The Universe of Creative People

Tell the World about Yourself and your Achievements

Philosophers about Creativity

Famous philosophers about creativity

Creativity comes from awakening and directing men's higher natures, which originate in the primal depths of the universe and are appointed by Heaven.

I Ching (12th с. BC, Book of Changes, Chinese classic text)

The Creative knows the great beginnings. The Receptive completes the finished things.
I Ching

Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven
I Ching

Turn yourself not away from three best things: Good Thought, Good Word, and Good Deed.
Zoroaster (c.628 - c.551 BC) Persian spiritual teacher and philosopher

I am not an originator but a transmitter.
Confucius (551 - 479 BC), Chinese spiritual teacher and philosopher

He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
Confucius

The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it.
Confucius

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
Confucius

Where so ever you go, go with all your heart.
Confucius

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
Laozi (6c. BC), Chinese spiritual teacher and philosopher

From wonder into wonder existence opens.
Laozi

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Laozi

The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
Laozi

Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.
Laozi

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
Laozi

For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.
Laozi

Silence is a source of Great Strength.
Laozi

To see things in the seed, that is genius.
Laozi

Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
Laozi

The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.
Laozi

As soon as you have made a thought, Laugh at it.
Laozi 

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
Sun Tzu (c. 544-496 BC), Chinese military general and philosopher, the author of The Art of War

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Sun Tzu

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Sun Tzu

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we create the world.
The Buddha (563 - 483 BC), Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher

Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.
Heraclitus ( c. 535 – c. 475 BCE), Greek philosopher

If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.
Heraclitus

The unlike is joined together, and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.
Heraclitus

I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.
Socrates (c. 469 BC – 399 BC), Greek philosopher

The poets are nothing but interpreters of the gods, each one possessed by the divinity to whom he is in bondage.
Plato (427–347 BC), Greek philosopher

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
Plato

The deity on purpose [sings] the liveliest of all lyrics through the most miserable poet.
Plato

Life must be lived as play.
Plato

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), Greek philosopher

The soul never thinks without a picture.
Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Aristotle

Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.
Meng-Tse (Mencius) (372 – 289 BC), Chinese Confucian philosopher

He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.
Meng-Tse

Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. There is nothing dead in Nature. Everything is organic and living, and therefore the whole world appears to be a living organism.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BC – AD 65), Roman Stoic philosopher

Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let if first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Epictetus (55–135 AD), Greek Stoic philosopher

The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.
Thomas Aquinas (January 28, 1225 –March 7, 1274), Italian Dominican priest, philosopher and theologian

Stillness is where creativity and solutions are found.
Meister Johann Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1327), German theologian, philosopher and mystic

The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.
Meister Eckhart

Children at play are not playing about. Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.
Michel de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 – September 13, 1592), French writers 

If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted. 
Francis Bacon (January 22, 1561 –April 9, 1626), English philosopher

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.
Francis Bacon

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
Francis Bacon

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
Francis Bacon

Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
René Descartes (March 31, 1596 –February 11, 1650), French philosopher and mathematician

Doubt is the origin of wisdom.
René Descartes

It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well.
René Descartes

If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
Voltaire (November 21, 1694 –May 30, 1778), French Enlightenment philosopher

Originality is nothing by judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
Voltaire

I hold firmly to my original views. After all I am a philosopher.
Voltaire

All this creative power of the mind amounts to no more than the faculty of compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded us the by senses and experience.
David Hume (May 7, 1711 –August 25, 1776), Scottish philosopher

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 –July 2, 1778), French philosopher and writer

All human knowledge thus begins with intuitions, proceeds thence to concepts, and ends with ideas.
Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 –February 12, 1804), German philosopher

Imagination is a powerful agent for creating, as it were, a second nature out of the material supplied to it by actual nature.
Kant

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.
Immanuel Kant

Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.
Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 –September 21, 1860), German philosopher

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Ordinary people merely think how they shall 'spend' their time; a man of talent tries to 'use' it.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I believe in Eternity. I can find Greece, Palestine, Italy, Spain, and the Islands, - the Genius and creative Principle of each and of all eras, in my own mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), American Transcendentalist philosopher, essayist

A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely… but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude …
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty, without expression, tires.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The two terrors that discourage creativity and creative living are fear of public opinion and undue reverence for one's own consistency.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Soren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 –November 11, 1855), Danish philosopher

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
Søren Kierkegaard

It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.
Søren Kierkegaard

The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.
Mikhail Bakunin (May 30, 1814 –July 1, 1876), Russian philosopher and revolutionary

If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to lead a life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862), American poet, transcendentalist philosopher

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
Henry David Thoreau

Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, Simplify.
Henry David Thoreau

Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.
Henry David Thoreau

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
Henry David Thoreau

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play.
Friedrich Neitzsche (October 15, 1844 –August 25, 1900), German philosopher

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The overman...Who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character, and become creative. Aware of life's terrors, he affirms life without resentment.
Friedrich Nietzsche

For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.
Friedrich Nietzsche

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Has anyone...any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? ... There is an ecstasy such that the immese strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, along with which one's steps either rush or involuntarily lag, alternately. There is the feeling that one is completely out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and quiverings to the very toes... Everything happens quite involuntarily, as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement.
Friedrich Nietzsche

One hears — one does not seek; one takes — one does not ask who gives.
Friedrich Nietzsche

There are no facts, only interpretations.
Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.
Henri Bergson (October 18, 1859 –January 4, 1941), French philosopher

To perceive means to immobilize. . . we seize, in the act of perception, something which outruns perception itself.
Henri Bergson

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
Henri Bergson

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.
John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952), American philosopher and psychologist

“…a problem well put is half solved.”
John Dewey

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
Alfred North Whitehead (February 15,1861 –December 30, 1947), English philosopher and mathematician

The 'silly' question is the first intimation of some totally new development.
Alfred North Whitehead

Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up.
George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952), Spanish-American philosopher and essayist

To the art of working well a civilized race would add the art of playing well.
George Santayana 

Culture arises and unfolds in and as play. 
Johan Huizinga (December 7, 1872 – February 1, 1945),  Dutch philosopher and historian

Philosophy, for Plato, is a kind of vision, the 'vision of truth'...Everyone who has done any kind of creative work has experienced, in a greater or less degree, the state of mind in which, after long labour, truth or beauty appears, or seems to appear, in a sudden glory - it may only be about some small matter, or it may be about the universe. I think that most of the best creative work, in art, in science, in literature, and in philosophy, has been a result of just such a moment.
Bertrand Russell (May 18, 1872 –February 2, 1970), British philosopher

There are certain things that our age needs. It needs, above all, courageous hope and the impulse to creativeness.
Bertrand Russell

Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.
Bertrand Russell

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell

Creativity is the supreme mystery of life, the mystery of the appearance of something new, hitherto unknown, derived from nothing, proceeding from nothing, born of nothing other....
Nikolai Berdyaev (March 18, 1874 – March 24, 1948), Russian philosopher.

True life is creativity, not development: it is the freedom for creative acts, for creative fire, rather than necessity and the heaviness of congealing self-perfection.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Creativity is the mystery of freedom.

