Artist/illustrator Jonathan Woodward works in traditional cut-paper collage using recycled magazines to create images of wildlife—and his passion for nature led him to launch thentherewerenone.com to help raise money to protect endangered species. Listen up to the music he plays from his UK-based workspace (his hardworking kitchen table) in this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? It really depends on what I’m working on and at what stage an illustration is at. At the beginning, I will generally work in silence because I need full focus and concentration. As a piece progresses and I get to grips with it, I get into a flow and usually like some music for company. I like something that’s good to sing along to and is usually fairly upbeat. I also like to listen to illustration podcasts such as Sidebar.
How do you listen? My family is location independent, so we use our laptops for most things, including music. My laptop is usually already on since I need to look at reference images as I illustrate, so I listen to my iTunes playlists through my Mac speakers.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I buy most of my music directly through iTunes, although I rarely buy new music (unless one of my tried-and-tested bands/artists releases something new). If I want to try a new artist out, I’ll usually go to YouTube and listen to the music video a few times.
Does music influence your work? Music doesn’t hugely influence my work, but it does inspire it. Or more accurately, it inspires me, relaxes me, or energizes me while I’m illustrating. As I mentioned earlier, the type of music I listen to depends upon the stage I’m at with an illustration. So if I need some motivation in the middle or toward the end of a piece, I’ll listen to an upbeat, something-I-can-sing-along-to kind of song. If I’m toward the end of a piece and it’s getting late (I have a toddler so I tend to do most of my work at night once she’s in bed), I’ll put on something more soothing and relaxing.
Who influences your musical taste? My core musical tastes were formed at an early age growing up listening to my parents’ Motown obsession. I was raised on a healthy diet of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, and Gladys Knight. My tastes have expanded outside of the golden age of Motown since, but it’s something I always go back to. I think Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album is still one of the most perfect, complete albums ever to be released.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I’d love my work to look like the sound and feel of Ray LaMontagne’s voice and music, although I’m not sure it does! There’s such a rich, layered, and beautiful quality to his voice and music. If I ever managed to attain the goal of that visual sound in my work, I’d be very happy.
Workin’ Day And Night, Michael Jackson
Find The River, R.E.M
Empty, Ray LaMontagne
Midnight Train To Georgia, Gladys Knight & The Pips
Trouble, Ray LaMontagne
Angel, Sarah McLachlan
Glitter In The Air, Pink
Sort Of, Ingrid Michaelson
Mountain And The Sea, Ingrid Michaelson
The Hat, Ingrid Michaelson
A Long December, Counting Crows
Images: Jonathan Woodward