Q & A: What do you listen to while you work on artwork?

It’s usually nice to have something playing in the background when you’re in the studio. I like to I listen to radio shows and music. Podcasts are an amazing thing – they really do help the time pass. The following are my top podcasts to listen to while I work:

  1. This American Life – I really enjoy the way this show focuses on a theme and tells stories related to that theme. The old English major within me really gets a kick out of this.
  2. The Classic Tales Podcast – again, I like to read but lately all my artwork and marketing work has really made it difficult to pick up a book. With this podcast, I can enjoy familiar stories or hear classic tales that I’ve never heard before.
  3. Fresh Air – I’m a sucker for Terry Gross’s interviews with directors, musicians, and actors. It’s also a good way to hear interesting stories about current events.
  4. 60 Minutes – just good journalism.
  5. Escape from Illustration Island – when I first discovered this podcast, I downloaded all of the episodes and gradually worked my way through them. Needless to say, listening to Thomas James interview illustrators and talk about illustration is part of the reason I decided to look into going back to school for illustration. You can find some really helpful and inspiring tips here if you’re a fellow artist.
  6. Art Marketing Action Podcast – these are typically really short podcasts, only a couple of minutes, and from time to time I get a few good ideas of directions to move in with my art marketing.

Other times I listen to music. Recently I’ve had a tendency of falling back on the following albums/musicians:

  1. 500 Days of Summer Soundtrack – this is my latest obsession. For some reason I absolutely love this album and just about every song on it. “You Make my Dreams” by Hall & Oates is of course a favorite.
  2. M. Ward
  3. The Beatles
  4. Ray LaMontagne
  5. Bob Dylan

When I get tired of listening to interviews and music, I’ll usually change things up by watching a movie. I’ve started taking advantage of Netflix’s Watch Instantly feature. I’ll listen to/watch movies on my computer as I sprawl out on the floor with all of my magazines. Lately I’ve watched a lot of comedies and flicks from the 80’s.

What do you like listening to while you work?

4 Replies to “Q & A: What do you listen to while you work on artwork?”

  1. Thanks for the follow – I’m glad I found your blog! We have amazingly similar tastes in podcasts. I also like to listen to This American Life and Fresh Air while being creative. I also like the New Yorker Fiction podcast – a new short story every month.

    My other favorite podcasts are related to crafting. CraftyPod and CraftSanity are two old favorites, and I’ve recently discovered CraftCast, as well. Book Artists and Poets also appeals to my creative book making projects.

  2. Interesting list. I don’t like listening to anything while I work … I find it distracting. I guess because I work with words and other words just get in the way. So why not music? Dunno … it seems too noisy.

    I might check out those Classic Tales.

  3. I agree with you – when it comes to writing I need complete silence. That’s why when it comes to art, I like to take advantage of my ability to multitask 🙂

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