What music to listen to while drawing?

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#16 Post by sendo » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:54 am

Music is such an important factor in getting art done for me. I get cranky when there's no background noise going on while I'm drawing. I think the reason is a lot of the work is mechanical (flick of pen, brush strokes, clicking something, etc) - they're not 'brain-intensive' operations, that's why I can draw for hours straight.

This is the complete opposite of writing. Music becomes a distraction - it interrupts my thoughts. I simply can't write with music because my brain is processing all these words, and figuring out how the story progresses, what the character should say, making sure grammar/tense/whatever is correct (though I still fail in this). Basically, my brain is 'multitasking' when writing :P For art, draw a line, draw another line, pick a color, paint a color; it's one task at a time.

As to what I listen to, I pretty much listen to anything. One day it could be anime/game soundtracks, next day could be classical music, or EDM, or whatever out there. I also listen to art talk videos or play ambient sounds when I get tired of listening to music.
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#17 Post by Kuiper » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:39 am

I just watched this video and remembered this thread:

Video: You probably shouldn't listen to music when drawing

The main point is main in the video (namely, that people tend to be less productive with auditory stimulation of any kind), though I think there's a point to be made that sometimes, you can use one noise to effectively "replace" another, e.g. white noise, and you could make a case that listening to music to "drown out" things like background conversation in a public place might be a net gain for productivity (even if working in silence would be more optimal).

One offhand remark that's made at the end of the video that I feel is worth commenting on:

"People who listen to music can get the illusion that they are being more productive, because by doing one task that is very enjoyable (like listening to music), they suddenly start to think they are accomplishing the other task faster."

I think there's a case to be made that productivity does not automatically trump everything else. Being productive can ultimately increase your long-term satisfaction with your work, and of course being more productive has other tangible benefits as well, but there are a lot of people who do this "for fun," and if someone can sacrifice 10% productivity for a 20% boost in "giddiness" (as if such a thing could be quantified), that might be a worthwhile exchange that they're willing to make.

For a bit of an analogy, I dabble a bit in competitive Magic (the card game), and one topic that comes up in competitive circles is the idea of understanding cognitive biases, and that sometimes feeling like you are winning more can be different from actually winning more. As an example, there are some "control" decks, who tend to win games that go long, and lose games that end quickly; the result of this is that control decks tend to spend more time winning and less time losing, even if they don't actually have a higher percentage of games won. (If a control player has a 50% win rate, and she loses games in 10 minutes and wins games in 20 minutes, then she is in the "I'm winning" mental state 67% of the time despite having a perfectly average performance.) However, I have friends who, fully acknowledging this, choose to embrace the "fake" reward of feeling like they are winning more, because to them, Magic is a fun hobby, and having a deck that "feels" like it wins a lot is more important to them than actually maximizing their win percentage. In that example, just because a certain deck might be "objectively better" in terms of win percentage doesn't necessarily mean that it's better for them.

I think there are a lot of benefits to maximizing your productivity when working on your craft, because the more productive you are, the more quickly you can improve, and there's lots of evidence to support the idea that your enjoyment of something increases as your experience and skill increase. However, if sitting alone and toiling away at your craft is starting to feel like a grind and that's preventing you from picking up the pen, sacrificing a bit of productivity might be worthwhile if it's the thing that gets you to start working again. (When I first started taking manual drafting classes in college, having podcasts to listen to was the one thing that helped me slog through the grind and keep putting pencil to paper, but the more experienced I became with drafting, the less I felt the need to find other ways to "stimulate" myself to get through it.)
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#18 Post by Kokoro Hane » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:25 pm

Personally, rarely can I listen to music whilst drawing. I prefer a quiet enviorment--the only ambient noise being the blowing of a fan or hearing falling rain outside (as total silence makes drawing impossible for me as well haha). The rare times I do listen to music, I like to listen to emotional pieces by Yuki Kajiura. Completely instrumental, of course, even her gorgeous, gibberish chant lyrics are distracting since vocals tend to do that. Full on instrumentals are a must so it can fade into the background, but it should be music that fits the mood of what you are drawing.
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#19 Post by Evy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:30 pm

I listen to music pretty much every minute I'm awake if I can, and I have white noise (of the nature variety) playing while I sleep. Silence makes me uncomfortable. But there are days when I inexplicably can't stand any of the music I usually listen to... at which point I usually can't stand anything else, either.

My iTunes consists mostly of anime or video game soundtracks, anison, and symphonic metal, with a very different genres scattered here and there. I've been dying to find new music to listen to lately though...

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#20 Post by pinto minto » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:36 pm

I have the same problem as Evy.
I think since I'm so used to listening to music while drawing, that without it, I get uncomfortable or even cranky. I also listen to music to drown out background noises, like when my parents are talking, or when my neighbors are being loud, etc, honestly without it I don't think I'd get much done...
But with what Kuiper mentioned I think I'm going to try drawing without music this time.

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#21 Post by Katy133 » Fri May 05, 2017 9:04 pm

I actually tend to listen to Let's Play videos while drawing. It's like listening to the radio or a podcast to me.

