Friday, May 8, 2015

Does music help you work?

Some people swear by music, to help them work, to help them write and create.

For writing, I generally find music more distracting than helpful. Maybe writing - actually stringing together coherent sentences - just doesn't come so naturally to me so I need to really focus to get anything done.

But I'd forgotten how much I used to enjoy music playing while I paint. For me, painting makes less of a mental demand but it's surprisingly physical, so the right kind of music helps keep the brush moving.

On this gorgeous spring day I've taken a spur-of-the-moment day's vacation. A "me" day. Just because.

With no particular pressure to do any of the usual weekend non-fun stuff, it's been pleasingly productive. I've almost finished the background artwork for Tiamat's Nest. I need to sharpen up a few details here and there, but it's pretty much ready to hand over to my designer.
This is intended as a full cover spread - both back and front covers for the paperback. The front cover will just be the right-hand half of the image, and there are a couple of other visual elements to be overlaid on top by the designer.

The last sections of the foreground were painted this morning to the strains of Tangerine Dream.

Do you find music helps or hinders you? A must-have or a no-no?


  1. I remember I used to listen to music when I did my homework way back when, but now I feel I can't concentrate as well as I used to, so I usually try to keep the background noise to a minimum. If I get a good rhythm going though, I don't think a symphony orchestra playing right next to me could faze me. Getting into that rhythm is a whole other story though...

  2. I enjoy having music play when I'm painting, but I need quiet when writing. I think your painting is terrific. I love all the detail in the sky and water, but I think the Capitol dome looks a bit flat next to all the other detail. You might consider adding a shadow to the right side (leaving a bit of reflected light) to create the illusion of roundness.

  3. Not a great fan of music while I'm working....but I do like to listen quietly and concentrate fully on it as a means of relaxation.

  4. Phoenix, it's odd how age does that kind of thing to us, isn't it?

    Stephen, I think a slightly deeper shadow might be in order. At least you recognized the building :)

    Delores, music as a focus in its own right is indeed a whole other matter...

  5. Hi Ian - can't 'work' with music on (usually) .. but can do practical things with some background music going on ... but I do prefer silence for most things ...

    Wish I could remotely draw and paint and design like you do - good luck with it all though - I admire you for having the gumph to do your own - but you do have the ability ...

    Cheers and good luck as you are on the home straight .. Hilary


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