Nikolai Berdyaev

There is no objective reality. But there is only an illusion of consciousness, there is only an objectivication of reality, which was created by the spirit. The origin of life is creativity, freedom; and the personality, subject, and spirit are the representatives of that origin, but not the nature, not the object.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Philosophy… is the creative perception by the spirit of the meaning of human existence.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Dostoevsky - is not a realist as an artist, he is an experimentator, a creator of an experimential metaphysics of human nature.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Creativeness is liberation from slavery. Man is free when he finds himself in a state of creative activity. Creativeness leads to ecstasy of the moment. The products of creativeness are within time, but the creative act itself lies outside time.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Creativity is something which proceeds from within, out of immeasurable and inexplicable depths, not from without, not from the world's necessity. The very desire to make the creative act understandable, to find a basis for it, is failure to comprehend it. To comprehend the creative act means to recognize that it is inexplicable and without foundation.
Nikolai Berdyaev

In creativity the way will be found for subject to pass into object, the identity of subject with object will be restored. All the great creators have foreseen this turning-point. Today, in the depths of culture itself and in all its separate spheres, this crisis of creativity is ripening.
Nikolai Berdyaev

In every artistic activity a new world is created, the cosmos, a world enlightened and free.
Nikolai Berdyaev

But man as a person, the same man, gains mastery over egocentric self-confinement by disclosing a universe in himself…Personality is a universe, it is filled with universal content.
Nikolai Berdyaev

Self-realization is a process of permanent auto-creation, an elaboration of the new man at the expense of the old.
Nikolai Berdyaev

The essential in artistic creativity is victory over the burden of necessity. In art, man lives outside himself, outside his burdens, the burdens of life. Every creative artistic act is a partial transfiguration of life. In the artistic concept man breaks out through the heaviness of the world. In the creative-artistic attitude towards this world we catch a glimpse of another world.
Nikolai Berdyaev

We are standing on the threshold of a world-epoch of religious creativeness, on a cosmic divide.
Nikolai Berdyaev

…in the third epoch the divinity of man's creative nature is finally revealed and divine power becomes human power.
Nikolai Berdyaev

The geniuses have created, but they were less: the saints have been, but they created little…A twofold tragedy of creativeness reveals the truth that there has not yet been in our world a religious epoch of creativity.
Nikolai Berdyaev

It is imperative to bear in mind that human creativity is not a claim or a right on the part of man, but God's claim on and call to man. God awaits man's creative act, which is the response to the creative act of God.
Nikolai Berdyaev

This is the eternal origin of art that a human being confronts a form that wants to become a work through him. Not a figment of his soul but something that appears to the soul and demands the soul's creative power. What is required is a deed that a man does with his whole being.
Martin Buber (February 8, 1878 – June 13, 1965) was an Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher

Creation happens to us, burns into us, changes us, we tremble and swoon, we submit. Creation – we participate in it, we encounter the creator, offer ourselves to him, helpers and companions.
Martin Buber

Creation happens to us, burns into us, changes us, we tremble and swoon, we submit. Creation - we participate in it, we encounter the creator, offer ourselves to him, helpers and companions.
Martin Buber

Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955), French philosopher and Jesuit priest

A single idea, if it is right, saves us the labor of an infinity of experiences.
Jacques Maritain (November 18, 1882 –April 28, 1973), French Catholic philosopher

The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.
Jose Ortega y Gasset (May 9, 1883 –October 18, 1955), Spanish philosopher

We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.
Jose Ortega Y Gasset

Freedom is only to be found where there is burden to be shouldered. In creative achievements this burden always represents an imperative and a need that weighs heavily upon man’s mood, so that he comes to be in a mood of melancholy. All creative action resides in a mood of melancholy, whether we are clearly aware of the fact or not, whether we speak at length about it or not. All creative action resides in a mood of melancholy, but this is not to say that everyone in a melancholy mood is creative.
Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976), German philosopher

The great thinker is one who can hear what is greatest in the work of other "greats" and who can transform it in an original manner.
Martin Heidegger

Only when one thinks even much more madly than the philosophers can one solve their problems.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (April 26, 1889 –April 29,1951), Austrian-British philosopher

The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

All life is problem solving.
Karl R. Popper (July 28, 1902 –September 17, 1994), Austro-British philosopher

A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.
Theodore Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969), German philosopher and sociologist

True creativity often starts where language ends.
Arthur Koestler (September 5, 1905 – March 1, 1983) was a Hungarian-Jewish novelist, philosopher, journalist

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Arthur Koestler

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual.
Arthur Koestler

The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know.
Arthur Koestler

Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.
Arthur Koestler

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
Arthur Koestler

Creativity in science could be described as the act of putting two and two together to make five.
Arthur Koestler

The creativity and pathology of the human mind are, after all, two sides of the same medal coined in the evolutionary mint. The first is responsible for the splendour of our cathedrals, the second for the gargoyles that decorate them to remind us that the world is full of monsters, devils, and succubi.
Arthur Koestler

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.
Albert Camus (November 7, 1913 –January 4, 1960), French philosopher

Great ideas, it is said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations a faint flutter of wings; the gentle stirring of life and hope.

Albert Camus

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
Albert Camus

Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
Albert Camus

Do you train for passing tests or do you train for creative inquiry?
Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928), American linguist and philosopher

We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are.
Humberto Maturana (born September 14, 1928), Chilean philosopher and biologist

 

Painters about Creativity

Great artists, painters and sculptors
about creativity

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519), Italian Renaissance painter and polymath

The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.
Leonardo da Vinci

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.
Leonardo da Vinci

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.
Leonardo da Vinci

The painter's mind is a copy of the divine mind, since it operates freely in creating the many kinds of animals, plants, fruits, landscapes, countrysides, ruins, and awe-inspiring places.
Leonardo da Vinci

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee . . . gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own.
Leonardo da Vinci

The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake.
Leonardo da Vinci

Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.
Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.
Leonardo da Vinci

A good painter has two main objects to paint, man and the intention of his soul. The former is easy, the latter hard as he has to represent it by the attitude and movement of the limbs. Leonardo da Vinci
How painting surpasses all human works by reason of the subtle possibilities which it contains.
Leonardo da Vinci

From this [drawing], the treasure secretly gathered in your heart will become evident through your creative work.
Albrecht Durer (May 21,1471 –April 6,1528),  German painter

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.
 Albrecht Durer

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564), Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Art lives on constraint and dies of freedom.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Critique by creating.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Every beauty which is seen here below by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come . . .
Michelangelo Buonarroti

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
 
Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking.
Michelangelo Buonarroti

The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting. 
Titian ( c. 1488/1490 –August 27,1576), Italian painter

A good painter needs only three colours: black, white and red.
Titian

It is not bright colours but good drawing that makes figures beautiful.
Titian
 
Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind.
Titian

My talent is such that no undertaking, however vast in size... has ever surpassed my courage.
Peter Paul Rubens  (June 28, 1577 –May 30, 1640), was a German-born Flemish  painter

I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art.
Diego Velazquez (baptised June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660), Spanish painter

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.
Rembrandt ( July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669),  Dutch painter

A painting is finished when the artist says it is finished. Rembrandt
For in these two paintings the greatest and most natural movement has been expressed, which is also the main reason why they have taken so long to execute.
Rembrandt

Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.
Rembrandt

Could we teach taste or genius by rules, they would be no longer taste and genius.
Joshua Reynolds (July 16,  1723 –February 23, 1792), English painter

A mere copier of nature can never produce anything great.
Joshua Reynolds

Do not be troubled for a language, cultivate your soul and she will show herself.
Eugene Delacroix (April 26, 1798 –August 13, 1863), French artist

