Last month, I finished my contribution to The Sketchbook Project 2013, with my visual journal sketchbook, Lyrically Inclined. As I mentioned in my previous post, I looked forward to taking part in this expansive collaborative art project. I know in the grand scheme of thousands of different sketchbooks by thousands of talented artists, mine will be an unnoticed addition.
However, I love the idea a global art project with artists expressing themselves in the most beautifully basic form of their own sketchbooks. For me, this was an ideal opportunity to further explore the very real creative influence music and lyrics play in my daily life.
I wish I could fully explain the effect music has on me. Like visual art, certain songs and genres cause an amazing physical response. My heart swells, goose bumps rise up my arms, a knot seems to furl or unfurl in my stomach, my mind stop racing, a tranquil sense of well-being washes over me, or a gnawing ache grows in my mind. Obviously, I don’t feel all those sensations at once, should that occur it would more than likely be indicative of a disconcerting impending medical condition?
My point is, I feel a connection to music, it provides a prospective when I feel inadequate and hopeless, it increases my ambition and motivates me through conflict and rejection. Certain song lyrics seem to perfectly articulate an atmosphere of life in a way that leaves me utterly content and happy—as if I’m truly a part of a beautiful greater whole in the world that I can’t fully grasp. I have no musical ability. I just get struck by the words of others. I empathize with their emotions, I relate to the passing moments forever captured in an eloquent phrase backed by melody. I don’t know. I guess that is why I make art instead of writing. My words tend to fail me, but the words of others don’t.
For anyone who may be curious, this is essentially the playlist of this sketchbook (clicking on the song will direct you to my post of the pages development and full reference lyrics):
1. Motion City Soundtrack-Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die
2. Bright Eyes-I Believe in Symmetry
3. Ani DiFranco-J
4. Laura Marling-Flicker & Fail
5. Craig Finn-Jackson
6. Los Campesinos!-Songs I’ve Written About Your GIrlfriend
7. Mumford & Sons-Sigh No More
8. Death Cab for Cutie-You Can Do Better Than Me
9. Rilo Kiley-Picture of Success
10. Kate Nash-Navy Taxi
11. The National-Baby, We’ll Be Fine
12. Of Monsters & Men-Slow and Steady
14. Florence + the machine-Heavy in Your Arms
15. Fiona Apple-Periphery
16. The Head and the Heart-Rivers and Roads
17. Superchunk-Art Class