As an artist as well as an engineer I work hard and I work often. I can work for hours while still allowing my mind to break from the critical thinking in the free moments in between ideas and execution. This is where I would like music comes in. When I am heavily focused I can’t listen to music with a well-defined words. I have a mind that will follow along with the words and that really detracts from my ability to think. And if an engineer can’t think and focus on new things they arejust another code monkey. An artist repeating the same methods to produce images? They’re like a printer more than a creative being.
And definitely don’t want to be a monkey printer. But I still wanted music. I just decided not to have it at critical times.
I used to just turn all sounds off and work in silence. The atmosphere of silence, in long durations, can be uncomfortable for me, and tiring.
The other day I was browsing the Spotify feeds on Facebook and my fb friend Andrew Choi was listening to Tycho, an ambient music artist I had never heard of. Usually “ambient music” makes me think of elevator music or awful saxophone music played in cheap chinese restaurants. I’m all for trying new music though, and love exposing myself to new sounds because it actually impacts my creativity and it usually impacts it positively. Keeping an open mind towards other things in your sensory space is one of the keys, in my humble opinion, to being an evolving visual artist. I fired up Tycho’s latest album, Dive.
I LOVED IT.
It reminded me of Owl City but no words and more mellow. Gentle guitar mixed with soft synth noises and a beat that reminds me of a solitary summer morning filled my ears but didn’t go further. My mind was able to focus and my subconscious relaxed its shoulders a little.
I worked for a while listening to one album after the other in queue while I coded and wrote documentation at work and later at home while I processed photos and contemplated new angles and poses. This music is as much a tool now as my Wacom tablet. It’s a support for a part of my mind that needs to lounge while the other part works hard.
Check out Tycho. It’s a good, easy listen. And I didn’t realize this until today when I was looking for the album cover for this post but the artist is also a graphic designer. I love the multiple talents all of us have including our ability to share and improve everyone’s working experiences by just doing what we love. :)