The one thing that I have to have while working is something to listen to. I find that my mind wanders and it just gets lonely if I try to work in silence.
I have two listening modes:
Mode 1– Thinking mode
If I have to really concentrate to sketch out ideas or to work out a layout of a book, I need music. Not only any kind of music, but something droning and repetitive that I will loop over and over again. These days, the opening theme for Game of Thrones is my preferred song that I play on repeat. (Because of this my kid hums the Game of Thrones song. I keep on telling people that I don’t let him watch the show.)
Coffivity – Another thing I listen to when I have to think is the coffee shop noise from Coffivity. It sounds really silly but it really works to help you focus.
Mode 2– Production mode
When I’m painting for looooong hours, I listen to podcasts. I love listening to conversation and the idea that I’m learning things while working. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few shows so here’s my list:
Podcasts about Illustration/Comics:
- Concept Art & Illustration: Chris Oatley’s ArtCast
- Paperwings Podcast
- Escape from Illustration Island Podcast
- Make It Then Tell Everybody
- Your Dreams My Nightmares
- Big Illustration Party Time
- Comics Are Great!
- Lean Into Art
- Man vs. Art
Podcasts about Creativity/Productivity
- Back to Work You should especially listen to the first 12 episodes.
- On Taking Pictures This podcast is one of my favorites right now.
- The New Disruptors
Podcasts about Tech Stuff:
- The Big Web Show
- Accidental Tech Podcast
- Mac Power Users
- The Talk Show with John Gruber
- Enough- The Podcast
- The Apple Artist – a podcast where digital artists talk about their tech tools for making art. Note: I blabber on in the most recent 2 episodes of this podcast.
Podcasts about Stuff:
- Radiolab from WNYC
- The Pen Addict This podcast about pens is hands-down my very favorite podcast right now.
- Stuff You Missed In History Class
- The Splended Table
I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to so please write down any suggestions you have in the comments!