• Advice

What do Microsoft, Coldplay, David Lynch, U2, and Nokia have in common?

Do you ever think about how many different artists and creatives impact our lives on a daily basis?

Think about the songs we hear on the radio, the jingles that play on our computers when they start up, the pre-programmed ringtones on our phones, and the theme songs to the movies or TV shows that we watch. All of these things, whether we’re conscious of it or not, affect our moods, impact our productivity, and have even been shown to enhance our creative impulses.

Brian Eno is someone that you know, but you may not know that you know.

Not only is he a composer, visual artist, singer, musician, record producer, and creator of a genre of music, but you know the “Microsoft Sound” - the jingle that your computer made when you started it up - Brian Eno composed that. He’s also worked on records by Coldplay, U2, Paul Simon, Devo, Grace Jones, The Talking Heads, and even composed a soundtrack for David Lynch and ringtones for a Nokia phone that you may have had a few years ago.

In celebration of Brian Eno’s 66th birthday, here are a few inspirational quotes for all of you freelance artists and creatives out there:

On the purpose of art:

“One of the things you do when you make a piece of art is you try to make the world you'd rather be in.”

“For the world to be interesting, you have to be manipulating it all the time.”

“Rationality is what we do to organize the world, to make it possible to predict. Art is the rehearsal for the inapplicability and failure of that process.”

On creating art:

“One of my mottoes is that if you want to get unusual results, work fast and work cheap, because there’s more of a chance that you’ll get somewhere that nobody else did.”

“The idea is to produce things that are as strange and mysterious to you as the first music you ever heard.”

“Set up a situation that presents you with something slightly beyond your reach.”

“One of the things you're doing when you make art, apart from entertaining yourself and other people, is trying to see what ways of working feel good, what feels right.”

On collaboration:

“Every collaboration helps you grow.”

“When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness... That's one of the great feelings - to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.”

On problems and mistakes:

“The eternal problem of the human being is how to structure his waking hours.”

“Honor your mistake as a hidden intention.”

Want to learn more about Brian Eno and his artistic process? Check this documentary out: