I’m fascinated by creative process, no matter the field – in fact other than for technical, many of the best ideas come from other fields. So I tend to always be keeping an eye out for info on how other people work and this article by Cory Doctorow, Writing in the Age of Distraction is very interesting & has relevant advice no matter what your work involves. Avoiding distractions is a curse of the connected world we live in and rather than aim for unrealistic prolonged periods I like his idea of clearing 20 minute gaps, with all real time distractions (RSS/IM/mail/ichat/skype/phone) disabled. But his tip on leaving a rough edge is genius & something I hadn’t consciouslly thought of before – go have a read.
Another interview worth a read is one with Carsten Niccolai aka Alva Noto:
B: How do you sketch out your ideas and go about their execution?
CN: I have ideas and mostly I am sketching them, like for visual work I have my note books and my sketch books. But mostly I forget about them, and then I remember them, and after two or three times I then realise that ‘ok this idea is really belonging to you and it is not just a moment there’, and that I feel attracted to a certain idea or a certain phenomenon.
The execution is mostly a work process, and the music is very different as to visual arts, but I have a great team, and have a small studio here in Berlin, where we have an incredible efficient team that are around five people that work with me together. Mainly they are doing work, but as well they’re taking care partly of the label – as we do design things of course, because we really like to control our visual output and as well our sound output. The studio is here too, the sound studio, and this is of course work that I will always do myself – I can’t have help here, that’s impossible.
Also Related, this interview with writer David Mitchell is also interesting:
INTERVIEWER: How many hours can you write a day?
MITCHELL:I could probably do ten if I had them, but I’ve got two young children, so I can either be a halfway decent dad or I can be a writer who writes all day. I can’t really be both. As things stand, I might clock in three hours on a poor day, and six or seven on a productive day.
INTERVIEWER: You’re still useful in the fifth and sixth hour?
MITCHELL: Writing describes a range of activities, like farming. Plowing virgin fields—writing new scenes—demands freshness, but there’s also polishing to be done, fact-checking, character-autobiography writing, realigning the text after you’ve made a late decision that affects earlier passages—that kind of work can be done in the fifth, sixth, and seventh hours. Sometimes, at any hour, you can receive a gift—something that’s really tight and animate and so interesting that I forget the time until my long-suffering wife begins to drop noisy hints.
Lastly, taking creative process literally, COMPOSING WITH PROCESS: PERSPECTIVES ON GENERATIVE AND SYSTEMS MUSIC – is an episodic audio series followed by an accompaniment programme of relevant sound artists and composers work. The first episode presents two contrasting generative works by German artist Florian Hecker and Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda. The second episode ‘Continue’ investigates how music can be generated using techniques ranging from very simple procedural systems (such as Mika Vainio’s ‘Twin Bleebs’ which features two repeating events going in and out of phase) to David Tudor’s ‘Neural Synthesis No.9’ – a more complex electronic system which explores indeterminacy through the emulation of neural activity. The programme also looks at music which has been composed using formal geometric and mathematical rules eg Martin Neukom’s ‘Studie 18′ and Thomas Brinkmann’s ’27 Fibonacci Numbers in a Binary Chain’.