I work more efficiently in the morning, when the children are in school, even though it is less than 3 hours every day at the moment (and soon-to-be none at all, dreaded Summer holidays!).
I make a warm cup of Earl Grey, I sit at my desk. The dogs have a nap, the cat lazily lies down on the chair beside me. The house is quiet. This is MY moment.
Sometimes I enjoy working in silence, but most times I don’t. So, depending on the degree of concentration I need for the task at hand, whether it is drawing, exploring a concept, painting or even administration, here are my favourite background sounds:
- Series and movies: on Netflix or Sky. I’ve watched the entire seasons of The Tudors, Penny Dreadful, Mad men while working. I pick movies and series that I wouldn’t watch with my other half.
- Podcasts and Youtube channels:
Stories Unbound : by Shawna JC Tenney. She talks with illustrators, agents, art directors… and the topics are highly interesting to educate yourself about the industry.
The Podcast channels from All the wonders : interviews, book reviews and advice on children’s books writing and illustrating by Matthew Winner and his team.
Schoolism: great artists interviews.
On Youtube: Will Terry, Jake Parker, Bobby Chiu are must-sees.
- I subscribe to SVS Society of Visual Storytelling and their lessons are great to listen to in the background while educating myself at the same time.
The traps to watch out for when you’re listening to podcasts or watching something in the background are getting too distracted or on the contrary not paying enough attention and having to re-watch the same episode over and over.
- Whenever I need to focus more and work in a soothing environment, I love defonic.com : they have a good variety of sounds, my favorites being the café, the library, the fire, the rain and the forest.
- Internet Radios: I live in Ireland, so I like to listen to radios that I can relate to, be it fun mornings with Dermot and Dave on Today FM or more serious topics on Newstalk. I also listen to some french radios, like Europe 1 or Chérie FM for music (they have 40 web radios with different themes). I don’t particularly like listening to my own music playlists while working, because I am not a DJ at heart and I just want random music, I want to be surprised by the next track.
- Something I have considered for a while is listening to audio books. There are lots of free ones on the internet. Growing up in France, I feel the need to catch up on English literature but at the same time, I find listening to audio books a little bit cold. There is a lot to say about that silent inner voice that you hear in your head when you read, that makes the reading experience more “yours”, more intimate. But if I change my mind, I have this link saved in my favorites.
And that’s it. Tell me about your own favorite background sounds. I always like to add to my list.
PS: I have no affiliation with any of the brands I mentioned in this post.