Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategy for Creating Stuff: Don’t Wait for Inspiration. Do this instead…

This video of artist and musician Brian Eno is full of interesting ideas about the creative process. The best, to us, is right up front in the first 1:44 minutes:

I think one of the things art offers you is the chance to surrender, the chance to not be in control any longer. Now if you think about it, most of the encouragement is to take control. What we like doing —and that’s the reason we enjoy sex, drugs, art and religion— what we like doing is surrendering. They’re really all ways of losing ME. They’re ways of losing yourself.

The biggest mistake is to wait for inspiration. It won’t come looking for you. It’s not so much creating something. It’s noticing when something is starting to happen. Noticing it and then building on it and saying OK. That’s new. That hasn’t happened before. What does it mean? Where can I go with it?

Here’s a splash of Eno music for your listening pleasure from his seminal Ambient 1/Music For Airports. 

Oblique Strategies

Photo: One of Eno’s Oblique Strategy cards, picked at random


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