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
Eugene Delacroix

What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
Eugene Delacroix

The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently.
Eugene Delacroix

Painting is the representation of visible forms. The essence of realism is its negation of the ideal.
Gustave Courbet (June 10, 1819 –December 31, 1877), French painter

The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it.
Gustave Courbet

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
Camille Pissarro (July 10, 1830 –November 13, 1903), Danish-French painter

There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see. When you've got it, you've got it. When you haven't, you begin again. All the rest is humbug.
Édouard Manet (January 23, 1832 –April 30, 1883), French painter

It is not enough to know your craft - you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.
Édouard Manet

No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else.
Édouard Manet

One must be of one's time and paint what one sees.
Édouard Manet

I need to work to feel well.
Édouard Manet

There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.
Édouard Manet

Above all keep your colours fresh!
Édouard Manet

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.
James McNeill Whistler (July 10, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American-born, British-based artist

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
Edgar Degas (July 19, 1834 –September 27, 1917), French painter

Painting is easy for those that do not know how, but very difficult for those that do!
Edgar Degas

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.
Edgar Degas

A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.
Edgar Degas

What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way.
Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910), American artist

We live in a rainbow of chaos.
Paul Cezanne (January 19, 1839 - October 22,  1906), French painter

The painter must enclose himself within his work; he must respond not with words, but with paintings.
Paul Cezanne

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne

I am the primitive of the method I have invented.
Paul Cezanne 

What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is a harmony parallel with nature.
Paul Cézanne

Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations.
Paul Cézanne

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.
Paul Cézanne

Don't be an art critic, but paint, there lies salvation.
Paul Cezanne

All my life I have worked to be able to earn my living, but I thought that one could do good painting without attracting attention to one's private life. Certainly, an artist wishes to raise himself intellectually as much as possible, but the man must remain obscure. The pleasure must be found in the work.
Paul Cezanne

I like all those painters who loved and had a strong feeling for nature.
Alfred Sisley (October 30,1839 –January 29, 1899), French- British painter

I invent nothing, I rediscover.
Auguste Rodin (November 12, 1840 –November 17, 1917), French sculptor.

The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.
 Auguste Rodin

I waited for the idea to consolidate, for the grouping and composition of themes to settle themselves in my brain. When I felt I held enough cards I determined to pass to action, and did so.
Claude Monet (November 14, 1840 –December 5,1926),  French painter

The effect of sincerity is to give one's work the character of a protest. The painter being concerned only with conveying his impression, simply seeks to be himself and no one else.
Claude Monet

I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
Claude Monet 

I would advise young artists . . . to paint as they can, as long as they can, without being afraid of painting badly . . . . If their painting doesn't improve by itself, it means that nothing can be done - and I wouldn't do anything.
Claude Monet

No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.
Claude Monet

To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.
Claude Monet

Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
Claude Monet

It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
Claude Monet 

It is important to express oneself...provided the feelings are real and are taken from you own experience.
Berthe Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895), French painter

If the painter works directly from nature, he ultimately looks for nothing but momentary effects; he does not try to compose, and soon he gets monotonous.
Auguste Renoir (February 25, 1841 - December 3, 1919),  French  painter

The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.
Auguste Renoir

In painting, as in the other arts, there's not a single process, no matter how insignificant, which can be reasonably made into a formula. You come to nature with your theories, and she knocks them all flat.
Auguste Renoir

You come to nature with all her theories, and she knocks them all flat.
Auguste Renoir

I've been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.
Auguste Renoir 

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 –May 8, 1903), French Post-Impressionist painter

Do not copy nature too much.  Art is an abstraction.
Paul Gauguin

It is good to love many things, for therein lies true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.
Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853 –July 29, 1890), Dutch post-Impressionist painter

I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.
Vincent van Gogh

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent van Gogh

I feel such a creative force in me: I am convinced that there will be a time when, let us say, I will make something good every day , on a regular basis....I am doing my very best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things mean painstaking work, disappointment, and perseverance.
Vincent van Gogh

It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.
Vincent van Gogh  

As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I – something that is my life – the power to create.
Vincent van Gogh

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to. . . . The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
Vincent van Gogh

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
Vincent van Gogh

A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.
Vincent van Gogh

One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.
Vincent van Gogh

The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech.
Vincent van Gogh

Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul.
Vincent van Gogh

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting.
Vincent van Gogh

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.
Vincent van Gogh

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.
Vincent Van Gogh 

As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.
Vincent van Gogh

Art is harmony. Harmony is the analogy of contrary and of similar elements of tone, of color and of line, conditioned by the dominate key, and under the influence of a particular light, in gay, calm, or sad combinations.
Georges Seurat (December 2, 1859 –March 29,1891), French painter

Originality depends only on the character of the drawing and the vision peculiar to each artist.
Georges Seurat

Painting is the art of hollowing a surface.
Georges Seurat

Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.
Georges Seurat

The anarchist painter is not the one who will create anarchist pictures,
but the one who will fight with all his individuality against official conventions.
Paul Signac (November 11, 1863 –August 15, 1935),  French painter

Youth must go ahead and prosper. These young painters are all very talented people, but they all paint frescoes.
Edvard Munch (December 12, 1863 -January 23,  1944), Norwegian painter

Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.
Edvard Munch

No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.
Edvard Munch

I paint things as they are. I don't comment. I record.
 Henri De Toulouse Lautrec (November 24, 1864 –September 9,  1901), French painter

In our time there are many artists who do something because it is new; they see their value and their justification in this newness. They are deceiving themselves; novelty is seldom the essential. This has to do with one thing only; making a subject better from its intrinsic nature.
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

The true work of art is born from the Artist: a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being.
Wassily Kandinsky (December 16, 1866 –December 13, 1944),  Russian painter

There is no must in art because art is free.
Wassily Kandinsky

Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings.
Wassily Kandinsky

The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.
Wassily Kandinsky

I applied streaks and blobs of colours onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...
Wassily Kandinsky

Creativity takes courage.
Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869 –November 3, 1954), French painter

Creation is the artist's true function. But it would be a mistake to ascribe creative power to an inborn talent. Creation begins with vision. The artist has to look at everything as though seeing it for the first time.
Henri Matisse

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.
Henri Matisse

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things.
Henri Matisse

You must forget all your theories, all your ideas before the subject. What part of these is really your own will be expressed in your expression of the emotion awakened in you by the subject.
Henri Matisse

I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.
Henri Matisse

One gets into a state of creativity by conscious work. To prepare one's work is first to nourish one's feelings by studies which have a certain analogy with the picture, and it is through this that the choice of elements can be made. It is these studies which permit the painter to free his unconscious mind.
Henri Matisse

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.
Henri Matisse

A work of art must carry in itself its complete significance and impose it upon the beholder even before he can identify the subject-matter...
Henri Matisse

It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.
Henri Matisse

I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it.
Henri Matisse

What I dream of is an art of equilibrium, purity and tranquility, devoid of upsetting or troubling subject matter ...
Henri Matisse

Time extracts various values from a painter's work.
When these values are exhausted the pictures are forgotten,
and the more a picture has to give, the greater it is.
Henri Matisse

For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.
Georges Rouault (May 27, 1871 –February 13,1958), French painter

Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody.
Piet Mondrian (March 7, 1872 – February 1, 1944),  Dutch painter

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.
Piet Mondrian

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
Piet Mondrian

If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.
Francis Picabia (January 22, 1879 –November 30, 1953), French painter

