Q: "It's amazing to me how many different concepts you come up with for world-building all of Magic's blocks and sets. How do you come up with so many very different ideas?"
A: From Brady Dommermuth, Magic Creative Director:
"Um, thanks, George. There's no secret source of our ideas. We do what I imagine most creative professionals do: we read books, magazines, and comics, we watch movies and TV of all kinds, we play games. And all that stuff becomes a kind of creative compost in our brains from which cool world ideas (hopefully) grow. There's also a lot of staring into space and smacking our heads on the keyboard waiting for inspiration to come.
"It deserves mentioning, though, that the creative aspects of Magic are the result of a highly collaborative process. There's no one person that originates or drives everything. Sure, someone has to have the idea that gets things rolling, but seldom does the eventual result resemble that first idea. Card designers and developers, the art director, the concept illustrators, the card illustrators, the card name and flavor text writers ... all these folks shape the world as they flesh it out, and none of us know exactly what it's going to look like until very late in the process."