Oh, how I just love to listen to different music while drawing. Music just gives me this nice feel and flow to the drawing. Couldn’t live without music. Well, I guess I could live but it is nice to hear. I bet you have also experienced this just by watching a movie and listening to the background music.
If you think about movies or anime without music. The experience would be quite dull. Try it. You will notice it quickly how everything looks and feels a bit different when there is no sound available.
Search some movie or anime trailer from youtube and watch it without sound. It is a very different experience if you would watch it with the sound on. That’s because music creates different feelings in different situations. Music kind of emphasizes the experience.
I honestly believe this is also true with drawing. It gives you this lift to the hand and mood. Pick a good song and see how your body just feels different. It’s awesome. This is also the same when you watch some superb art. It affects you in a very special way.
You kind of breath differently and feel your pulse change. I think this all part of the emotions you get through your different senses. Speaking of visuals and sound mainly. When you hear something that just gives you nice vibes you like to hear it more. You kind of get to this mood. Combine this same mood with your drawing and there you have, a state of flow is born.
So what music to choose while drawing?
What I have noticed is that if I listen to some up-tempo music. Mainly like dance, trance or something in that area. I get this surge of energy to do things fast and efficiently. If I like to chill and just take time with things. I listen to something like lofi hip-hop. So for me, it really is what kind of mood I want or what I want to achieve. The tempo in a song determines the flow quite massively. Of course, it could be that music won’t affect you the same way.
There is nothing wrong with that. It could be that music does not add anything to the drawing experience or it does. It’s up to you.
I also listen to anime and game music just for those good feelings. Game music brings nostalgic feelings and in that way creates this warm feeling inside. It also makes me calm and happy in a way. This is because in my earlier years, I played a lot of games. And yes, games do have good soundtrack behind. So why not listen to that? As you probably have listened to various music genres in your life.
Choosing music based on purpose and goals
I would choose the music for the purpose of what you would like to achieve? Want to get your heart racing and make some art fast. Choose something that makes you wanna run and move fast. Dance, trance is the one for me.
Something that is mostly up-tempo and really fast and energetic. Just think about it. Doesn’t it make sense? You want to get things done fast. So you listen to something that is fast-paced. Sounds kind of logical. Fast music for fast results. Chill out music for relaxation and calm drawing. Sometimes, however, just drawing without music is not a bad choice at all.
If you want to draw efficiently and in a happy mood. Choose something that gives you this good feeling inside and makes you smile. Makes you also calm but efficient. Music really does affect your emotions and I would be very aware of what you are listening.
If the songs get too melancholic or slow or something. It does affect your drawing process. Usually, this happens when you feel like nothing good comes up to the canvas. Blame the music.
Another excuse for why my drawings suck sometimes. It’s the music, not me and my skills. Change the music and get back to it. I for once have experienced this many times. I pick a song list and at one point I feel like nothing good comes to the canvas.
Switch the music and BOOM, hand feels light again and I get my creativity up and running. At full speed, may I add.
Music to create the drawing mood
I for one, have these seasons when I just don’t like to draw. It just doesn’t come naturally. Lack of motivation, lack of inspiration. Sure. Procrastinating, definitely. However, what I sometimes do when I really have to force myself to draw and really need to get work done. I select a very upbeat and high energy music to listen. This varies for everyone. So I truly can only speak for myself here.
Trance works very nicely for me and taking the volume to appropriate levels with headphones. Truly makes me draw efficiently and get the job done. It feels like I have more energy. More concentration on the drawing ahead.
When the music is at appropriate levels, the surrounding vanishes and you become one with the flow. You go into a zone and draw. You do hear the music but it’s in the background more. Because your brain is actively searching for answers in and from the canvas. You are focused. You get into the mood. Drawing becomes easier and everything just clicks. Flow, you know.
You can also use music to emphasize the drawings mood. You see. When you pick something melancholic and you are creating this rather dark drawing. It only makes it better.
Music gets you to this grey mood and thus makes you draw more “darkly”. Is that even a word? Well, anyway. You can use music to get you into different moods. Pick the music to support the subject of the drawing. Chill beats for chill drawing and so on.
Where to find the right music
You know it! Youtube is definitely the number one source for my music. It’s free and it basically has every song you ever need. Yes, there is also Spotify but for some reason, I just don’t use it. From Youtube, I can find live concerts, game music, movie soundtracks, playlists, 24/7 channels. I mean, you maybe have even too many options to choose from. It might become difficult choose the correct music to go with.
When this happens just think about what you want to get done. What mood you want to be in. Want energy, lay back, have good feelings, feel nostalgic? What is the feeling you are aiming for? The best answer lies in the result you are after. Also, remember to eat properly and drink lots of water. This keeps you energized. You shouldn’t forget that.
I mean, you can’t force yourself to be creative if you don’t have enough energy in your body. Right? Or if you haven’t slept enough, it could be hard to push yourself to draw. Drawing requires energy, mood, and proper environment.
Creativity is a tough one. It’s not something you can fully control. And I mean fully. You can control it and I wrote about few ways to do just that in here and here. Draw with a theme in mind and How to organize your mind for creativity. Both articles help to overcome creative block if music ain’t doing that yet.
Recommendations and music I use more than frequently
Search Youtube for the following and just choose the one you like
- 24/7 chill
- 24/7 anime
- David Guetta Tomorrowland/ Ultra
- Hardwell Ultra
- Armin van Buuren Tomorrowland/Ultra
- Video game music
- Studio Ghibli Music
So as you can see the list brings up already so many choices to choose from. You could also say that my taste of music is somewhat limited. However the list you see there is definitely not the only ones I search on Youtube. It just a list to start with.
Being an anime and video game fan, listening to that kind of music feels only natural. I could not insert the whole list of music genres to this post as it would have been to much. Here is a link to Wikipedia to search through different genres.
So here was my take on music and drawing. What music do you listen to while drawing? What service(s) do you use? Youtube, Spotify, iTunes? How do you feel music helps you and what would you recommend for others? It is always fascinating to hear what other people listen to while they draw, so do drop a comment or two below.