Artist sketches what NPR personalities look like based on voice

December 6, 2011

Yesterday, a colleague sent me a link to a California-based artist's blog post called "How the NPR Voices Look (In My Head)." In the post, he gives us his sketch interpretation of famed NPR personalities, including three WBEZ personalities: Ira Glass, Peter Sagal and Torey Malateo Malatia.

and part 2:

The artist's name is Gaelan Kelly and like several other listeners, only knows the NPR hosts and reporters by voice. It's a phenomenon in public radio, since most of the personalities aren't household names or crossover media. So unless their picture is taken, they are anonymous, only visualized by voice. Now that's changed in the new media age. Twitter, Facebook and station bios regularly publish host mugshots alongside content. But there was a pre-internet time where you just couldn't see the radio.

I emailed Gaelan to ask him specifically about what comes to his mind when he hears the voices of the WBEZ stars. Here are his responses:

JK: What do you think of when you hear Peter Sagal?

GK: Peter sounds like a very animated showman whose inner geek can't help but leak through. I'm sure I've stood next to him at a comic book shop arguing over some mundane story detail while never realizing his true identity: Game show host.

JK: What do you think of when you hear Ira Glass?

GK: With the possible exception of Terry Gross, I think I may have come closest to capturing what Ira Glass looks like in reality. I can hear his thick framed glasses and tall lanky frame through my ear-buds.

JK: What do you think of when you hear Torey Malatia?

GK: Torey is the Dr. Claw (from Inspector Gadget) or radio. His hand is everywhere and his underlings must appease him with witty nicknames. You never hear Torey Malatia, you only hear of Torey Malatia, all part of the good Doctor's master plan.