Painters were also attorneys, happy storytellers of anecdote,
psychologists, botanists, zoologists, archaeologists, engineers, but there were no creative painters.
Kazimir Malevich (February 23, 1879 –May 15, 1935), Russian painter

Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter. 
Paul Klee (December 18,1879 –June 29,1940),  German-Swiss painter
Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible.
Paul Klee

A line is a dot that went for a walk.
Paul Klee

I paint in order not to cry.
Paul Klee

The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
Paul Klee

I do not seek. I find.
Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 –April 8, 1973) Spanish painter and sculptor

Everything you can imagine is real.
Pablo Picasso

Every act of creation begins with an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
Pablo Picasso

If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse... but surely you will see the wildness!
Pablo Picasso

The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.
Pablo Picasso

To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.
Pablo Picasso

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.
Pablo Picasso

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Pablo Picasso

Art is a lie that helps us to realize the truth.
Pablo Picasso

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.
Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
Pablo Picasso

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.
Pablo Picasso

It takes a very long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

They ought to put out the eyes of painters as they
do goldfinches in order that they can sing better.
Pablo Picasso

I don't say everything, but I paint everything.
Pablo Picasso

Art is made to disturb. Science reassures. There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.
Georges Braque (May 13, 1882 –August 31,1963), French painter and sculptor

Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry.
Georges Braque

If you could say it in words, there'd be no reason to paint.
Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967), American painter

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
Marc Chagall (July 6, 1887 –March 28, 1985), Russian painter

Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing.
Marc Chagall

I work in whatever medium likes me at the moment.
Marc Chagall

Great art picks up where nature ends.
Marc Chagall

When I'm finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it - a rock, a flower, or a tree branch -- as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there's a clash, it's bad art.
Marc Chagall 

I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.
Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887 – October 2, 1968), French-American painter and sculptor

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for.
Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986),  American artist

So I said to myself-I'll paint what I see-what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking the time to look at it-I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
Georgia O'Keeffe

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it.
Georgia O'Keeffe

The artist's world is limitless.  It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.  It is always on his doorstep. 
Paul Strand (October 16, 1890 – March 31, 1976), American photographer 

Creativity is that marvelous capacity to grasp mutually distinct realities and draw a spark from their juxtaposition.
Max Ernst (April 2, 1891 –April 1, 1976), German painter, sculptor and poet

I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness.
Joan Miro (April 20, 1893 – December 25, 1983), Spanish painter

The observation of nature is part of an artist's life, it enlarges his form [and] knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration.
Henry Moor (July 30, 1898 – August 31,1986), English sculptor

I find in all the artists that I admire most a disturbing element, a distortion, giving evidence of a struggle . . . . In great art, this conflict is hidden, it is unresolved. All that is bursting with energy is disturbing - not perfect.
Henry Moor

The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.
Henry Moor

To be an artist is to believe in life.
Henry Moore

There is a right physical size for every idea.
Henry Moor

It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.
Henry Moor

Longing for creativity precedes the urge to create itself, and this is the first spark that sets in motion the mechanism for making images.
M. C. Escher (June 17, 1898 –March 27, 1972), Dutch graphic artist

What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.
M.C. Escher 

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
Rene Magritte (November 21, 1898 –August 15, 1967), Belgian surrealist artist

Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.
Rene Magritte

I never feel age ... If you have creative work, you don't have age or time.
Louise Nevelson (September 23, 1899 – April 17, 1988), American sculptor

Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity.
Mark Rothko (September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970), American painter

It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism.
Mark Rothko

I also hang the pictures low rather than high, and particularly in the case of the largest ones, often as close to the floor as is feasible, for that is the way they are painted.
Mark Rothko

Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take the risks.
Mark Rothko

The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.
Willem de Kooning (April 24, 1904 – March 19, 1997), Dutch American artist

Whatever an artist's personal feelings are, as soon as an artist fills a certain area on the canvas or circumscribes it, he becomes historical. He acts from or upon other artists.
Willem de Kooning

You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.
Salvador Dalí (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), Spanish surrealist painter

Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.
Salvador Dali

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision. 
Salvador Dalí

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.
Salvador Dali

Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.
Salvador Dali

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.
Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), Mexican painter

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
Francis Bacon (October 28, 1909 –April 28, 1992), Irish-born British figurative painter

I paint for myself. I don't know how to do anything else, anyway. Also I have to earn my living, and occupy myself.
Francis Bacon

I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don't in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do.
Francis Bacon

Before I start painting I have a slightly ambiguous feeling: happiness is a special excitement because unhappiness is always possible a moment later.
Francis Bacon

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.
Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), American painter

Today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. Most modern painters work from a different source. They work from within.
Jackson Pollock

Every good painter paints what he is.
Jackson Pollock

The strangeness will wear off and I think we will discover the deeper meanings in modern art.
Jackson Pollock

It [abstract art] should be enjoyed just as music is enjoyed – after a while you may like it or you may not.
Jackson Pollock 

When I am painting I have a general notion as to what I am about. I can control the flow of paint: there is no accident.
Jackson Pollock 

In a successful painting everything is integral – all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are removing its wholeness.
Richard Diebenkorn (April 22, 1922 – March 30, 1993), American painter

Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.
Duane Hanson (January 17, 1925 – January 6, 1996), American artist

Painting is a means of self-enlightenment.
John Olsen (born 21 January 1928), Australian artist.

The essential of painting is that something, that 'ethereal glue,' that intermediary product which the artist secrets with all his creative being and which he has the power to place, to encrust, to impregnate into the pictorial stuff of the painting.
Yves Klein (April 28, 1928 –June 6, 1962), French artist

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987), American artist

Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.
Andy Warhol

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.
Andy Warhol

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.
Jasper Johns (born May 15, 1930), American painter

When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.
Fernando Botero (born April 19, 1932), Colombian figurative artist

Never trust an art dealer who'll sit in a room for more than ten minutes with a crooked picture.
Brett Whiteley (7 April 1939 – 15 June 1992), Australian artist

I am rather like a travelling salesman. I deal in ideas. I do much more for people than just paint them pictures.
Martin Kippenberger (February 25,1953 –March 7,1997), German artist

A Good artist has less time than ideas.
Martin Kippenberger

To fly we have to have resistance.
Maya Ying Lin  ( born on October 5, 1959), American architect and sculptor

Own your creativity. You are creative with the same juice that flows in all of life. The question is not whether you are creative enough but whether you will free yourself to express it.
Ian Roberts, Canadian-American painter, the author of the book “Creative Authenticity”

Writers about Creativity

Great writers and poets about creativity

If you strike upon a thought that baffles you, break off from that entanglement and try another, so shall your wits be fresh to start again.

