Listening to music while drawing: good or bad?

Who doesn’t love to hear a good melody while working? It’s relaxing and often it’s a lot more fun to write/draw/work with music than without it.  But is it any good? Maybe you are thinking that of course it is, good music inspires creativity, right? Here’s the thing: hearing music while working it’s (technically) multitasking. Your brain is switching on and off between activities. One moment you are paying attention to the music, the other you are paying attention to the drawing. This can be very unproductive.

Ok. I’m not here to lecture anybody on how to do their things, this is also not a formal article but my own take on the matter. Do I believe drawing while listening music is bad? I kinda do, to be honest. I feel like silence can help you focus a lot better. This idea of working on silence came to me after I saw this Mattias Pilhede‘s video, although I don’t take his word as gospel I see where he is coming from and have tried this approach by myself.

But I want to tackle this from another angle; I want to tackle this based off my personal experiences and my struggling with my ‘space of work’. You see, silence is a tricky thing, and at first you don’t know it but it’s very rare. Of course, if you live alone sure you don’t relate with this issue, but in a family household there are noises more distracting that whatever music one listen to. I specially dislike the sound of whispers behind my back, it’s annoy me to the point that I prefer to stop working on whatever I’m doing and just go somewhere far away. The emotional distress of having a person in your own house that often talk to herself whispering very negative and accusatory comments that you can still hear it’s something I don’t wish to anybody, seriously. Other annoying noises are televisions, radios and… well, that’s pretty much my case, I don’t live with any kid, but I know those can be very noisy too, heh. It’s in circumstances like these where a pair of head phones are life saving.


But wait! Not any kind of music will do the job. Ok, maybe most kind of music will DO the job, but I really want to point out that listening new music is always more inspiring that hear the same 12 songs you have in your playlist. Get on spotify and find a playlist of an artist or a band you had never listened before. Maybe something atmospheric, maybe some lofi, classical or jazz. Listen to the indie new hits or whatever suit your taste, but make sure it is something new.


If that’s doesn’t work for you it’s ok. If you work listening to your favorite music it’s ok, if you work in silence it’s ok too. Everyone it’s different and work different. I just think that try a new approach may be good from time to time. In the end, people listen to music because music make them enjoy the work they are doing and that’s totally fine.

One more thing before I end this post: If you watched Mattias’ video you noticed he mentioned a particular experience the animator Richard Williams had that made him stop listening to music while working. Animator Eduardo Quintana bring to life that same experience with a fluid and FLAWLESS animated short. Do yourself a favor and watch it because it’s gorgeous.




“You are a lousy artist” and other shitty excuses that we tell ourselves

“You are a lousy artist”
-Your inner demon

No, you just have to stop complaining about being bad and start practicing more. Also, don’t let other people define your art. Do what you want. Become an expert of what you like.

“I don’t have time to draw more”
-Inner demon strikes back

If you have the time for watching Game of Trones. You have time for drawing more.
Priorities man.

“Whatever. Nobody cares about your art anyway”
-This bitch voice inside your head

You don’t know that.
And besides, you should be doing it because you love it. If you do your duty with passion, people will notice you. Believe me.

“I don’t know how to do X thing”


“Why botter? You are going to fail anyway.”
-This hoe

We all are afraid of failing at some point, but guess what? Fear it’s not going to disappear, so you have to move forward, even with your fears.

“I’m not like X person”
-Your inferiority complex

Maybe that artist you admire so much have way more problems and insecurities than you think. You don’t have to be like any other person to be great.


And that’s it. I needed to remind me these things, and I thought somebody else could need them too.

And… I need to take a shower.

See ya, folks.

Minerva out!



Making pin-ups! (a few tips)

The other day talking with a fellow artist, he mentioned he wanted to begin drawing pin-ups, but just couldn’t get it right. One of his try, although promising, just doesn’t looked fully like a pin-up.

Making a pin-up illustration isn’t difficult, but does require the acknowlege of certain “rules” to fully explode your potential as a creador of sexy imagery (because that is pin-ups are, right?)

I’m not an expert, but here is what I have learned so far:

The character is everything

You can have a pin-up with only the character and no background whatsoever, but not on the contrary. The character is everything, and it must produce feelings on the viewer, (yeah, that kind of feelings, you pervert) the characters in pin-ups illustrations must have life, be interesting to the eye!

You must reveal part of her or his attitude in the attire and pose, in her or his expression.

“Why are you looking at me like that?!”

A dull character makes for a forgetable, boring pin-up, or at least, that is how I see it.

Also, if there is a background, the character must ALWAYS stand out from it.

Anatomy, anatomy, anatomy

Just as important. I don’t want to hear any excuses about styles, (of course you have to learn about anatomy silly!) even cartoony  pin-ups girls have a sense of proportion and harmony.

Jonh K is the king of wacky yet sexy things

Seriously, do some research about the female body, you don’t want to end up drawing things like this…

Rob Liefeld is the name of disasters

When in doubt, look at the old masters

No inspiration? don’t worry, the internet is full of great illustrations! especially vintage pin-ups, personally, they are my favorite since they are great for copying styles, poses and aesthetics.

Andrew Loomis

Not only drawings, but photos as well.

Bettie Page!

Someday I will do a full tutorial explaining how I draw my girls, but for now, I hope this humble guide will give you some ideas, dear reader.


I hope to see you soon!

Atte: Minerva