Dan Wilson shares his process with the Vortex

Cecil Vortex this week posted the second of a two-part interview with musician Dan Wilson (most recently of the pop-rock band Semisonic).  In this interview, Wilson talks about his creative process, which resembles a brainstorm-incubate-produce sequence of events.  I love the mystery of the incubation process, how it seems like not much is going on, until suddenly thoughts and ideas bubble up to the surface.

In part two of this interview, Wilson puts in a great plug for Oblique Strategies, which if you’ve never seen, are a fascinating process for growing as a creative. 

The Oblique Strategies were created in the 1970s by musician Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt.  They consist of a set of cards, each with an instruction (or sometimes merely a phrase for contemplation) meant to shake you out of your current perspective so you can look at your work from a new point of view.  Simply pull a card at random from the deck and see where it takes you.  They’re a great tool for breaking through creative blockage and breathing new life into your process.

You can find a history of the Oblique Strategies, along with lists of various editions here.  Based on those lists, I’ve put together a composite list of the Oblique Strategies in a .PDF file Oblique Strategies (composite), so you can easily print them on 3×5 index cards.  

As an aside, I can’t say enough good things about Cecil Vortex.  Any blog whose blogroll lists both 43folders and Silliman’s Blog is alright in my book.

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