My Secret to Inspiration


Inspiration always strikes at the unluckiest of times, and getting it to strike at the lucky times is a feat in it of itself. Over my years of creating websites and graphics, I’ve figured out a (not so) scientific system to get those gears turning – listening to video game soundtracks.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Now hear me out here – this is my absolute favorite tip for fellow creatives.

I’ve never been able to listen to music while I work because I end up singing along in my head. (“Come together, right now – over me…”) The trick is to listen to songs you can’t sing along to. Enter video game soundtracks.

Video game music is composed specifically to be unnoticeable; to blend into the background so well that it immerses the player in the game. Music in video games is often meant to transport us to another world, whether that be the hazy streets of Silent Hill, the colorful views of the Mushroom Kingdom, or the battlefield in Super Smash Brothers. Above all, it’s meant to keep you focused on your current journey.

That makes it the perfect soundtrack to your creative process.

I find that I produce my best work when I listen to a video game soundtrack while I brainstorm. It’s led me to think outside the box more often, since the “box” is no longer bound by our comparatively mundane lives in the real world. Suddenly, I’m taking inspiration from the dark forests of Alan Wake or the bustling metropolis of Grand Theft Auto V. It’s got a larger effect on your brain than you might think – check out this article about the effect video game music has on players’ performance.

Here are some fantastic video game soundtracks I would highly recommend to kickstart your next project:

  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (check out “Lost Paintings”)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Celeste
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Risk of Rain 2
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Minecraft

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