independent artist ever since. Emily records her releases in her home, alongside her partner Jeremey Most, and we are left with beautiful, soulful, harmony- infused releases like “The Seven EP” and her latest, “The Switch.” Right now, Emily is on tour throughout the country. […]