As a young art student, I remember teachers who insisted that music was a distraction, that it interrupted the creative flow. Others felt it was OK - a personal choice, although few allowed it in the classroom, because tastes and preferences vary; what one of us finds inspiring, another may find disturbing.
For me, music and painting are deeply entwined. There are days I spend more time choosing CDs or uploading a playlist than I do choosing a palette for a new piece, and often the music will lead me in a completely new direction...
The playlist here on the blog (scroll down on the right) is pretty typcial of what I like to listen to, although the CD player is often loaded with entirely Celtic music, or strictly classical, and on rare occasions rock. Never rap, never metal, and never country.
Commission work is different, because the direction of the piece is already established - so I'm not as careful with the music selection and tend to listen to whatever I'm in the mood for.
With two commissions in progress, this is one of those days, and the music doesn't get any better than this: an NPR broadcast of the brilliant Leonard Cohen, live at the Beacon Theater in New York, recorded just 8 days ago. A dear friend sent me the link yesterday knowing how much I'd enjoy it, and just I have to pass it on. Seriously, give this a listen, it's incredible! (I would sooooooooooo love to see his upcoming Philadelphia concert, but with funds limited and tickets going on sale Monday, it's doubtful.)
So how about you? Is music important to your creative process? What inspires you? Do you like silence....something mystical...or maybe something high energy? Inquiring minds want to know....
(And do you think I should paint myself a CD cabinet one of these days, hehe?)