Illustrator Jon Burgerman is a very busy man. He’s got the best books coming out left right and centre and uploads a tonne of Instagram stories of his doodles bringing images of bins, food, and various street-based items around New York to life for us to enjoy.
In being so busy, we wanted to know what music Jon listens to in order to keep himself enviously productive. Is he playing bangers first thing in the morning to get himself pumped up for a day of illustrating? Is he just chilling to some ambient tracks in the background to just get down to drawing?
Below Jon lets us in on his mix of tracks that keep him and his work going. Also! Jon used to have a band called Anxieteam, whose videos can still be watched over on his YouTube (and below), which we highly recommend.
Why have you picked these songs?
I’ve been toiling away in the studio all summer working on (another) book. It’s been fun but the long periods of isolation can start to affect you, I mean, with no-one around who can you goof off to?
To keep my spirits up I’ve been listening to an eclectic mix of bouncy sounds, funny noises and sunny beats. I like funny music, and I don’t mean songs that are necessarily funny. Comedy songs lose their humour on repeat listens (see my former band Anxieteam for reference!)
But I like sounds that are plastic, or poppy, or gooey, or spongey, or neon and glowing, or elastic or stretchy. I like rhythms that are lop-sided, like a car with different sized wheels rolling over a bmx pump track. I just want to hear the playfulness in the music. I really believe play is infectious. I make my best work when I forget I’m working and feel like I’m playing.
When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
It’s for when you want to play! Or have fun! Or like me, when you’re so alone but can’t do anything about it because you have looming deadlines and everyone else has gone on holiday for the summer.
What do you listen to while working?
I listen to a lot of different stuff. I could have quite easily made a moody playlist of brooding ambient sounds. It doesn’t matter where I am, I’m always listening to music.
The last few things I purchased include Mirage by Chihei Hatakeyama (amazing LP!), Sambaiana by Candeias (a great summer record), Inner City Life 2017 (nostalgia that still sounds futuristic, great Burial remix too) and Superpitcher’s The Golden Ravedays 7” (two 15 min plus tracks of beautiful, jittering, gentle dance music).
What posters did you have on your bedroom walls when you were younger?
I had the Tottenham Hotspur team photo from the early 1990s. Every time we sold a player I’d cover up their face on the poster.
I didn’t really have band posters up as a youngster. When I was a student I had a nice magenta and black Mogwai poster I peeled off from their gig at the Marcus Garvey Centre in Nottingham!
If a film about the life and times of Jon Burgerman was to be made, what song would play on the trailer?
What a great question! Maybe Topless Dancers Of Corfu by Dick Hyman. I dunno, this is too big a question. I really need to take a week off, compile a few playlists and work it out properly.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.