Looking for some new tunes to power your creativity? Well, you’re in the right place. Welcome to Dribbble’s Pump-Up Mix — a monthly Q&A and curated playlist of songs highlighting your favorite designers and the music that influences their creative process.
This month’s guest is none other than graphic designer and illustrator Lauren Dickens. Get a glimpse of the sounds and songs that inspire Lauren’s work.
Playlist art by Lauren Dickens.
Lauren Dickens invites you to take a trip, no ticket needed—just open senses. This mix is designed to engage your innermost vibration and guide you along on a flow all your own. Let go and pass through the gateway into a new unknown.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lauren Dickens, and I’m an independent creative living and working in Austin, Texas. In my practice, I focus on brand identity work for both large and small companies, locally and globally. Every project is unique and through my process, I try to amplify and crystalize these distinctions. My style is eclectic, but my sensibility is laser focused—thought-forward, approachable, and provocative.
What role does music play in influencing your process?
Music has always been a huge part of my life, so I think it naturally influences my process. There’s no deliberate or actionable method by which this happens, it’s just an organic product of opening myself up to the present moment.
Depending on where I am in life, a certain record can root itself in my experiences from day to day, seamlessly becoming the soundtrack to my life. I think that’s often why people have such a personal relationship with music—it meets you wherever you are, and amplifies whatever’s around you.
What artists or musicians are you currently listening to that help keep your creative juices flowing?
I oscillate between digging into new stuff and seeking undiscovered tunes, to listening to classics and favorites. Everything from Fleetwood Mac, Patsy Cline, The Smiths, Four Tet, Aaliyah, Kendrick, Frank Ocean, Townes, the list goes on. Something about revisiting albums and artists that really affected you is comforting during this extremely uncertain time.
I’d also encourage folks to dig into their local music scene and try to find bands or artists that may need your support right now. Since we’re all spending time at home right now, buy that album you’ve been meaning to on vinyl! Light a candle, imbibe in whatever floats your boat, and get your ass away from the blue light. That’ll get your energy sorted.
Who is your “go-to” artist or musician?
I don’t have a go-to artist when working, but I do have a style and genre that I find helps fuel creative flow and getting in the zone. I tend towards instrumental music with driving bass lines and an overall chill disposition. I find it helps me reach an almost trance-like state of consciousness where thoughts and ideas can cascade more freely.
Have you worked with bands or musicians on designs before?
I have! I used to work with The Decoder Ring which was a popular design group that focused on gig posters and album artwork. Through that experience, I’ve been able to create art for some of my favorite musicians including Deerhunter, Tame Impala, Com Truise, Kurt Vile, and many others.
I’d love to continue working with musicians—the intersection of visual and auditory art is an important extension and continuation of the creative process for both parties.
What’s your favorite concert you’ve ever attended?
That’s really tough to say. My tastes are so eclectic that I’m not sure I can pick just one! So instead I’ll recount a recent highlight. Before the pandemic shut everything down, I got to see Nils Frahm (who’s featured on this mix) live which was a really phenomenal experience. His set up was outrageous, and watching him execute loop after loop layered with utmost precision was a sight to behold. The tones were incredibly rich and warm, even in such a large venue ■