Need some creative inspiration? How about some timeless quotes on creativity?
If you are like me, you need an occasional push to inspire your creativity. You may need some creative enthusiasm, some support and a few words that resonate with you.
Here is a list of amazing quotes about creativity and my description of them in the hope of inspiring your creative process:
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ― Rumi, Essential Rumi
I love this quote on so many different levels! I am always inspired that Rumi asks us not to remain in the comfort zone and be satisfied with the status quo.
Rumi directly challenges you to step into the game of your life and to become an active participant.
It is a call to action to do something momentous and amazing with your unique experience, your situation and your life.
“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”― Albert Einstein
This thought provoking quote from Einstein is a reminder to stop spinning our wheels.
When confronted with a problem, your first reaction is to deal with it with the same set of tools or with the same consciousness that brought it about. Often resolution of such problems requires looking at it from a different perspective and angle.
If you always associate yourself with a certain way or a set of ideas, it may help you to do things differently. Look at the problem with a new set of eyes. Ask what would someone else with a different specialty do with the problem?
“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”― Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
This quote from Julia Cameron is a strong call to embrace the current situation and seize the creative moment.
Stories of late bloomers abound in the creative world. The idea that it is too late to begin creating your greatest work is simply not true. There will always be naysayers but the only person who needs to give you permission to be creative is YOU!
Cameron also reminds you in her unique style that if you launch your creativity, you are not being self-serving or silly. I believe whenever we feel silly to create, there are voices and programs from the past that are dictating us to be in a certain way.
Are you going to allow your past to dictate your present and future?
“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
You may not have the time to imagine and daydream but allowing yourself to do just that may be the essential first step to unleash your creativity.
When your imagination becomes solidified and willful as Shaw puts it, you are generating a creative force in yourself that propels you to action. If you look at it, all great ideas originate from some person’s imagination.
When you bring your imagination together with determination and the desire to launch, you are now ready to take off in the creative realm.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
This small but highly effective quote from Plath really resonates with me. I know this up, close and personal because I have been the worst enemy to my own creativity.
By endlessly doubting an amazingly creative mind that we all possess, we effectively shut down the creative process. Have you ever seen someone come up with a great idea that they are excited about? And then have you seen them getting crushed by self-doubt when someone puts them down?
“They’re only crayons. You didn’t fear them in Kindergarten, why fear them now?” ― Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
This is a terrific quote from Hugh MacLeod. It instantly puts things in perspective. This quote is very effective in shattering the myth that creativity is only for the select few.
In fact, it also exposes without a shred of doubt the real reason why we stop pursuing creativity. And the answer is a small four-letter word called fear. I believe that there are two choices in front of you. One choice is to allow fear to rule you.
The other choice is to acknowledge that fear is always going to be there and taking creative action regardless of the fear. The key is to stretch a little beyond your creative comfort zone and keep stretching till you enjoy the process.
7. Mistakes and Failure
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ― Scott Adams
This quote from Adams takes us deep into the creative process and exposes the myth that creativity means producing great creations over and over again. Every artist, musician and creative person knows really well that they have great days and then some not so great days.
In the initial stage, staying with the creative process means giving yourself the permission to make mistakes and producing works that are not great. This is the little secret that all masters have perfected. They know that great things are not built overnight but with small little steps and several retakes.
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” ― Pablo Picasso
Have you felt like creating something in the moment but decided to put it off for later. It just made good sense to schedule creativity. But unfortunately, as Picasso points out in his quote, good sense can drive away creativity.
When the creative inspiration strikes, we need to be ready to receive it. At the very least, you may want to set up a process to capture ideas and tunes as they pop up in your head.
9. Courage and Risk
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
This quote is a metaphorical reminder from Vonnegut about the value of stretching into the zone of discomfort. When you stretch away from your comfort zone and take creative action towards your dreams, you develop the wings to soar.
But until you attempt to do one little action in the creative process that scares you and makes you grow, things will be difficult to change. People get overwhelmed at the idea of making BIG changes and end up back in their comfort zone.
Stay with a little creative discomfort and then stretch some more. For example, if you are an aspiring writer, begin by developing a small habit of writing for 15 minutes a day. Next, go ahead and submit something that you have written to the local magazine or newsletter. Small steps will make the process sustainable.
10. Action and Practice
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”― Maya Angelou
This wonderful reminder from Maya Angelou inspires you to go for it. Creativity is clearly a renewable resource. It is a muscle waiting to be flexed.
I used to have many assumptions about creativity in the past. I believed that if I engaged in the creative process for a while, I would use up all the creativity that could come forth through me. I believed that if I wrote for an hour, I would run out of words.
And now I realize how completely wrong I was. It turned out that the more I wrote, the more I had to say.
11. Immersion and Flow
“For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Research emerging from positive psychology has indicated that a state of flow happens when we deeply practice something with immersion and engagement. You may have had moments of utter clarity during immersion and deep practice. You may have called it: “being in the zone.”
This quote from Nietzsche elegantly describes the connection between creativity, engagement, immersion and the resulting intoxication or flow moments.
“But out of limitations comes creativity.”― Debbie Allen
Creativity is not always the endless expansion into the unknown. The above quote from Allen instructs us that creativity often needs a framework or a structure to work within. The best way that I can define the creative process: “Creativity is a spontaneous experiment within a structured and limited framework.”
For example, I write a lot better when I make an outline or a limited framework to work with. Once the outline is made with a clear structure, I can unleash my creativity by following certain ideas and stories.
“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.”― Pablo Picasso
While this quote from Picasso may sound rough around the edges, it makes good creative sense. The thinking brain gets very overwhelmed with current issues, worries and fears.
For some people this may not be a problem, but if you are like the majority, creating while being stressed out may be a challenge.
This quote is a reminder to take a deep breath and gently apply the brakes to the thinking and judging mind. Replace thoughts of worry with the possibility of working with creative inspiration.
Now over to you! I would love to hear from you if the above quotes resonated with you and your creative process.
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