Sometimes drawing in silence for several hours can be isolating, so I can understand why others listen to music while doing it.

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#22 Post by runadial » Tue May 09, 2017 5:20 pm

As much as I believe that music has the full potential of being distracting, I also think that it also serves to inspire in my personal view. I am no artist though; the most I have ever made in regards to art is a traditional fan-art of my favorite game or story. However, I listen to a lot of music while writing.

The only thing for me is that I don't listen to music with vocals as often as I do without. Music with vocals tends to make me focus more on that song's lyrics than the story. Though I also think listening to music with vocals can help come up with things like story ideas, since lyrics themselves tell a story, too, whether it's true or make-up.

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#23 Post by Ghost of Crux » Sun May 14, 2017 4:28 pm

Music?? the best music to listen to while drawing is science. SCIENCE.

OK jokes aside (though Veritasium, Vsauce and Sixty Symbols are great channels to binge on while drawing) let's plays are my main go-to for drawing. They're long, they don't require concentration, and I can continue drawing without having to click on a new video for hours. I work just fine without music and all those videos, though. I live in a dorm in a rural area-- the chickens, geese, goats and street vendors ALWAYS make noise.

Putting on ANY noise during writing tho? Forget it. I can't even think a straight line when I'm listening to something LMAO
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#24 Post by FriendlySenpai » Sun May 14, 2017 5:21 pm

fmjaye wrote:If I'm drawing I normally listen to podcasts or let's plays. If it's something I have to concentrate on (like writing), then I listen to music. I think I was better at focusing when I was a teenager; now I find a lot of music distracting. When I listen to music while working it's mostly I listen to Lana del Rey. Other stuff I like is too catchy and makes me want to sing along =w=;;;
I'm the same way! When I'm creating background references for my artist, or creating a header image for an article, I use the time to (mostly) rewatch Cryaotic's LPs.

As for writing, I'm more into classical piano or game OSTs that can set the mood. Though, sometimes, it's difficult for me to change the scene's mood if I'm listening to a particularly good piece >.>

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#25 Post by umbralshadows » Thu May 25, 2017 12:03 pm

I can only draw if I listen to music or else I will get distracted by everything else an music also inspires my art yo. The most listened to songs are Decode or Monster by Paramore, HIMEKA's live version of Adesso e fortuna, and Zelda OoT Forest Temple arrange Generations by Jillian Aversa. Music keeps me in a groove or flow. may be also has to do with I am arial silks dancer so music is always a big part a things I do. ..

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#26 Post by akareed » Fri May 26, 2017 9:57 pm

I'm quite surprised at the amount of people who doesn't listen to music while working. I get a lot of surprised looks when I say I don't listen to music. (I just say that so I don't have to tell them what I actually listen to)

I used to be able to watch videos while drawing, but now I listen to idol songs and sometimes even web-radios. I enjoy the radio a lot more because there's always new content every week.
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#27 Post by kistnerelizabeth » Wed May 31, 2017 12:27 am

My most favorite Bands/Albums/Music Genres to listen to while drawing are:

AFI (Their newer stuff from The Art of Drowning up until now, not punk stuff)
Panic! At the Disco
A Fever You Can't Sweat Out- Panic! At the Disco's First Album
"Angry" sounding music, like- "Disturbed", "Five Finger Death Punch", "Chevelle", "Breaking Benjamin", "Seether", "Trapt", "The Gazette", "Thousand Foot Krutch",
"Mindless Self Indulgence", "Jack Off Jill", "Shinedown", "Marilyn Manson", "Papa Roach", "Drowning Pool", "In This Moment", "Tool", "Die Antwoord", etc.
Guitar Hero Soundtracks

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#28 Post by Reiirin » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:53 am

I nearly always listen to music when I draw, and I find that it helps me concentrate better. Lyrics don't distract me, but they should fit the theme I'm working on so they don't give me new, separate ideas.

Most of the time I hit shuffle until something clicks with the idea I had in mind, then I put the song on repeat and let it play until I'm done. I have certain songs I come back to more often than others.

My library is a mishmash of jpop, video game music (there's a set of Touhou house remixes I especially love - the beat is strong and consistent which helps improve my focus), symphonic metal, and the occasional random catchy pop song.
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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#29 Post by MoonSquid » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:30 am

I actually only listen to audio books when I draw. I get distracted easily by the thoughts in my head, or by songs that I can sing along to. Having a story to listen to helps me tune my brain out and let me hands just get the job done! Favorite books to listen to are The King Killer Chronicles, Light Bringer series, Stormlight Archives, and pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett.

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Re: What music to listen to while drawing?

#30 Post by Fuseblower » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:06 am

I don't listen to anything while drawing anything that takes some sort of mental effort (these are the pencil sketches). It's like Richard Williams said : "Unplug!".

But for the stuff that doesn't take any effort it's a different story.

Currently, for tracing my drawings and coloring (which takes up the bulk of the time) I listen to the Langley Esquire. It's in-depth commentaries about Japanese politics by professionals in the field. These provide me with lots of background information I can use in my game (Tenkeiteki Tokyo, set in Japan). The people involved are really knowledgeable.

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