Grain Edit is one of our favorite design blogs (check out our Behind the Blog feature of Dave's Oakland space), so we're thrilled to present the Playlist of freelance illustrator and editor Grace Danico. Grace's diverse range of endeavors also include graduate information science studies at Pratt, photo-cataloguing at the American Museum of Natural History, and a pop-up restaurant called The Baoery. Oh, and she DJs, too, so we're in for a treat. Take a listen.
What do you listen to while you work? I listen to a lot of things, ranging from mixes, podcasts, and bits and bobs that I find, as well as selections from my vinyl collection. It all depends on how I'm feeling and what type of energy I need to get through my work. I'm a huge fan of soul, jazz, R&B, and funk. I'm currently on a boogie and modern funk kick, and enjoy listening to artlists like Dam-Funk, Onra, Steve Arrington, and Nite Jewel.
How do you listen? I share a studio with Gavin Potenza, Liz Meyer, and Dan Cassaro. Usually when we're all around, I listen to music through headphones, either on my computer or iPhone. When I've got the space to myself, I listen to playlists I've compiled on YouTube through our projection/stereo system setup. When I'm at home, I listen to records on my portable turntable in my room, or through our stereo setup in the living room.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Some of my favorite sites for music are Dublab, Music is My Sanctuary, XLR8R, Wax Poetics, and Boiler Room. I also like visiting my favorite labels -- Stones Throw, PPU (People's Potential Unlimited), Brainfeeder, and Numero Group. YouTube's also an awesome source for weird and rare stuff. You'd be surprised how much great music I've found there simply by clicking on related videos. Honestly though, I think the best way to find music is digging for records. It's one of my favorite things to do...sometimes you just have to scratch that itch.
Does music influence your work? I am totally my music, and my work is a direct reflection of that. I tend to gravitate towards upbeat music, and my work feels that way through color and content.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?I find music recommendations through artists I follow on Soundcloud, magazines like Wax Poetics, and, of course, through friends. My friends have varied music tastes, so each one offers a different perspective. One friend recently sent me a video of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers live at the 8th festival of International Jazz in Sanremo, Italy on March 23, 1963. It's almost an hour of hard bop live! I highly recommend watching it.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? If my work was a song, it would be Stevie Wonder's "Outside My Window" from Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. It's cheerful, expresses a lot of joy, and is about one's unconditional love and bond with plants. A lot of my work thematically deals with nature, the cycle of life, balance, and the complexity of human emotions.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist: On a Goetz Sofa in Walnut Veneer, Hydrangea Messenger fabric, and a neon accent color. It's big enough to listen to my playlist with friends and have a dance party, or just daydream and lounge in solitude.
1. What's On Your Mind, Tony Cook feat. Dam-Funk
2. Sexopolis, Jean-Pierre Mirouze
3. If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another, Richard "Dimples" Fields (1975 version)
4. Love Is Strange, Peaches & Herb
5. Still Waters, Jerry Jones
6. Talking About My Baby, John Heartsman & The Circles
7. Superwoman/Where Were You Last Winter, Yesterday's New Quintet
8. Only My Love Is True, Foster Sylvers
9. Places and Spaces, Donald Byrd
10. By the Time I Get to Phoenix, The Escorts
11. Daahoud, Clifford Brown
12. Prince of Peace, Pharoah Sanders
13. Every Time We Say Goodbye, John Coltrane
(Photos: Grace Danico)