Since I’ve started focusing on my fine art practice again, I’ve felt the need to really weed out the inputs in my life. We take in so much information every day, whether it’s images, words we read, or words we hear, and as an artist I find that it all clouds my brain, overwhelms me, and I lose my own voice. I need to be more choosy about what I allow to enter my brain, what I allow to affect me and my art. For this reason, I don’t listen to podcasts – I definitely can’t have other people talking at me while I’m painting and drawing. I often work in silence, and when I listen to music, it’s usually a carefully crafted playlist set on repeat.
How often to we experience silence these days? I enjoy painting and drawing in silence. I am comfortable with the sounds in my own head (maybe too comfortable… I have a hard time turning my brain off). In silence I can reach in and pull out my own voice. I have a lot of ideas while I’m working in silence, and I often pause to jot down notes.
Listening to music helps me get into a more meditative state while I work, it helps me turn my brain off. But it has to be music I know and love. I like being introduced to new music, but I won’t listen to it while I’m working. I’m very guilty of listening to music I’ve listened to since college or even high school about 99% of the time. But I don’t listen to this music for nostalgia’s sake. It’s music I genuinely love and it reminds me of who I am, my tastes, preferences, and voice. In this age of social media where we are constantly bombarding ourselves with other people’s tastes, preferences, and voices, I find that I easily lose sight of, or start to question, my own. Music is a way of bringing me back into myself, of reminding me who I am.
What do you listen to while working?