mixtape drawing

*drawing by emily livadary

Things to keep in mind:::

Your audience / occasion / tone or theme

Start with the theme because it determines… everything

I like to have a theme in mind, and slowly collect songs for it - hearing a song that makes you go "yes!" because it perfectly fits your theme, is so rad - the more of these you can get, the better your mix will be.


Could be a particular time/ place/ person/ mood

(It’s better to skip themes based on titles of songs, unless it's a theme within a larger theme, whoa.)

Songs should vary in tempo, artists, eras, and genres - but the mix should have a uniting theme

Sample themes:

  • seasonal (summer/fall/winter/spring)
  • crush
  • dancing in your underwear
  • heartbreak hotel
  • grilled cheese on a rainy day
  • getting ready to go out (personally, I prefer "rally cry")
  • to sing at karaoke or singing in the car, if you're shy
  • sock hop

Less common songs are more interesting/exciting :::

Try to avoid top ten songs, unless it's a jump-out-of-your-chair song-of-the-summer or top ten songs of 1952 - then by all means, go for it.

B-sides or acoustic versions or cover songs are awesome! Just make sure you actually like the cover, independent it being an alternate version of a song you like.


Don't forget to mix it up- genres, eras, etc. Break all the rules for what feels right


Ideas for art: drawing/photo/collage or a drawing of the title of your mix
A medium that allows you to have original artwork for more than one mix: block print

Mix mediums:::

  • Cassette
  • Audio CD
  • mp3 CD
  • Digital: zip folder/zip drive/ you send it/ dropbox
  • or you could just host your mix on one of the online players


mp3 trimmer/ audacity - free downloads that can help you trim off the live ends

Where to find new music:::

  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Rdio
  • tumblr
  • podcasts - various radio stations (look for independent or college stations)
  • NPR - all songs considered

Thoughts/ questions?

want to get a mix? share a mix?
contact me at tess@tess-evans.com