Aristophanes (c. 446 - c. 386 BC),  ancient Greeks playwright

True wisdom consists not in seeing what is immediately before our eyes, but in foreseeing what is to come
Terence (195/185–159 BC), Roman playwright

Fortune favors the brave.
Terence

Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
Rumi (September 30, 1207 –December 17, 1273), Persian poet and Sufi mystic

Inside you there's an artist you don't know about…Say yes quickly, if you know, if you've known it before the beginning of the universe.
Rumi

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street and being the noise. Drink all your passion, and be a disgrace. Close both eyes to see with the other eye.
Rumi

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Rumi

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Rumi

As one who sees in dreams and wakes to find the emotional impression of his vision still powerful while its parts fade from his mind - Just such am I, having lost nearly all the vision itself, while in my heart I feel the sweetness of it yet distill and fall.
Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–September 9, 1321), Italian poet (Paradiso)

The pen is the tongue of the mind.
Miguel de Cervantes (September 29,1547–April 22,1616), Spanish novelist

The earth has music for those who listen.
William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564–April 23, 1616), English poet and playwright

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.
William Shakespeare

I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. 
William Shakespeare

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
William Shakespeare

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
Matsuo Basho (1644 – November 28, 1694), Japanese  poet

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 –October 19, 1745), Anglo-Irish satirist and  essayist

A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749 –March 22, 1832), German poet

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you would create something, you must be something.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Talent develops in solitude, character develops in the stream of life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I love those who yearn for the impossible
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Personality is everything in art and poetry.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
William Blake (November 28, 1757 –August 12, 1827), English poet and painter

To create a little flower is the labour of ages.
William Blake

The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.
William Blake

What is now proved was once only imagined.
William Blake

I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare; my business is to create.
William Blake

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
François-René de Chateaubriand (September 4, 1768 –July 4, 1848), French writer and politician

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 –April 23, 1850), English poet

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. 
William Wordsworth

Man is a creative retrospection of nature upon itself.
Friedrich Von Schlegel (March 10, 1772 –January 12, 1829), German poet and critic

Life must not be a novel that is given to us, but one that is made by us. 
Novalis (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), German  poet and author

Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great or original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772 –July 25, 1834), English poet

Prose, words in their best order. Poetry, the best words in the best order.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I call "crystallization" that action of the mind that discovers fresh perfections in its beloved at every turn of events.
Stendhal (January 23, 1783 –March 23, 1842), French writer

Only great minds can afford a simple style.
Stendhal

The man of genius is he and he alone who finds such joy in his art that he will work at it come hell or high water.
Stendhal

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Byron (January 22, 1788 –April 19, 1824), Anglo-Scottish poet

Whatever the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth -whether it existed before or not.
John Keats (October 31, 1795 –February 23,1821), English poet

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
John Keats

The first among mankind will always be those who make something imperishable out of a sheet of paper, a canvas, a piece of marble, or a few sounds.
Alfred de Vigny (March 27, 1797 –September 17, 1863), French poet, playwright, and novelist

If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one ... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent.
Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799 –August 18, 1850), French novelist and playwright

I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
Honore de Balzac

The man whose action habitually bears the stamp of his mind is a genius, but the greatest genius is not always equal to himself, or he would cease to be human.
Honore de Balzac

There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.
Honore de Balzac

What is art? Nature concentrated.
Honore de Balzac

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo (February 26, 1802 –May 22, 1885), French novelist, dramatist and poet

Nothing is more imminent than the impossible . . . what we must always foresee is the unforeseen.
Victor Hugo

Imagination is intelligence with an erection.
Victor Hugo

Sunlight is painting.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864), American novelist

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret.
Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849), American author and poet

It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.
Edgar Allan Poe

The true genius shudders at incompleteness -- and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not every thing it should be.
Edgar Allan Poe

Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say.
Edgar Allan Poe

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882), American poet

The mind of the scholar, if he would leave it large and liberal, should come in contact with other minds.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For I dipped into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.
Alfred Tennyson (August 6, 1809 –October 6, 1892), British poet

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 –June 9, 1870), English writer

The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master- something that at time strangely wills and works for itself.
Charlotte Bronte (April 21, 1816 –March 31,1855), English novelist and poet

I never started from ideas but always from character.
Ivan Turgenev (November 9, 1818 – September 3, 1883),  Russian novelist

Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.
James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891),  American poet and  critic

Those who love each other shall become invincible.
Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892), American poet and essayist

Be not dishearten'd - Affection shall solve the problems of Freedom yet.
Walt Whitman

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.
George Eliot (November 22, 1819 –December  22, 1880),  English novelist and  journalist

Man is a creative animal, doomed to strive toward a goal, engaged in full-time engineering.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky(November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881), Russian writers and novelist

Beauty will save the world.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

…yes, all is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It is amazing what one ray of sunshine can do for a man.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In my view, the novelist has no right to express his opinions on the things of this world. In creating, he must imitate God: do his job and then shut up. Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880), French writer

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
Gustave Flaubert

Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.
Gustave Flaubert

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

What a heavy oar the pen is, and what a strong current ideas are to row in!
Gustave Flaubert

The idea of beauty is the fundamental idea of everything. In the world we see only distortions of the fundamental idea, but art, by imagination, may lift itself to the height of this idea. Art is therefore akin to creation.
Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 –November 20, 1910),  Russian writer

Art is a human activity which has as its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.
Leo Tolstoy

When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder.
Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), American author and humorist

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
Mark Twain

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.
Mark Twain

Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
Mark Twain

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
Émile Zola (April 2, 1840 –September 29,1902),  French writer

Art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament.
Emile Zola

If I cannot overwhelm with my quality, I will overwhelm with my quantity.
Emile Zola

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.
Anatole France (April 16, 1844 –October 12,  1924), French poet and novelist

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
Anatole France

There are poisons that blind you, and poisons that open your eyes.
August Strindberg (January 22, 1849 –May 14,  1912), Swedish playwright and  novelist

When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.
Ellen Key (December 11, 1849 – April 25, 1926),  Swedish writer

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson (November 13, 1850 –December 3, 1894), Scottish novelist and  poet

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854 –November 30, 1900), Irish writer and poet

It’s not hard to get the ideas when they come. They just come... it’s painful waiting for them.
Oscar Wilde

The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.
Oscar Wilde

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Oscar Wilde

It is personalities not principles that move the age.
Oscar Wilde

No great artist ever sees things as they really are.
If He did, he would cease to be an artist.
Oscar Wilde

True alchemy lies in this formula: “Your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse”.
Arthur Rimbaud (October 20, 1854 –November 10, 1891), French poet

The poet, therefore, is truly the thief of fire. He is responsible for humanity, for animals even; he will have to make sure his visions can be smelled, fondled, listened to; if what he brings back from beyond has form, he gives it form; if it has none, he gives it none. A language must be found…of the soul, for the soul and will include everything: perfumes, sounds colors, thought grappling with thought.
Arthur Rimbaud

A poet makes himself a visionary through a long, boundless, and systematized disorganization of all the senses. All forms of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he exhausts within himself all poisons, and preserves their quintessences.
Arthur Rimbaud

Imagination is the beginning of creation; you imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.
George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 –November 2, 1950), Irish playwright

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.  George Bernard Shaw

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
George Bernard Shaw

You see things and ask “Why?”; I dream things that never were and ask “Why not?”
George Bernard Shaw

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
George Bernard Shaw

Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857 – August 3,1924), Polish author

An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation.
Joseph Conrad

The writer must be able to revel and roll in the abundance of words; he must know not only the direct but also the secret power of a word. There are overtones and undertones to a word, and lateral echoes, too.
Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952), Norwegian author

A word can be transformed into a coulour, light, a smell; it is the writer's task to use it in such a way that it serves, never fails, can never be ignored.
Knut Hamsun

Language must resound with all the harmonies of music. The writer must always, at all times, find the tremulous word which captures the thing and is able to draw a sob from my soul by its very rightness.
Knut Hamsun

The task of a writer is not to solve the problem but to state the problem correctly.
Anton Chekhov (January 29, 1860 –July 15, 1904), Russian dramaturge and writer

Six principles that make for a good story: 1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality: flee the stereotype; 6. compassion.”
Anton Chekhov

