Thursday, February 5, 2009

Music and Motivation

2" x 3" graphite sketch

I have a new studio tool to share with you today. (Well, it's new to me anyway.) I enjoy listening to music while I draw or paint. I find that it helps occupy my mind enough that it keeps my inner critic quite. This is particularly important in the early stages of a new work.

Although I like listening to music, listening to the radio bugs me. A lot of radio stations pride themselves on variety. Variety is another way of saying they try to please everyone. Which to me translates as I may like one song out of ten, but the other nine are meant to appeal to people with different musical tastes. Frustration from outside forces rarely helps the creative process!

An acquaintance mentioned that she liked listening to Pandora, so I checked it out. The premise behind Pandora is that you can create your own radio station. Click the "Create a New Station" button, type in an artist or band whose music you like and they will play that artist's music along with similar music by other artists.

If you want a station which plays more than one type of music, click on the station label and choose "Add Variety" which will allow you to input names of other artists you like. If they play a song you don't like, click on the thumbs down button at the bottom of the song box.

The result...a completely customized radio station playing only music you like. I've only used it twice, but so far it seems pretty cool!

And now for the motivation...

Christine Kane wrote this post about the impact of the economy. I really like her way of thinking.


Jeanette said...

Its funny, I only listen to music when I paint and then only occasionally. When I do listen to music and paint, it needs to be something like classical or blues/jazz with no lyrics - just instruments, otherwise it becomes distracting.

When I draw I need total silence. No music, no people, no distractions.

I have seen Pandora before and it would suit the need to choose only what you like.

Christine always has good advice.

Rose Welty said...

I've recently entered the digital music world (rather late, yes). I really like that I can just have 10 songs from different artists and just repeat them constantly. I have found for drawing/painting and driving I just prefer to have the same 10 diverse songs on repeat. I find it too distracting to hear something different.

And Christine has summed up it up perfectly..."a reason to show up even bigger." Exactly.

Like the sketch!

Anita said...

My new motivational music is Gabriela and Rodrigues - sort of modern take on flamenco guitar. I love it! That radio station sounds great though.

bluelilac said...

Hi Stacy
Thanks for the great tip. But I discovered that since I am Canadian I can not access Pandora.
It states something about licencing rules and Canadians not allowed. So there it is. I am not allowed in. Maybe it has something to do with the recession.
But what a great resource for you.

bluelilac said...

I must add that through my cable connection I can tune in 45 music only stations any time. The system is called Galaxy.
Each station is of a different type of music. No advertising. Just music. I have it connected through my TV to my modest and small but nice stereo system speakers.
I can listen to music at any time while I work. I have everything I need. So I am not complaining.
And also
Christine's words are right on the mark I think. Thanks for that tip too.

Mary Jane

Jennifer Rose said...

I need music when I draw, it helps me focus. Of course I run the risk of wanting to get up and dance instead of draw lol I don't listen to the radio, they play a lot of brit pop here that I can't stand. Between the 2 of us, hubby and I have about 3 weeks of continuous music to play so I'd rather put that on shuffle then turn on the radio.

Stacy said...

Jeanette, when I paint or draw without any distraction, my inner critic starts filling the silence. That conversation would go something like this... IC: "That's not a bad looking dog." Me: "It's a cow." IC: "A COW??!?? Have you ever actually seen a cow?? Quick! Put it away before you embarrass yourself! In fact, you had better burn it so no one ever sees it and burn all your art materials too, just to be safe!"

If I listen to music the conversation with my critic goes more like this... IC: "That's not a bad...Oh, I love this song! Stop talking to me so I can sing along!" And while the inner critic sings along, I get to create in peace. :D

Stacy said...

Rose, I love hearing what music works for others. I listen to my iPod too, but at around 70 songs if I listen to it too much I start to get bored. Ten songs wouldn't last me very long - 3 or 4 times through at most.

Anita, a modern take on flamenco guitar sounds cool! Does it get you dancing around the studio?

Blue, so sorry to hear you can't access Pandora! I never stopped to think that something available on the internet wouldn't be globally available. I still have much to learn about being a good global citizen. But I'm glad you have access to good music while you work.

Three weeks of music Jennifer!! Wow! I thought my husband had a lot, but he's no where near that. And of course a lot of what he has I don't like.