Art director/graphic designer Erin Jang got her start working in New York City for magazines like Martha Stewart Living and Esquire. She recently set out on her own to open The Indigo Bunting, a studio where she continues to focus on magazine design and illustration as well as custom invitations and paper goods. Her latest project, Food Sketches, might inspire your 4pm snack craving today. Listen up to the music mix that keeps her humming in our newest Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work? I listen to mellow music--stuff that might make most people fall asleep. But that's the kind of music that gets me in the right creative headspace, where I can concentrate better, be less distracted and work more efficiently, and come up with ideas. It's good mellow music though, not elevator music.
If I'm at a photo shoot though, I want to listen to loud, fun music--something that gets everyone in a good mood.
How do you listen? When I'm working from home, I play the music straight through my computer speakers which drives my husband mad because he's a big music buff and we have a real speaker setup at home. When my husband and I are home together, we listen to a lot of vinyl records.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I use Spotify. And I love Pitchfork TV. Any performance video from Cemetery Gates is amazing. I'm still thinking about the Bowerbirds video from a few years ago. Also, the Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR are great. I recently discovered Bill Frisell's performance and have been playing the video over and over--it's incredible.
Does music influence your work? Not directly. But I love Reid Miles and am inspired by old Blue Note covers. And I'm from Seattle, so I grew up loving Sub Pop, Flatstock at Bumbershoot, screen-printed rock posters. (I still dream about working for Sub Pop or Blue Note one day.)
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? I like discovering new artists on All Songs Considered on NPR, even though the banter on the show drives me nuts. My husband is really up on new music, so he buys records and plays a lot of good music at home. We've been married over five years, but he still makes me mixes like he did when we were friends in high school.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? I would love for my work to be colorful and fun (Peggy Lee jazz songs) but precise, smart, and timeless (Bach's Goldberg Variations).
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist: An Eames molded plastic armchair with a rocker base in the sparrow color. I love taking little breaks from work during the day, to just sit and listen to music with Miles, my six month old.
Two Doves, Dirty Projectors He Needs Me, Nina Simone Bye Bye Blackbird, Peggy Lee Naima, John Coltrane Cucurrucucu Paloma, Caetano Veloso Blues for a Hip King, Abdullah Ibrahim Make My, The Roots My Oldest Memory, Bowerbirds Someone You’d Admire, Fleet Foxes Re: Stacks, Bon Iver Coracao Vagabundo, Joao Gilberto Flamenco Sketches, Miles Davis
Images: Erin Jang
Republished in partnership with Lifework
By Amy Feezor