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. 
Anton Chekhov

When men ask me how I know so much about men, they get a simple answer: everything I know about men, I learned from me.
Anton Chekhov

If you look at anything long enough, say just that wall in front of you - it will come out of that wall.
 Anton Chekhov

My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
Anton Chekhov

What is Art? It is the response of man's creative soul to the call of the Real.
Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 – August 7, 1941), Indian poet, writer, song composer, polymath

Write what you like; there is no other rule.
O. Henry (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), American writer

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 –January 18, 1936),  English writer and poet

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. 
André Gide (November 22, 1869 –February 19m 1951), French author

Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.
Paul Valéry (October 30, 1871 –July 20, 1945), French poet, essayist, and philosopher

We enjoy lovely music, beautiful paintings, a thousand intellectual delicacies, but we have no idea of their cost, to those who invented them, in sleepless nights, tears, spasmodic laughter, rashes, asthmas, epilepsies, and the fear of death, which is worse than all the rest.
Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871 –November 18, 1922), French novelist

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

A powerful idea communicates some of its strength to him who challenges it.
Marcel Proust

It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.
W. Somerset Maugham (January 25, 1874 –December 16, 1965), British playwright and novelist

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham

A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident. 
W. Somerset Maugham

All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary -- it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
Somerset Maugham

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.
Somerset Maugham

The best style is the style you don't notice.
Somerset Maugham

Literature - creative literature - unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable.
Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946), American writer

It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
Gertrude Stein

Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
G.K. Chesterton (May 29, 1874 –June 14,  1936),  English writer

One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.
G. K. Chesterton

The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs. It is a disease which arises from men no having sufficient power of expression to utter and get rid of the element of art in their being.
G. K. Chesterton

Art consists of limitation.  The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame. 
G.K. Chesterton

An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates.
Thomas Mann (June 6, 1875 –August 12, 1955), German novelist

A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth.
Thomas Mann

Literature. . . is the union of suffering with the instinct for form.
Thomas Mann

The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4, 1875 –December 29, 1926), Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist

The only journey is the one within.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. 
Rainer Maria Rilke

What is needed is, in the end, simply this: solitude, great inner solitude. Going into yourself and meeting no one for hours on end--that is what you must be able to attain.
Rainer Maria Rilke

You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.
Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), American author

Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak..surrender to them. Don't ask first whether it's permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.
Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877 – August 9, 1962), German-Swiss novelist and poet

Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.
Hermann Hesse

Knowledge is love and light and vision.
Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968), American author

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.
Helen Keller

The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them. The keenness of our vision depends not on how much we can see, but on how much we feel. 
Helen Keller

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
Guillaume Apollinaire (August 26,  1880 –November 9,  1918), French poet and playwright

Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.
Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 –March 28, 1941), English writer

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
James Joyce (February 2, 1882 –January 13, 1941), Irish novelist and poet

The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.
James Joyce

You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has not choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883 –June 3, 1924), German-language writer

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
Franz Kafka

You gave too much rein to your imagination. Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. The simplest explanation is always the most likely.
Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890 –January 12, 1976), English crime writer

Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you are writing, and aren't writing particularly well.
Agatha Christie

I don't think necessity is the mother of invention -- invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.
Agatha Christie

For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.
 Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894 –November 22,1963), English writer

To write fiction, one needs a whole series of inspirations about people in an actual environment, and then a whole lot of work on the basis of those inspirations.
Aldous Huxley

Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.
Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) American-British playwright, critic and poet

Between the idea and the reality falls the shadow.
Thomas Stearns Eliot

Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
Thomas Stearns Eliot

There is no method except to be very intelligent.
Thomas Stearns Eliot

Whoever uses the spirit that is in him creatively is an artist. To make living itself an art, that is the goal.
Henry Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980), American writer and painter

Writing is its own reward.
Henry Miller

Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
Henry Miller

Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything godlike about God, it is that. He dared to imagine everything.
Henry Miller

No rules exist, and examples are simply life-savers answering the appeals of rules making vain attempts to exist.
Andre Breton (February 19, 1896 –September  28, 1966), French writer and poet

It is living and ceasing to live that are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.
Andre Breton

Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940), American author

To write it, it took three months; to conceive it -- three minutes; to collect the data in it - all my life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.
William Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962), American writer

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. 
William Faulkner

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
William Faulkner

Our imagination flies - we are its shadow on the earth.
Vladimir Nabokov (April 22, 1899c –July 2,  1977), Russian-American novelist

Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
Jean Cocteau (July  5, 1889–October 11, 1963), French poet and  novelist     

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
Jean Cocteau

Art produces ugly things which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
Jean Cocteau

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
Thornton Wilder (April 17, 1897 – December 7, 1975), American playwright and novelist

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961), American author and journalist

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Ernest Hemingway

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
Ernest Hemingway

My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it.
Ernest Hemingway

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges ( August 24, 1899 – June 14, 1986), Argentine short-story writer

The original is unfaithful to the translation.
Jorge Luis Borges

Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.
Jorge Luis Borges

What a writer wants to do is not what he does.
Jorge Luis Borges

Every writer "creates" his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
Jorge Luis Borges

Like all writers, he measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned.
Jorge Luis Borges

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (June 29, 1900 –July 31, 1944), French writer and poet

It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action that man finds his supreme joy.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.
Georges Simenon (February 13, 1903 – September 4,  1989), Belgian writer

We...believe that art is religious, because it is one of man's highest aspirations. There is no such thing as pagan art, only good and bad art.
Irving Stone (July 14, 1903– August 26, 1989), American biographical writer

Dance first, think later
Samuel Beckett (April 13, 1906 –December 22, 1989), Irish avant-garde novelist and playwright

Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile... a stain upon the silence.
Samuel Beckett

A man who is a genius and doesn't know it probably isn't.
Stanislaw J. Lec (March 6, 1909 –May 7, 1966),  Polish poet and aphorist

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
Eugene Ionesco (November 26,1909 –March 28, 1994) , Romanian playwright

A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.
Eugene Ionesco

All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.
Julio Cortázar (August 26, 1914 – February 12, 1984), Argentine short story writer

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.
Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992), American author

All artists dream of a silence which they must enter, as some creatures return to the sea to spawn.
Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919 –February 8,1999),  Irish-born British author

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.
Iris Murdoch

Surprise is where creativity comes in.
Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012), American fantasy and science fiction writer

You fail only if you stop writing.
Ray Bradbury

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
Ray Bradbury

Life is "trying things to see if they work.
Ray Bradbury

Love is easy, and I love writing. You can't resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you're in love.
Ray Bradbury

A writer doesn’t solve problems. He allows them to emerge. 
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (January 5, 1921 –December 14, 1990), Swiss author and dramatist

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut  (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007), American writer

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
Kurt Vonnegut

It’s much more important to write than to be written about.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (born March 6, 1927),  Colombian novelist

I need, therefore I imagine.
Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012), Mexican novelist and essayist

Writing is a struggle against silence.
Carlos Fuentes

Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.
 E.L. Doctorow (born January 6, 1931), American author

Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
E. L. Doctorow

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
E.L. Doctorow

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
E. L. Doctorow

Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.
John Updike (March 18, 1932 –January 27, 2009), American novelist, poet, literary critic

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. 
John Updike

Creativity can only be anarchic, capitalist, Darwinian.
Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932), Italian semiotician, philosopher and novelist

Artists are those who can evade the verbose.
Haruki Murakami (born January 12, 1949), Japanese writer and translator

For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I'm still awake. I can continue yesterday's dream today, something you can't normally do in everyday life.
Haruki Murakami

Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared. 
 J.K. Rowling (born 31 July 1965), British novelist

Without cunning, there is no innovation. Without ambition, there is no accomplishment.
J.K. Rowling

 

Musicians about Creativity

Great musician and composers
about creativity

I should be sorry if I only entertained them, I wish to make them better.

