11 Spotify Playlists for Your Next Studio Session

JUL 31, 2019
Featured Design: Boombox

Remember the countless hours you spent back in the day crafting a perfectly curated mix tape to play on your boombox? The way we listen to music may have changed over the years, but the joy of finding that perfect curated playlist hasn’t. To help kickstart your next playlist, we asked nine designers in the Spoonflower community what they’re listening to in their studio. From top 40 pop to soulful rhythm and blues, these tunes are guaranteed to inspire your next creative session.

Caleb Luke Lin                                 

“An album I keep coming back to over and over for the past few years is “Sugar at the Gate” by TOPS – it’s so gloomy/melancholy and pretty/magical at the same time. I probably thought about it a lot when making Light Magic in Blue Grey, trying to create something both dreary and beautiful at the same time.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I most often listen to Pop, Hip-hop, and R&B, although nowadays it seems like everything is a combination of the three. I don’t often listen to podcasts but lately I’ve been into the Jeselnik & Rosenthal Vanity Project, which is kind of a combination of comedy, random news, and NFL updates (weird, I know).

How does music affect your creativity?

I think finding a new song that I’m in love with gets me more amped than the strongest cup of coffee. My productivity goes through lots of ebbs and flows but when there’s some music I’m really feeling I’ll put it on repeat and draw and draw and the hours fly by.

Cynthia Frenette

Sunshine Scatter

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I listen to a pretty eclectic mix of music, but it all has to have an overall happy beat. Anything from ‘70s and ‘80s to house and dance music, disco, loungey/retro, Cuban, tropical, oldies, anything that’s fun, funky, and chair-danceable! I always look for playlists or soundtracks from my favourite tv shows or movies on Spotify or iTunes & love discovering new music that way.

How does music affect your creativity?

Music totally affects my mood which then affects my work. Sometimes I get inspired by a song and create something–a fabric design, illustration or piece of art– because of the music. I once did an art quilt based on the song Moonglow by Benny Goodman. I could totally envision a scene with buskers playing on a dark Parisian street & had to create it!

Tess Shearer

“I remember listening to David Bowie’s song Heroes when I designed my sisterhood pattern.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I listen to a mixture of music whilst doing my designs and have quite a broad music taste from rock, to pop to dance music. My favourite genre would be rock though.

Why do you listen to this type of music while being creative?

I actually can’t work without my music. I guess I’ve always listened to it when doing things so now it’s become routine to pop on some music and grab my iPad Pro and Apple pen and get doodling. When I have my tunes blasting it helps me to turn my brain off and just let my hand draw. This way I don’t overthink things and just see what comes out of my crazy head.

Summer Violet

“I’m a HUGE Prince fan. I was creating some of my hand-painted patterns like Sugar Bugs around the time he died and was listening to Prince for days on end.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I listen to mostly music from the 1950s-1990s when I’m creating. During my childhood my mother would always listen to oldies from the ‘50s & ‘60s, my dad would listen to ‘70s classic rock and then I was surrounded by music from the ‘80s and early ‘90s on the radio. I pretty much am just recreating my 1980s childhood everyday. With that being said, I made myself specialized playlists with songs that calm me down if I’m really stressed out or songs that are made for those happiest of sunny days.

How does music affect your creativity?

Everything I make is generally colorful, happy or weird, so if I’m feeling crummy, my normal self doesn’t shine through. If I’m feeling grouchy or irritated, I usually realize that my music stopped playing for whatever reason. I turn it back on and it’s like sunshine comes back into the room. It really affects the whole outcome of my day. I once read the book The Language of Water by Masuru Emoto, which is about how water molecules respond to vibration and gratitude. Since we are 70% water, whenever I’m really feeling a song, I always say my water molecules must really like it. And now I sound crazy. But it’s science! 

Janine Lecour

“I was listening to Feels Like Summer by Childish Gambino when I designed Bird of Paradise II.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I listen to music when I’m designing, most of the time, because I find it hard to concentrate on work when listening to podcasts. I start focusing on the podcast more than work, so I like to listen to music that’s upbeat. It’s a mix of r&b/hip-hop, soul, latin, funk, and brass bands.

