Honestly? Silence. Even though I like music (at least some sorts) I value silence more than anything else. However, it all depends on which phase of the creation process I am in, I am not always such a ZEN-bug :) So here it goes.
In the planning phase
While planning my designs I certainly don’t listen to anything. I find that silence helps to focus all my attention on the project I am working on, anything else turns my attention away. I am able to work with background noise in this phase, like in a café, but I still prefer the silence of my home. (Except sometimes I am forced to leave by the constant and noisy renovation done by neighbours, that’s when cafés come into the picture). Alternatively, I listen to the sound of rain or tibetan sound bowls if I really need to keep out my surroundings but that hardly ever happens.
In the research phase
I prefer to google and pinterest my way through inspiration in silence again. Sometimes I put on classical music or bands I know really well so they let me concentrate on something else – after all it’s mainly visual content I am searching for – but as soon as I start reading something I go back to mute.
In the creation phase
While sketching, I still keep to dumb mode, but as soon as I am ready and only coloring, sewing, or any other mechanical work is left, I switch something on. Actually this is the process I enjoy most *blush* . The reason for this is that I already see how great the result will look like (unless I scr*w it up with the colors, but that rarely happens), I already know it’s worth the trouble – and I love messing with colors. At this point I usually listen to some audiobook (preferably one I already know so I can switch my attention any time) or some opera. I do enjoy the narrative of operas and the music fascinates me.
In post-production phase
This comes up with my illustrations, I always edit them in Photoshop. Usually that doesn’t need much concentration from my brains (all the more from my hands), so I go back to the old audiobook or opera.
I don’t often listen to bands with whom I can sing along – which I always do if I hear an old favourite, without concern for others, haha – because singing requires a different kind of concentration. I mean it’s great for cleaning or doing the washing up but not for my creation process. However, my friends often joke about my love of silence, which I trully enjoy.
How do you like to work? Do you like the quiet or do you listen to something?