What do you listen to while you create?

The life of the artist is, at times, a solitary one. Even in today’s digital age we spend an absurd amount of time hunched over a canvas, a pad, a computer, you name it. There’s an awkward silence that drives us to overthink things and kicks us out of what’s called the Flow State AKA the state of mind where you get stuff done.

So what can we do to counteract that? Well here are a few of my favourite options:

Podcasts & Audiobooks

A lot of creatives and teachers will tell you that if you’re going to listen to something, it should be wordless. That makes sense, you can’t have your focus being pulled in too many directions at once.

On the other hand there are those that argue that by allowing the linguistic elements of thought to wander, you’ll be better equipped for purely visual expression.

Now I’m not sure which side is correct, but my short attention span means I fall squarely in the latter camp.

Some favourites at the moment include the Russell Brand on Radio X Podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show and Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History (with a special shoutout to the BNI Success podcast if they ever release a second episode). I’ll flesh out the full list of recommendations for those who are interested.

My podcatcher of choice is Pocket Casts. It’s as comprehensive and user friendly as you could hope for.

As for Audiobooks The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman. It’s an engaging look at how we learn and how to optimise that process, narrated by the author himself.

Music

I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to music and I’ve largely favoured Audiobooks  for a while now but I still go back to some old favourite artists.

My playlists are often juggled between comedy and over the top rock, with some sprinkles of pop thrown in there too. I’m currently listening to The Lonely Island’s Popstar having only just seen the movie. Along with themes from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure parts 1-3, a bit of Fallout Boy and some occasional Lady Gaga.

Deezer is my streaming service of choice. Initially because I got a good deal on it with my phone contract but I’ve actually grown to prefer it to the other services I’ve used.

YouTube

YouTube might seem like an odd choice. You can’t watch videos while painting or designing, right? Well no, so I don’t.

For me YouTube essentially functions like a mini-podcast service. I’ll load my Watch Later up with a bunch of interesting videos from creators like exurb1a, CGP Grey, or Kurzgesagt and just let them run until I reach the end of the playlist or I finish work for the day.

So that’s what I listen to. I’d love to hear some of your recommendations down in the comments. Join me next week when I’ll be putting an end to the Wacom vs. Apple debate!

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