In the thrall of a mournful voice braided with the heartbeat of Persian instruments and the thrum of strings, the Prince took form in a swirl of desert sands and whirling spirits. Ramah moved in my mind despite his inanimate representation taking shape in watercolor. Painting Song of Exile is a perfect example of how strongly music can act as an inspiration for my work. Something in the beat, the mood, and the haunting voice conjured an image so strong that I just had to put it on paper after hearing Feraghi Song of Exile by Niyaz.
I’ve recently discovered the ability to create playlists on YouTube which has prompted me to share a little bit of the music I listen to while I paint. Upon building this list, I realized my inspirational music seems to lean towards a strange mix of techno, baritone voices, chant, and strings these days. I am not quite sure why this is other than my muse seems most pleased when the music has a narrative quality about it, either in vocals or in the ability of a key note or rhythm that weaves its own path throughout a song.
One of my favorite exercises in art class was when our teacher would put on classical music, make us close our eyes, and then draw what it was we saw while we were listening. I was always tickled by the surprising images my subconscious would conjure up from something as ‘simple’ as sound.
These days I seem to have a playlist for everything, including individual characters who cry out for their own musical inspirations outside of my generic art list. I hope to share some of these lists later now that I know how to create them.
Without further ado, here is my playlist of inspirational painting music. Enjoy my odd mix of influences. I’ve left off most of my Disney favorites just to keep some of my badassness intact.
So you other musically inspired artists, what do you listen to when you’re in the mood to create?