Artist At Work: Audio Books For Texture Production

Many years ago when I hand-colored photographs professionally, I discovered a method for deep focus in production: I listen to audio books while I work.

I can’t say I’ve done any research into any scientific reason, but this is my experience: The mind is like a small dog yapping at you with distractions.

Hey, maybe you should answer emails, go on Facebook, check Twitter. The refrigerator really needs to be cleaned. Leaves need to be raked. How about going shopping?

You know what I mean. All that stuff that keeps you from parking your butt at your work station and getting to work. I’ve found that listening to a light story is like giving that little yapping dog (your busy brain) a chew toy to keep it busy. Somehow, having that part of the brain quieted leaves your intuitive brain free to take over. I’ve had other friends confirm this. There’s also another aspect to this. Putting on an audio book has become a trigger for me. My mind has become conditioned to go into deep intuitive work mode when I start listening.

A few tips though:

  • Keep it light. This isn’t the time to listen to philosophy or world economy. Mysteries or Chick Lit works for me.
  • It doesn’t work with all stages of production. Leave this for those times when you have already done your planning, and come up with formative ideas and now you are implementing with intuitive processes like brush work or tedious things like cloning out dust, or layer masking.

I don’t always work this way.

Working on photos and texture in and of itself is quite interesting and meditative for me, but I do when I’m in a deep production mode on a project with a deadline.

I’ll be in deep production mode the rest of the week finishing up the Glorious Grunge Collection. I’ve just downloaded Tami Hoag’s Deeper Than The Dead from Audible. See you on the other side in nearly 14 hours!

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