Video: Brian Eno on cowboys, creativity and surrender

Individual Creativity

Eno oblique strategiesBrian Eno is one of the rare creative geniuses that allows people a glimpse into their creative process.  Few artists are candid about how they approach creativity and so when you hear someone sharing an insight about it, listen closely because you will find ways in which you can apply aspects of their process to what you are working on.

Besides Eno’s pioneering musical explorations in glam rock and later ambient works, few know that he actually developed a creativity tool in the ’70s called Oblique Strategies.  In 1975, Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno created the Oblique Strategy cards as a result of thinking about their creative process as artists. Eno has used the creativity tool throughout his career, most notably when producing David Bowie’s 1977 album Heroes. You can order the creativity tool through his website.

In the new video below, Eno shares great insights on creativity and the fulfillment that can come from pioneering work.

“Distortion is character. In fact everything we call character, is the deviation from perfection. So, perfection to me is characterlessness.”

Key Points

1. Doing one thing really well is ok

2. Everything good comes out of authentic enthusiasm

3. The big mistake is to wait for inspiration

4. Notice when something emerges that is new

5. Be a cowboy that goes out and finds new territory

6. Be ready to make use of opportunities that arise

7. Distortion is character and good

8. Perfection is characterlessness… So don’t aim for it

 

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Classic Eno

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