Oblique Strategies is a card-based method for promoting creativity first developed by musician/artist Brian Eno and multimedia artist Peter Schmidt in 1975. Each card offers a suggestion intended to help artists break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking.
What follows is a selection of the Oblique Strategies that I find most helpful or interesting interspersed with a few strategies of my own (and some pictures for your viewing pleasure).
Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them
The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten
Honor thy mistake as a hidden intention
What wouldn’t you do?
Give way to your worst impulse
Stop assessing, start undressing
Cut in half and double. Double and cut in half
Discard an axiom
Cut a vital connection
Assimilate the absurd
Fornicate with fear!
Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities
Question assumptions, assume questions
Short circuit (If eating peas improves virility, shovel them into your pants)
Disconnect from desire
Reduce effort, radically
Remember those quiet evenings
What would your closest friend do?
Use ‘unqualified’ people
It is quite possible (after all)
Make a sudden, destructive action; incorporate
Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic
Repetition is a form of change
Work at a different speed
Avoid all collisions
Faced with a choice, do both
Would anybody want it?
A very small object. Its center
Do we need holes?
Use an old idea
Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list
Use an unacceptable color
Simply a matter of work
Try faking it!
Do something boring
Change nothing. Continue with immaculate consistency
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