George Frideric Handel (February 23, 1685 –April 14, 1759), German-born British Baroque composer

Whether I was in my body or out of my body as I wrote it I know not. God knows.
George Frideric Handel

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach(March 31, 1685 –July 28, 1750), German composer and organist

Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.
Johann Sebastian Bach

I want to do something creative, not just easy.
Johann Sebastian Bach

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul
Johann Sebastian Bach

To write great music, the musician must make his life a great song. ... Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret.
Johann Sebastian Bach

God and the permissible delights of the soul. I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.
Johann Sebastian Bach

I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results. The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.
Johann Sebastian Bach

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach

What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.
Johann Sebastian Bach

Harmony is next to Godliness.
Johann Sebastian Bach

Face to the reality.
Johann Sebastian Bach

When I am ..... completely myself, entirely alone... or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 –December 5, 1791) Austrian composer

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Music must never offend the ear, but must please the listener, or, in other words, must never cease to be music.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, I hear them all at once. ...All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I change many things, discard others, and try again and again until I am satisfied. Then, in my head, I begin to elaborate the work in its breadth, its narrowness, its height, its depth... I hear and see the image in front of me from every angle, as if it had been cast, and only the labour of writing it down remains.
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827), German composer and pianist

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Ludwig Von Beethoven

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Every kind of music is good, except the boring kind.
Gioachino Rossini (February 29, 1792 –November 13, 1868), Italian composer

Love cannot express the idea of music, while music may give an idea of love.
Hector Berlioz (December 11, 1803 –March 8, 1869), French composer

Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.
Hector Berlioz

The luck of having talent is not enough; one must also have a talent for luck.
Hector Berlioz

A nation creates music - the composer only arranges it.

Mikhail Glinka (June 1, 1804 – February 15, 1857), Russian composer

These seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words.
Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 –November 4, 1847), German composer

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.
Felix Mendelssohn

Ever since I began to compose, I have remained true to my starting principle: not to write a page because no matter what public, or what pretty girl wanted it to be thus or thus; but to write solely as I myself thought best, and as it gave me pleasure.
Felix Mendelssohn

When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.
Frédéric Chopin (March 1, 1810 –October 17, 1849), Polish composer and pianist

Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.
Frédéric Chopin

Only when the form grows clear to you, will the spirit become so too.
Robert Schumann ( June 8, 1810 –July 29, 1856), German composer and critic

Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm. To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts, such is the duty of the artist.
Robert Schumann

Supreme serenity still remains the Ideal of great Art. The shapes and transitory forms of life are but stages toward this Ideal, which Christ's religion illuminates with His divine light.
Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886), Hungarian composer and pianist

Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.
Franz Liszt

The principal task of a conductor is not to put himself in evidence but to disappear behind his functions as much as possible. We are pilots, not servants.
Franz Liszt

Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words.
Franz Liszt

The public is always good.
Franz Liszt

I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813 –February 13, 1883), German composer

Imagination creates reality.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner

I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner

I write music with an exclamation point!
Wilhelm Richard Wagner

I adore art... when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.
Giuseppe Verdi (October 10, 1813 –January 27, 1901), Italian composer

Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration.
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 –April 3, 1897), German composer and pianist.

Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.
Johannes Brahms

It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.
Johannes Brahms

How can one express the indefinable sensations that one experiences while writing an instrumental composition that has no definite subject? It is a purely lyrical process. It is a musical confession of the soul, which unburdens itself through sounds just as a lyric poet expresses himself through poetry...As the poet Heine said, "Where words leave off, music begins".
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (May 7, 1840 –November 6, 1893), Russian composer

I sit down to the piano regularly at nine-o'clock in the morning and Mesdames les Muses have learned to be on time for that rendezvous.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Artists like Bach and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights. I only wanted... to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home.
Edvard Grieg (June 15, 1843 –September 4, 1907), Norwegian composer and pianist

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man's faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
Giacomo Puccini (December 22, 1858 –November 29, 1924), Italian composer

I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.
Richard Strauss (June 11, 1864 –September 8, 1949), German composer

Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music...
Sergei Rachmaninov (April 1, 1873 –March 28, 1943), was a Russian-born composer and pianist

Competitions are for horses, not artists.
Bela Bartok (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945), Hungarian composer and pianist

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence.
Leopold Stokowski (April 18, 1882 – September 13, 1977), British born American conductor

In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?
Igor Stravinsky (June 17, 1882 –April 6, 1971), Russian, and French - American composer and pianist

In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?
Igor Stravinsky

To listen is an effort, and just to hear is no merit. A duck hears also.
Igor Stravinsky

Look for the music on all things, and life will be a symphony of joy.
My music is best understood by children and animals.
Igor Stravinsky

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my time is today.
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937), American composer and pianist.

Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.
George Gershwin

I like any and all of my associations with music -writing, playing, and listening. We write and play from our perspective, and the December 27, audience listens from its perspective. If and when we agree, I am lucky. 
Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974), American composer and jazz-orchestra leader

In the long run, any words about music are less important than the music.
Dmitri Shostakovich (September 25, 1906 –August 9, 1975), Soviet Russian composer and pianist

A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one.
Dmitri Shostakovich

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant (December 27, 1906 – August 14, 1972), American pianist and composer

Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding.
Gian Carlo Menotti ((July 7, 1911 – February 1, 2007), Italian-American composer

Music is nothing separate from me. It is me... You'd have to remove the music surgically.
Ray Charles (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), American musician

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes
Henri Kaiser (born 19 September 1952), American guitarist and composer

Scientists about Creativity

Great scientists and inventors
about creativity

Life is short, the art long (Ars longa, vita brevis). 

Hippocrates  (c. 460 BC – c. 370 BC),  ancient Greek physician

After I had addressed myself to this very difficult and almost insoluble problem, the suggestion at length came to me how it could be solved . . . if some assumptions (which are called axioms) were granted me.
Nicolaus Copernicus ( February 19, 1473 –May 24, 1543),  Polish astronomer and mathematician

Passion is the genesis of genius. 
Galileo (February 15, 1564 –January 8, 1642), Italian physicist

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Galileo

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
Galileo

Doubt is the father of invention .
Galileo

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Galileo

Nature uses as little as possible of anything.
Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630), German astronomer and mathematician

I am more exempt and more distant than any man in the world.
Pierre de Fermat (August 17, 1601/1607 –January 12, 1665),  French lawyer

I have found a very great number of exceedingly beautiful theorems.
Pierre de Fermat

I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton (December 25, 1642 –March 20, 1727) English physicist

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Newton

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
Isaac Newton

To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790), American politician, scientist, polymath

Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience.
George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (September 7, 1707 –April 16,1788), French naturalist

Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

The human mind cannot create anything. It produces nothing until having been fertilized by experience and meditation; its acquisitions are the germs of its production.
George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon

It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life.
Barthold Georg Niebuhr (August 27, 1776 – January 2, 1831), Danish- German historian and statesman

I must begin with a good body of facts and not from a principle (in which I always suspect some fallacy) and then as much deduction as you please.
Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809 –April 19, 1882), English naturalist

Those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.
Claude Bernard(July 12, 1813 –February 10, 1878), French physiologist

Music must take rank as the highest of the fine arts - as the one which, more than any other, ministers to the human spirit.
Herbert Spencer (April 27, 1820 –December 8,  1903), English philosopher

Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.
Herbert Spencer

Only when genius is married to science, can the biggest results be produced.
Herbert Spencer

Where observation is concerned, chance favours the prepared mind.
Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895), French chemist and microbiologist

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.
Thomas Henry Huxley (May 4, 1825 –June 29, 1895), English biologist

To a clear eye the smallest fact is a window through which the infinite may be seen.
Thomas Henry Huxley

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Thomas Henry Huxley

The great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas Henry Huxley

Before you reject an idea, find at least five good things about it.
Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931), American inventor and businessman

There are no rules here. We're trying to accomplish something!
Thomas Alva Edison

To invent you need a goal, imagination, and a pile of junk.
Thomas Alva Edison

There’s a way to do it better – find it.
Thomas Alva Edison

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Thomas Alva Edison

There is always a better way.
Thomas Alva Edison

There is far more opportunity than there is ability. 
Thomas Alva Edison
 
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas Alva Edison

I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it
Thomas Alva Edison

Keep on the lookout for novel ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you're working on.
Thomas Alva Edison

Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.
Thomas Alva Edison

Vision without execution is hallucination.
Thomas Alva Edison

The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.
Thomas Alva Edison

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Alva Edison

I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.
Thomas Alva Edison

Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!
Thomas Alva Edison

The most necessary task of civilization is to teach people how to think. It should be the primary purpose of our public schools. The mind of a child is naturally active, it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation.
Thomas Alva Edison

Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.
Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922), American  scientist and inventor

When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell

Invention is the most important product of man's creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.
Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 –January 7, 1943), Serbian-American inventor, engineer and physicist

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born. That is why many of the earthly miracles have had their genesis in humble surroundings.
Nikola Tesla

The little engine labors and grows, performs more and more involved operations, becomes sensitive to ever subtler influences and now there manifests itself in the fully developed being — Man — a desire mysterious, inscrutable and irresistible: to imitate nature, to create, to work himself the wonders he perceives.
Inspired to this task he searches, discovers and invents, designs and constructs, and covers with monuments of beauty, grandeur and awe, the star of his birth.
Nikola Tesla

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.
Nikola Tesla

Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or a tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or Creative Force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.
Nikola Tesla

To create and to annihilate material substance, cause it to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man's mind, his most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement, which would place him beside his Creator, make him fulfill his Ultimate Destiny.
Nikola Tesla

The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human needs.
Nikola Tesla

My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.
Nikola Tesla

Great moments are born great opportunity.
Nikola Tesla

If the genius of invention were to reveal to-morrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.
Nikola Tesla

The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible.
Nikola Tesla

My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.
Nikola Tesla

The mind uses its faculty for creativity only when experience forces it to do so.
Henri Poincare (April 29, 1854 –July 17, 1912), French mathematician, physicist and philosopher

Ideas rose in clouds; I felt them collide until pairs interlocked, so to speak, making a stable combination.
Henri Poincare

Invention consists in avoiding the constructing of useless contraptions and in constructing the useful combinations which are in infinite minority. To invent is to discern, to choose.
Henri Poincare

It is by intuition that we discover and by logic we prove.
Henri Poincaré

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover. 
 Henri Poincaré

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.’ 
 Henri Poincaré

Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house. 
 Henri Poincaré

Mathematical discoveries, small or great are never born of spontaneous generation They always presuppose a soil seeded with preliminary knowledge and well prepared by labour, both conscious and subconscious.
Henri Poincaré

The mind uses its faculty for creativity only when experience forces it to do so.
Henri Poincaré

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.
Henri Poincaré

The pioneer scientist must have a vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by artistically creative imagination.
Max Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947), German theoretical physicist

Again and again the imaginary plan on which one attempts to build up order breaks down and then we must try another. This imaginative vision and faith in the ultimate success are indispensable. The pure rationalist has no place here.
Max Planck

Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.' It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.
Max Planck

An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.
Max Planck

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
Max Planck

An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.’ 
 Max Planck

The scientist needs an artistically creative imagination.
 Max Planck

There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down error instead of establishing the truth.
Marie Curie (November 7, 1867 –July 4,1934), Polish - French physicist and chemist

It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to teach child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.
Maria Montessori (August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952),  Italian physician and educator

Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.
Maria Montessori

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 –April 18, 1955), German-born theoretical physicist

The music of Mozart is of such purity and beauty that one feels he merely found it — that it has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe waiting to be revealed.
Albert Einstein

The significant problems that we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.
Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way, but intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.
Albert Einstein

Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
Albert Einstein

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.
Albert Einstein

I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
Albert Einstein

Science will stagnate if it is made to serve practical goals.
Albert Einstein

The legs are the wheels of creativity.
Albert Einstein

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
Albert Einstein

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires a creative imagination and marks the real advances in science.
Albert Einstein

To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.
Albert Einstein

Facts are not science - as the dictionary is not literature.
Martin H. Fischer ( November 10, 1879 – January 19, 1962),  German-born American physician and author

The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.
Max Born (December 11, 1882 –January 5,1970), German-British physicist

When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.
Niels Bohr (October 7, 1885 –November 18, 1962), Danish physicist

Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.
Niels Bohr

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
 Niels Bohr

Observations always involve theory. 
Edwin Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953), American astronomer

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
Linus Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994), American chemist, biochemist, author

Facts are the air of scientists. Without them you can never fly.
Linus Pauling

There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery.
Enrico Fermi (September 29, 1901 –November 28,1954), Italian theoretical and experimental physicist

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.
Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 –February 1, 1976), German theoretical physicist

Every tool carries with it the spirit by which it had been created.
Werner Karl Heisenberg

Even for the physicist the description in plain language will be a criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached.
Werner Karl Heisenberg

To the extent a person makes, invents or thinks something that is new to him, he may be said to have performed a creative act.
Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) American cultural anthropologist

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
Margaret Mead

We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.
Margaret Mead

I learned the value of hard work by working hard.
Margaret Mead

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.’ 
 Paul Dirac (August 8, 1902 – October 20, 1984), English theoretical physicist

Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one.
Konrad Lorenz (November 7,1903 – February 27, 1989), Austrian zoologist 

It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.”
 Konrad Lorenz

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967), American theoretical physicist

The true scientist never loses the faculty of amusement. It is the essence of his being.
J. Robert Oppenheimer

The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions.
Claude Levi-Strauss (November 28, 1908 –October 30, 2009), French anthropologist

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.
Jonas Salk  (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995), American medical researcher

When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory. I guided each [experiment] by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm . . . the realm of the imagination guides my thinking.
Jonas Salk

Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn't notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.
David Bohm (December 20, 1917 –October 27, 1992), American theoretical physicist

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard P. Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988),  American theoretical physicist

Science moves with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.
James D. Watson (born April 6, 1928), American molecular biologist

Problems in science are sometimes made easier by adding complications.
Daniel Dennett (born March 28, 1942), American cognitive scientist and philosopher

I call the age we are entering the creative age because the key factor propelling us forward is the rise of creativity as the primary mover of our economy.
Richard Florida (born 1957), American urban studies theorist

 
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