Music & Productivity – Part 2 – Artist Joey Salamon

Written by Amy DeCaussin
Director of Projects & Social Media

This is part two of a three part series on “Music & Productivity” – View Part 1 Here

When considering the topic of music in the context of productivity in the world of art, the first creative person to come to my mind is illustrator Joey Salamon.  Joey spends countless hours in his studio listening to music while working on his artwork.



Bright and colorful, Joey’s work seems to look like you could almost hear the dance party going on in the picture.  “I listen to music pretty much 90% of the time.  A lot of my pieces have a lot of energy and a lot of color.  Music that reflects those things gives me similar energy.  A lot of times I will listen to upbeat wild songs that reflects how I work.”

Joey creates posters for music bands.  The ironic thing about his process is that he usually doesn’t listen to the band’s music while creating their poster.  He does this because he says he already has an idea of what he is going to create for them.  He says,  “In that process I still need the music to reflect the energy needed to create that.”vay2BJ0RmVQzn5L740LsVBJbyyfcAvSb14UjndHc8NEmNJLNT4Adr-2q8LPoV04nBmzpPfIncYDSaAEZhP_MINhzS6RKB37eK39GFCM93HwFVMMbaBAjZkyK0x3V8G0uxu4vkYkRT2Yxw_T6lYq3eL2KLLqbJ1n0IMVVsjkMsoS97WxmAOGbcruHVYpTir7SO_RmHaYlv5I_fwhDZ89IHI5ZgWM

Pictured above is a poster designed for Matisyahu, a Jewish reggae, rock and hip hop rapper who recently played at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona.  Joey flew out from his home in Detroit, Michigan for the concert.

Joey’s choice of music depends on what he is working on.  If it something repetitive, like the poster shown below, he enjoys music that is more relaxing like Tyco and Delicate Steve. RiYFGichS6vu5oaGQYZLCq7Jshk9lER8oowPz1vZMS9VN3w1lZRezdAp8Hq0Fjb8u5oWwj7WabI2EevyeyfQxrUylIvYVjsQds1yG8jve71wUAlRmoGfW28s3cHEDPHtK--xkuS9mZOJBXbv2qRICe3PfnRTw7-UpIUUvW9cf2Mep0c1CCs_ksrS9uN1pbW-iACrWuFSbZ5PkOcQJgk3q7snJSR

When Joey is feeling energetic, he will listen to work that is more spontaneous and upbeat.  He will listen to a vast array of music in different genres, one right after another.  Joey will listen to MIA, new age hip hop and then switch to heavy rock such as Rage Against the Machine.  “When I want to be influenced in different ways and be pushed out of my borders I will listen to them because I find that the stuff they are talking about is very relevant and important and not just something poppy.” Joey explains.  Then he pauses a moment, “well I like pop music too.” Joey has an eclectic choice in music genres.dL1FRFXnC30xCQVI7uxf8kQmHucLn-W9PJ5A9imEDLTt3uXKiX7zWu4umODCFoJQ6bkebW4QjkR0vD2H-jm_lIwlxY63UCg4gXNG1FU8Dl-REl8u298WnQ62xwXJc1VkH8S1p3bhtblcc2uxaoOTpekmjyQIGcaGH8uW2jhHtY6xm2nGOwcU2fkj9Uo_V95oBiBjoXIYWoO6WY8uqTI_0z6D4CJ

Shown above is “Beyond the Killing Fields” created in 2014.  Below is a t-shirt design for Polyphonic Spree, a choral rock band from Texas.


Listening to music sparks a physical reaction to many which can inspire and motivate you.  “Music connects with your emotions and psyche in a much different way than those who are playing the piece.” explains Dr. James Gerber, an expert in the field of music who will be the focus of part three of this blog series next week.  The listener is allowed to explore and respond to the music in a free and undirected way.  It is different than how the musician creating the work experiences it.  This parallels the experience of the viewer who looks at the artwork–free to allow their eyes to wonder across the page.

3XIqQFJV4eeO0eXJcT52G3qMgne408UZzfuwO5P080DRE_f6aza5mW9NWBIKt3y_NgWDqshEGwcdllBeJ5bB1Y0UGM7yAc-mqDKFrahsSYeY3SaCFtW6EOYj8ybN51iwS-FXFh-5IKkmFJpEjRGZnZ15cXQJ06D-WY0V_MGuk169o7jgCnWM6cIPnBdRj-5apGqB8SLzVGGmi_AgWb0RAnARG5--1I have known Joey since we both attended Grand Valley State University to study art.  My observation is that Joey’s connection with music runs deep. We would be working in the studio and he would find a song that he loved and play it over and over again–a compulsive act that I also do in my studio today.  It is like squeezing the energy out of a song and pouring it into the artwork.  I cannot imagine Joey’s work without music.

Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

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Music and Productivity – Part One – Introduction

Written by Amy DeCaussin
Director of Projects & Social Media

This is part one of a new three part series on “Music & Productivity.”

Guess what??  Music helps to improve your productivity…well, usually.  Personally, there are times when I am working when I need absolute quiet.  An example would be if I am doing something business-y and/or financial.  I think that is because I am artsy by trade.  If I am painting, I’m all ears for music.  I think the same typically goes for whatever skill that you excel at.  Some people listen to music while they read.  Others can do their taxes while listening to music.  If you haven’t considered listening to music while you work, check out the infographic at the bottom of this article to see some facts about how it might help your productivity.

Music is a wonderful addition to any experience involving repetitive tasks.  According to Jacki Hollywood Brown, of, “If you have a project you have been putting off for some time or if your task involves repetitive work…turn up the volume and listen to your favourite music to get you motivated.” Some repetitive activities to consider could be doing dishes, folding laundry, cutting coupons–well, really anything domestic.  Other tasks that could benefit from music include sorting and organizing receipts, doing a product inventory count, grading papers, installing air conditioners, driving a truck, charting patient records and counting sheep or cracks in the sidewalk.

In the following parts of this series, we will explore how music closely effects artist Joey Salamon and we will hear from an expert in music, Dr. James Gerber, Music Associate at All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Phoenix.  Until then, I leave you with this site where you will find 226 free tracks to help your productivity.

Sources Used/Other links to check out on the subject:

“The Power of Art: Can music help treat children with attention disorders?” BBC News

“Listening to Music at Work–Do’s and Don’ts”

“The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle” New York Times

“Music at Work: 3 Real Productivity Benefits” CBS News


Laboratory5 Inc. is a small business based in Tempe, Arizona

Visit our website: Laboratory5       Follow us on Twitter: @lab5     Become a fan on Facebook: Laboratory5
Contact Us at anytime – we’d love to hear from you