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Drawing Music and Its Impact on Webcomic Art

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, March 24, 2014

The world is a noisy place. It makes little difference whether noise is coming from a construction site outside the window, loud neighbors in a crowded apartment, or the supposedly “quiet” times in the middle of the night when the sounds of the crickets outside are amplified ten fold. I am sensitive to noise which is why I own a large headset that cancels out unwanted noise and sends a message to passersby that I am not in the mood to be disturbed. Music has a way to remember the past and listening to a particular song can bring all sorts of emotions to the surface.

When I am drawing a webcomic, background noise plays a significant role in the finished product. Having the right song (compared to being forced to listen to a song that makes me feel uncomfortable) allows me to go on autopilot and draw naturally. It is easier for me to express an emotion and show feeling in my work if I am listening to a song that gives me a similar feeling.

I decided to do a little experiment of my own and see if a noticeable change in my drawing technique would be reflected based on different types of music. I chose one very mellow and relaxing Bon Iver song, a very high energy dance mix by Skrillex, and a classical piano piece by Chopin.


Bon Iver (indie folk)

Results: I usually use this type of music to relax, so drawing while it is playing in the background would be my ideal afternoon. The only thing I noticed was that it took more time to draw because I was working at a slower pace because the music was SO peaceful. I prefer this type of music for sleeping or drafting, but definitey not at the gym.


Skrillex (dubstep)

Results: This is not the typical type of music I listen to when I draw. It actually made me use more pressure while I was drawing, resulting in bolder, darker lines. I do not have anything against dubstep music, but I can not use it for drawng music because it ended up stressing me out.


Frederic Chopin (classical)

Results: Classical music usually has a good reputation for productvity and this proved no different. This one was the most surprising because it deviated from the other two drawings the most. The final drawing has this ethereal, elegance and whimsy that I can only credit to my love of Chopin. It should also be noted that this was the final drawing I made in the set, so the improvement could have been as a result of warming up with the other drawings.

The results varied and reaffirmed my original idea that music plays a part in art output. I picked music that matched with my own particular style of drawing, whereas an artist with a very edgy art style would benefit more from listening to classic rock. This is a pretty fun activity to try on your own and could lead to a discovery of a new stylistic art style that can transform your work!



The once featured comic, ANTI FEATURED, which discovers many of Drunk Duck's hidden treasures, by Locoma reached its 50th page milestone!

The comics selected in ANTI FEATURED are like those mystery grab bags with a hidden prize. Some are outright hilarious, while others are hidden gems. Locoma takes special consideration to read through the comic archive of the comics he features and writes well-thought out commentary in his author's notes. I highly suggest that you check out this comic, who knows, maybe you will find your comic featured in it.

Also, stay tuned for next Monday's newspost where I will get a chance to interview Locoma about his selection process for anti-featured comics!


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Abt_Nihil at 10:22AM, March 25, 2014

@kawaii: Yes, I agree. A hypothesis: There may be two effects, one related to musical taste (i.e. the degree to which you find a particular genre of music agreeable should reflect in your work) and one related to more objective properties of the musical piece (such as whether they are loud/quiet, fast/slow, rousing/relaxing, and so on). For example, while not everyone likes classical music, some pieces are pretty much universally experienced as relaxing.

KimLuster at 7:23AM, March 25, 2014

@kawaiidaigakusei: That's very interesting about Linguistics Majors - it makes perfect sense!

Locoma at 4:01PM, March 24, 2014

Oh man I know how that feels, I have a lounge radio station I always use when I can't focus because of the different annoying noises. It never fails! Thanks for the awesome announcement :D

SLK8ne at 1:28PM, March 24, 2014

Interesting. I may try to help in the experiment if I can. How I usually use music is to suit the music to the scene I'm drawing. I don't do classical music that much. And I tend to be eclectic in what I like. Usually the lyrics of the songs I choose suit the mood of what I'm drawing. For example for drawing werewolves I'd choose songs like Werewolf by V.S.B, and The Animal by Disturbed. For slower scenes I choose slower music. For epic scale scenes I might listen to 2 Steps From Hell (movie theme style music) and so on. I draw a lot in public spaces so I generally use loud music to drown out the background noise.

kawaiidaigakusei at 9:48AM, March 24, 2014

Thank you, Ozone! KimLuster- The same is true for linguistics majors where it is impossible to study in the same room when someone is speaking a foreign language without the whole dissection process. Abt_ Nihil- for an experiment to work, there should be a broader range of music genres and a set time limit for each set. It would be met with varying results based on each artist's favorite music. Banes- I wonder what Typical Strange would look like if you listened to Anne Murray's "Snowbird" while drawing a page.

Banes at 7:48AM, March 24, 2014

Looking forward to hearing from Locoma about Anti-Featured, too!

Banes at 7:47AM, March 24, 2014

This is a fascinating experiment, kawaii! Abt, that sounds like a terrific idea!

Abt_Nihil at 5:37AM, March 24, 2014

This should be a systematic study! 100 dd'ers should do this, then compare results :)

KimLuster at 4:37AM, March 24, 2014

Very Nice! I sort of envy you haha. Unfortunately for me, one of my other hobbies is singing and playing piano/keyboard, so I can't listen to music without starting to dissect it, trying to figure out what key it's in, the chord progression, and whether I want to try to perform it or not... Grrrr

Ozoneocean at 4:11AM, March 24, 2014

Good read, loved it! Nice experimentation and documentation!

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