Jay Draws a Parallel Between Work and Music From Home

Lifework

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Based in Charleston, South Carolina, designer Jay Fletcher surfs when he has spare time – or he would if he had any spare time. The creative mind behind this week’s Playlist spends his working hours creating full-scale identities for companies large and small, near and far. Jay’s thoughtful and precise designs are both visually arresting and effective in their communication. Now check out the arresting sound waves emanating from his superbly appointed workspace. Listen up!


What do you listen to while you work?
I usually work to music that pairs well with whatever project is at hand. Could be rock, classical, reggae, hip-hop, or anything else. I’m all over the place with my musical likes and don’t really have too many dislikes, so letting the project dictate the playlist works well for me.

How do you listen?
I’ve had a set of JBL Creature Speakers forever and they’re still getting the job done, plugged directly into my iMac.

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Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
Not really. I buy most everything from the iTunes store.

Does music influence your work?
I’m not sure I could highlight a clear-cut example, but the influence is huge. Being a designer is about finding and articulating somebody else’s voice, so picking “project appropriate music” really helps me get in the right mindset for whatever I’m working on. It’s sort of like method acting, with music establishing a vibe that lets you further immerse yourself in the character you’re playing.

Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
Pitchfork is my go-to for new music, music news, reviews, etc., and my friends have a big influence as well. I’ve also been known to Shazam the heck out of places when I hear something new that I think I might like.

If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be?
Geez, I have absolutely no idea. I listen to a ton of Bob Marley & The Wailers, so I guess I’ll go with that. Their music represents a lot of different things to me – places I’ve been, people I’ve known and experiences I’ve had. Structurally, the songs are often incredibly sparse and tight, yet full of life and personality, which I would say is what I strive for in my design work. Do as much as you can with as little as you can. Drawing that parallel is probably a bit over-analytical, but I’ll stick with it.

Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist:
Obviously I’m going with the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in walnut and black leather. Unique & timeless. That thing is brilliant. My uncle had one and it made an impression on me as a kid, long before I knew anything about design or Charles & Ray Eames. I remember hopping up into it and thinking “whoa, this thing is out of control cool.”

Jay’s Playlist:
1. San Francisco, Foxygen
2. Space Invaders, Playback
3. Time to Run, Lord Huron
4. Lost, Frank Ocean
5. Five Seconds, Twin Shadow
6. 17, Youth Lagoon
7. Everybody Knows, Vacationer
8. A Country’s King of Dreams, Caveman
9. Jamie Marie, Girls
10. Warm Heart of Africa, The Very Best

(Images: Jay Fletcher; JBL)

Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Jamie Latendresse.