Background Noise: What I jam to while I paint

I don’t know about you but I like to have background noise on while I am working. Unless my full concentration is required for important adult things like taxes, I usually have some type of “noise” on.

Now I don’t have anything that’s way too distracting, e.g. anything that requires me to think or is just plain loud and screaming. I also don’t listen to things that may put me to sleep. What I am going to share is pretty embarrassing but I’m just going to roll with it. The various genres that I have in the background are the following: music, TV shows and audiobooks/podcasts.

Here comes the shame…

For the music genre there is a guaranteed way to get me excited and continue to motivate me to paint. My main source of music entertainment is…K-Pop (Korean Pop). I use YouTube and listen to a playlist of popular girl groups with perfectly synchronized and highly commercialized voices and dance moves. My husband is so used to my love of K-Pop that he even knows the intros to many songs and sings them to himself. There is something about this genre of music that is just so catchy. I end up singing or humming the chorus of a song while working on my current project. It reminds me of the whimsy and joy of being young which I try to convey in my work.

Also at the moment as it is the holiday season, Christmas songs are on full blast. I am a sucker for the old school Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and NSYNC Christmas singles. In addition, Michael Buble’s voice makes his smooth like melted butter appearance. I purposely have songs that evoke happiness and positivity. As a rule, I only paint when I’m in either a neutral or positive mood. The way I see it, painting is a reflection of myself and what I want to show the world. There are enough bad things out there that I don’t want to add to that garbage. Hence, I try to reflect in paintings an overall sense of hope and tranquility.

As for TV shows, I am an avid binge watcher. A very special breed of individual who ends up spending many hours watching a specific show. Since the shows are technically background noise, I do not put on shows that require me to pay attention such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, etc. Neither do I put on programs presented in different languages. I can’t translate the language or read subtitles while focused on my painting. What I do put on is still heavily entertaining yet allows me to be engaged in my primary focus, painting.

During the first few days of the workweek, I catch up on my professional wrestling shows. Yes, I said professional wrestling. You wouldn’t think I was into WWE but I sure am, big time. And I don’t want to hear those people saying it’s fake, blah blah. It just is something that doesn’t require me to think and is highly entertaining. My husband has accepted and further embraced my fascination with sports entertainment even going further as buying me memorabilia and going to live events with me. But back to the point. I play the latest show from the night before through Hulu and get straight to work.

Halloween 2016: The Bob's Burger family - Justin as Bob, Me as Linda and Chewie as a cheeseburger

Halloween 2016: The Bob's Burger family - Justin as Bob, Me as Linda and Chewie as a cheeseburger

Besides wrestling, I binge watch shows straight from Netflix. I went through the all the episodes of ‘Once Upon a Time’ recently and I don’t regret a thing. Other times I watch episodes of Futurama, Bob’s Burgers or Archer. As I’ve mentioned in my Artist’s bio, I am inspired by animation. If you notice in my paintings, I have a style that wavers between realism and animation.

Lastly, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. At the moment my Audible app is playing ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’, a post-apocalyptic novel about zombies. I also alternate between several podcasts such as: ‘Modern Love’ a collection of love stories submitted to the NY Times, ‘Lore’ a narration of various urban legends and spooky stories, and a household favorite, ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’, which is pretty self-explanatory. I highly recommend all these podcasts if you want to have a good time.  

Overall, I believe that it is important to have something motivate you or keep you balanced. Mine, is the background noise. I can spend hours painting and be so immersed in what I’m doing then to wake up and have the noise bring me back to earth. My collection of music, TV shows and podcasts are pretty embarrassing to say the least, but it makes me the person I am and the Artist I try to be.

I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and has a wonderful New Year!