I have difficulty working with music or sound around me. Or rather, I have difficulty conceptualizing... once a sketch is down and I'm onto the grunt work of rendering, I can listen to anything. This is something I am just realizing.
Despite five years of art college, it took until now for me to recognize this pattern in myself. I honestly thought that the reason I tended to do most of my work in silence was because I was too lazy to turn on music, or an audio book until I was several hours deep into a project. I also though that the reason that I didn't like spending time in the noisy Print studio at school was because I am antisocial.
It took until I was living with Evan full-time, working in the same studio space as him for the problem to truly surface. He loves music, and works best with his MP3 collection, a podcast, or an internet radio station playing in the background. He does a lot of insanely tedious work for a graphic design firm, so he seriously needs it.
I know why this is, too. I have Asperger's Syndrome (as I've probably mentioned before) and tend to automatically visualize everything. If there is a music track playing, my mind is working to visually map that song, with colour, imagery, and geometric shapes. If someone's speaking, my mind is creating a tableau based on whatever they're talking about, overlaid with a running transcript written in a pleasing serif font. This ties in with the synesthesia so common in us Aspies, apparrently. Also, sometimes I just hallucinate stuff, for no other good reason! My brain does not like to think that I am lonely.
The net effect of this sort of all of this? I become almost blind when there's too much sound going on around me. I'm seeing what I'm hearing, and I'm finding it almost impossible to focus on whatever is in front of me. So even if I'm doing fine, inking and listening to music, someone talking to me over that can make my entire workspace go invisible.
I love working in coffee shops, because they remove me from the constant temptation of internet time-wastage, while also getting me out of the house. This is where I write best. Unless it is too loud there. This is highly frustrating.
The best solution I can think of is to find myself a quiet, private place to get started on my work in. Where that is, I have no clue, as I live in a townhouse with no backyard to speak of. Anyone else out there with similar issues, and perhaps suggestions?