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So You’re an Art Major? My Top 6 Songs to Boost Creativity!

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Art slumps — arguably one of the worst things that an art major can go through. After so many hours of critiques, clothes riddled with paint, and a lack of recognition, it’s inevitable, right? Fortunately enough, it doesn’t have to be.

I’ll be the first to say that it’s hard to stay motivated, especially given such rigorous course loads, but I have found that through listening to certain songs, I am able to get my creative juices flowing and make the most out of my four-hour-long studios.

Thus, here are my top six songs to bring out your inner Van Gogh!

“Oncle Jazz” by Men I Trust

Although this song is only 58 seconds, something about it sends a rush of adrenaline through my body. From the soothing, groovy feel to the indie folk vibe, this song reflects a state of pure tranquility in which you are able to move in and out of consciousness. My ears continue to embrace this song and many others by Men I Trust even dozens of times after listening; I truly could never get sick of the experience that it provides me with.

“Love You” By The Free Design

In all honesty, this song terrified me the first time I heard it. Could it be the sad, lonely clown on the album cover? Probably, but since then I have come to love the childlike nostalgia that accompanies this song. With imagery ranging from running through meadows, scaring milking cows, and rolling like a circus clown, “Love You” allows the listener to reflect on their own whimsical experiences and imagine new ones. The perfect recipe for creating art!

“Pulaski” By Andrew Bird

Definitely a faster-paced song compared to the others, “Pulaski” delves into the chaos of Chicago, a city overflowing with artistic inspiration. The galloping strumming of violins, clarinets, and other instruments creates the perfect ambiance and genuinely inspired me to look into traveling to Chicago and experiencing the excitement for myself! Truthfully, the most insightful aspects of this song are not the lyrics, but the uncertainty that surrounds them.

“Love in the Time of Socialism” By Yellow House

With more of a somber tone, “Love in the Time of Socialism” navigates the ever-changing world and its direct effects on love. Every line is based on different ideologies and thoughts, but none of this is possible without art and the one you love. Some of my best work has been made thanks to this song and I find it particularly inspiring on days when I am feeling unmotivated. As a bonus, it has the most beautiful album cover!

My favorite line, “As long as I’m with you when we do it” is something that I constantly remind myself during midterm season, finals, and any time of hardship. You always have people that are on your team! <3

“Moon Song” By Phoebe Bridgers

Who doesn’t love Phoebe Bridgers? Although all of her songs could fit into this creativity-boosting category, “Moon Song” is my favorite given the textual imagery that Bridgers consistently uses. She sets a calm, relaxing ambiance that intertwines the imagery of a painful, one-sided love. With over 20 singles, Bridgers succeeds in evoking the most intense emotions from listeners and sets the perfect mood for endless hours of doodling.

“Mirrorball” By Taylor Swift

Last but most certainly not least, Mother herself has some of the most “Art School Worthy” songs that are bound to get your pencils moving! “Mirrorball” is one of my personal favorites given the repetitive imagery of a mirrorball spinning and the fragility of life. It’s easy to relate to and has some of the most beautiful lyrics that make me feel safe and seen.

“Mirrorball” is simply unparalleled and I have never heard a song with such colorful, honest, and fragile lyrics. I genuinely could paint for hours with it on repeat.

TS truly is a “Mastermind”!

Although I could add dozens of songs to this list, these top six have made the greatest impacts on my life and artistic career and simply provide me with an indescribable amount of joy. So, grab those pencils, put on your cutest art major fit, and conquer the world!

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Victoria Hoerauf

U Mass Amherst '26

Victoria is a sophomore at UMass Amherst majoring in Art Education and Psychology. She is an avid runner, artist, and reader who is always looking for new book recommendations!