Filling the creative well – what inspires you? (music)

Sometimes immersing ourselves in one art form can inspire us to work on another. Here I speak with four visual artists and find out what tunes are lighting them up.

What is playing on your stereo right now?

Gretchen: I listen to really loud – probably annoying to other people – stuff. In my art therapy groups I often play solo piano, really calming stuff, but in my own work it kind of fluctuates, sometimes I need to be more peaceful, no words, calming, other times I just need more energy. So that really inspires me, I have playlists with certain stations that I go back and forth to like sometimes some New Wave. Punk, The Smiths, The Cure is my very very favourite, New Order, 80’s, 90’s stuff.

Nancy: Strangely, I don’t listen to a lot of music while I work. When I do, I put on a Playlist I found on Spotify called Women Rise Up. I love female vocalists and especially those with positive and encouraging messages.

Barbara: Michael Franti – he is my favourite yogi and social activist. His music never ceases to uplift me and inspire me to really dive into life.

ChrisI grew up on a steady diet of classic rock, and then in High School and early college I got into heavy metal, later I got into the punk scene, I love bands like The Clash, bands that were really trying to say something about the fate of working people. And later I discovered folk music. I really resonated with people who would stand up for what they believe and speak out. I also love Yo la Tengo. We found then in grad school and my daughters – I have a 9 year old and a 5 year old – recently bought me an album for my birthday.