Saturday, April 09, 2005

I find the right amount of white noise trés stimulating to creativity whenever I'm drawing. That's why I have to get out of the house to do my comic strips and look for the right place with the right amount of background noise. Not that I'm still looking seeing that I've already found my quiet nook in Starbucks. It costs me a good deal to be able to spend good couple of hours inside but I'm not one to complain seeing there's no other alternative place I could go to. Once settled on one of the available tables (preferably beside a window so I could once in a while watch people pass by) I'd be ordering a tall orange juice or hot chocolate, then scan a book I brought with me or the café's available magazines on music or pop culture before getting to work. If you're curious how the background noise of crowd conversations and muzak helps me do my work is that it serves as a buffer to keep me from being too focused on my work. If I focused too much on my work I would become too serious, and if I become too serious I tend to think too much, and if I tend to think too much I become my own worst critic and you know that critics take the fun out of everything. So the noises help me keep my balance between my work and the surrounding world. Besides spending hours inside a café is like being inside my own temporary bubble world, isolated but never alone.

Then having finished all the pencils and inks I go back home, scan everything, adjust the contrast and erase any alien thing on the drawing. In between these activities I would pop in a CD and listen to a set of songs filed inside a folder I titled "Creativity Music." Now depending on the art you're drawing at that particular time you may want to reconsider what kind of music you'll be listening to. Like if you're working a dynamic illustration with action galore you may to consider listening to rock as the loud guitar riffs and banging drums create a more appropriate soundtrack to your drawing, techno and lounge music lends certain moods to graphic design, classical music is better suited for those illustrations that are highly detailed, fast paced pop music for those light but frenetic action sequences, etc. But you can deviate from this types of soundtracks by mixing one of your own. In my case while editing my comic strips in Photoshop I listen to a wide repertoire of easy listening music, the mp3 songs I listen to during this time are mostly composed of a selection of tracks from 98 Degrees, Jewel, Milla Jovovich, The Corrs, and some good ones from the soundtrack of the movie, My Best Friend's Wedding. But the list is eclectic at best combining other tracks from 50's jazz (both instrumentals and with vocals), pop, a bit of rock, classical, and techno music as evidenced by some of these tracks listed in that folder:
Randy Newman - The Time of Your Life
Blink 182 - Adam's Song
Dimitri From Paris - Une Very Stylish Fille
E17 - EachTime
Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington - Misty
Faith Hill - This Kiss
Isley Brothers - This Old Heart Of Mine
Jackie Gleason - Melancholy Serenade
Johnny Mathis - Misty
Lene Marlin - Sitting Down Here
Linda Ronstadt - I've Got A Crush On You
Louis Armstrong - Mack the Knife
Meril Bainbridge - Mouth
N'Sync - I Drive Myself Crazy
Nat King Cole - When I fall In Love
Oscar Peterson - The Girl From Ipanema
Sinead O'Connor - Someone To Watch Over Me
Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Stan Getz - The Girl Form Ipanema
Sugarbabes - Overload
Tchaikovsky - Waltz of the Flowers
Tevin Campbell - I'm Ready
Tori Amos - Silent All These Years
What you see then when I finish the strips is partly a result of the mood created by this mix of music. It's best if you could come up with an hour's worth of soundtrack or two depending on the number of hours it usually takes for you to finish your work. Sometimes I do pop in music selections from 80s pop or New Wave music, but it doesn't usually work the same way with the weird mix of music listed above. I'd probably update my list in the days to come. As of now this would have to do.

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