Friday, November 14, 2008
Most artists I know are pretty particular about what they listen to when they paint, and I'm no exception. Unless I'm outdoors, I have a hard time painting unless I have good music playing. I can't listen to the radio because commercials and talking just kill any flow of creativity/thought that I might have. I have to be listening to music I'm fairly familiar with - I love finding new music, but when I'm painting I like to listen to tunes that I know. I can't listen to anything that's distracting at all, even if it's distracting in a good way. For instance, I can't listen to classical music, because I used to play the piano and when I listen to classical music I find myself thinking about it too much. And I have to make sure that whatever I'm listening to won't end in the middle of a complex painting passage, which means that most of the time I just have iTunes playing in continuous shuffle mode on my computer.
When I'm working on something difficult, I'll switch over to my "Studio Tunes" playlist, which is basically a bunch of songs that I love that I know won't annoy me while I'm trying to problem solve. A lot of them are favorite songs from the past - songs that make me happy by association with good memories. A few of them are newer songs that get me moving. Some of them are mellow songs that help me reflect and think. I change the list every few weeks to keep up with my mood - here's what it looks like right now:
"See the World" by Gomez was my favorite song when I was pregnant with Aspen. "Let it be Me" by Ray LaMontagne is a more recent mellow favorite. "Rain" by George Winston gets me thinking, and reminds me of being outdoors. "Rock and Roll" by Eric Hutchinson gets me moving and excited. They all have a purpose.
I love to hear about other artist's working habits - I know one artist who listens to books on tape (I could never paint at the same time!!) and another who listens to NPR only, and another who always has the TV or a movie playing in the background.
So, what do you listen to in your studio, and why?