How does music affect your creativity?

The upbeat music keeps me relaxed and in a good mood. If it’s too quiet I can get a little lost in my thoughts and lose focus.

Dan Lehman

“I remember listening to Other Worlds by Bassnectar on full volume late at night while working on illustrations for my Isle of Dogs Plot Pattern.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I typically listen to a mix of downtempo electronic and fun alternative artists while designing or illustrating. I have two Spotify playlists named Flow and Doot, Doot, Doot, both of which I regularly update and rely on for work sessions. For my Spoonflower playlist, I’ve selected 10 favorite songs found on these playlists.

How does music affect your creativity?

Music is important for supporting the mood I want to be working in. Sometimes silence is the best for focused concentration. Other times, when I need the energy to power through a sprint, I’ll cue up my metal playlist!

Brittney LeighAnn Dowell

“When I created the Blobby Shapes pattern, I was listening to A LOT of Blossom Dearie; especially during Ida’s nap times. her quirky style and jazzy melodies were both fun and relaxing.”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I love a mix of old and new; the ambience of Coldplay, the mellow jazz of Yuna, the nostalgia of Ella Fitzgerald – all makes me feel different ways at different times. The magical thing about listening to music for me is the ability it has to transform emotions from feeling completely uninspired to feeling so overcome with creativity I could burst! I am so thankful for the talent and creativity of musical artists!

How does music affect your creativity?

Life is beautiful, but can feel mundane at times. There are some days with a toddler as a stay-at-home / work-from-home mom that I feel both physically and emotionally exhausted and completely uninspired to create; especially after doing not-so-glamorous things like laundry, dishes, and sweeping Cheerios off the kitchen floor (haha!). Those few hours of peace before Ida wakes up in the morning, or during her nap time, I can put on a playlist, hear a song, (drink some more coffee), and suddenly feel SO motivated and inspired to create! Those two hours can go by super fast.

Jeanetta Gonzales

Featured Design

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

If I need a pick me up I will listen to nostalgic ‘80s and ‘90s jams or songs that get me in a high vibe and help generate ideas. If I want to get in a flow zone I will listen to music that is more melodic, chill and instrumental.

How does music affect your creativity?

Music positively affects my creativity and can make me feel inspired, uplifted and joyful.

Kristina Hunter

“When I made Dino Ice Cream Party for the Boy Wonder Design Challenge, I strayed from my usual classical playlist because I was designing with my two rambunctious sons in mind. I remember putting Peter Gabriel’s song Sledgehammer on repeat a few times. I love that song!”

What type of music do you like to listen to while designing?

I have to listen to something upbeat when I’m sewing: ’80s and ’90s hits and lots of Lizzo! It’s interesting because most of the time when I’m designing fabric, it’s the opposite. That’s when I listen to classical music, podcasts, and Skillshare videos.

How does music affect your creativity?

Music plays a major role in my creativity! Songs make me emotional, and however I’m feeling tends to show up in my designs and sewing projects. Lyrics to songs can also influence my design choices or help inspire me when I’m stuck in a design rut. I’m actually working on a new design now, inspired by Lizzo’s “Boys”. It’ll be so obvious when you see it in my shop soon.

For an added bonus, we asked the Spoonflower team what they’re listening to in their studios.

Listen to the US Team Playlist | Listen to the Berlin Team Playlist

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    • Hi Stephen,

      We’re sorry for the trouble! If you login to your free Spotify account and then click on the playlist you’d like to listen to, it should open up in your current window. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • I love the way Spoonflower allows us the best designers around but find that the one directional prints are not always user friendly.
    Is there any way we can get the message out there to the artists to give us more of a “tossed” design or multidirectional prints?

    • Hi Allanah,
      Thanks for the suggestion! If you find a design you love on Spoonflower but you need the repeat to be adjusted, you can contact the designer directly to request a custom design. Once logged into your Spoonflower account, select the Contact button on the designer’s main shop page to send them a message. Additionally, you may want to add the search term “ditsy” to your search to help locate designs that have a scattered, non-directional repeat. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!