This question reminds me of watching that 1990s Disney block that came on after school. TaleSpin, Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and Duck Tales. That was a good two hour chunk of time I devoted to TV each day. I went from sorting baseball cards while watching TV to drawing while watching TV. They were stories I could listen to and occasionally glance up to see a key moment. I believe background stories help me keep a positive mindset while drawing. An audio tract tunes out any negative thoughts I may have about the artwork I am working on.
Currently, when I am alone I work in silence about half the time. I took a sushi class once with the most talented sushi chef in Denver. He said that when you create each sushi roll you need to speak to the roll and say "this is the most beautiful roll." I often talk to myself internally as I paint. Sometimes, I say things out loud to myself as I paint. I like the idea of speaking to my art. Letting it know it is the most beautiful thing I could possibly be doing at that moment. I think my best work comes when I am truly present and focused on the work that I am doing. The painting comes equally from my emotional state and the physical act of painting. The choices I make are emotional and fleeting and they feel somehow connected to my thoughts and emotions in the moment. The length of an individual song interrupts this process for me.
Key moments in art for me are similar to meditation. Longer moments when time, action, progress pass quickly without conscious effort. Think about a time when you were walking or driving the same route. Sometimes you will experience a moment when you know you have been driving but you do not remember actually driving. Your mind on autopilot. Meditation turns on that sense of autopilot in me. So can the creation of art.
When I am in the mood to listen to something, I typically like to have a bit of a narrative. I allocate an amount of time working to work on something against an audio track. It allows me, similar to how the Disney block did, to pace myself appropriately. It also keeps me interested enough where I can sit and keep focused on my artwork. I find it is very easy to lose track of time when pursuing creative endeavors.
When I listen to a podcast, spoken work, or conversation I can remain focused on the art. I can slip in and out of the moments where I lose track of time and make that special connection to the art I am making.
Specifically in 2019…
While I don't listen to music often when I paint, my go to "favorite band" is the Misfits. The Glen Danzig Misfits. Really Glen Danzig. On my last long drive from Durango to Denver I spent the last hour screaming along with Danzig in order to stay awake.
A few years ago I “invested” Satellite radio. I feel terrestrial radio has become awful.
I like the Lithium Channel 34 for my “teenage oldies”
Channel 36 called Alt Nation is the type of new music I like.
Dr Laura on has been my number one go to show this past year. I can replay her entire show at any time on my phone during the day. It can represent a good half day of productive effort. I love listening to people who call in.
McAlvany Wealth Weekly Commentary. I am very interested in economic studies at the moment. They have a variety of guests on and books they talk about. I enjoyed their interview with Neil Howe explaining the concept of a turning.
The Peter Schiff podcast so that I keep myself in a constant state of economic hypervigilance. Schiff keeps me motivated to work by keeping me terrified the economy is on the edge of a cliff.
Comic Tom 101, especially the top ten weekly list he published each Friday. The Youtube channel has renewed my interest in comic collecting. I use the Key Collector app to keep track of my collections value.