Do you ever look back on a project you completed years ago and feel a slight sense of surprise that it actually came from you? Ever think, “those words aren’t even in my vocabulary now,” or, “those colors never show up in my palette anymore?” Time changes everything, including your own personal style, but that’s not always a bad thing. Change means you are progressing forward as an artist, and you are always shaped by the new experiences you encounter every day.
That being said, it’s important to remember that those earlier works were all stepping stones in getting you to where you are today. For better or for worse, they’re a part of your creative history. You may even experience a sort of déjà vu from time to time, when you look back at an old masterpiece and remember exactly what was going on in your life when you created it.
We embrace those occasional sensations, and love it when we are suddenly reminded of pleasant memories from the past. To celebrate the fleeting connections to yesteryear and our younger selves, we loaded this week’s playlist with throwbacks that always take us back to a very specific time and place in our creative endeavors.
Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers
The Killers’ first album packed a lot of synthesizers and a sound that hadn’t been around in the rock scene for quite a while. Filled with memorable hits, we appreciate “Smile Like You Mean It,” for reminding us to smile and trek on through any of our projects and challenges.
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows – Brand New
Any album by Brand New was a staple in early 2000’s CD collections, especially if the person’s relationships were slowly fading away. The changing phases in anyone’s life can be a little difficult to take, and can also be great artistic motivation. Did you ever reach a point in your creative projects where the pieces you were producing were all decent and fairly well-received, but you didn’t like them at all? Sometimes you just have to switch gears and take your designs in a brand new direction.
Old Soul Song (for the New World Order) – Bright Eyes
Conor Oberst is a true master of bringing his emotions out in instrumentals and lyrics. Every Bright Eyes song we listen to seems like something so personal that we could have written it ourselves, and “Old Soul Song,” is no exception. The itch of longing for a sense of accomplishment amidst new beginnings is one that most people can relate to. You may be experiencing this if you’ve followed the gut feeling that Brand New induced and took your artwork down a different path.
Little Black Backpack – Stroke 9
Art has always been a great outlet for when you just don’t want to speak about something. Hey, you don’t have to. Maybe this song taught you a little something about that. Just get to work on that project, let your artwork speak for you, and take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one who doesn’t want to talk about it.
Good Life – Weezer
Remember all those times you danced in front of the mirror singing into a hairbrush? Hopefully this was one of the tunes you were belting out. Let Weezer bring you back to a day when you were literally dancing like no one was watching. It’s perfectly okay to lose your inhibitions when you’re doing some creative work. In fact, it’s encouraged. Don’t let worrying over the opinions of others hold you back from what you really want.