Inspiring Quotes

25 Artist Quotes for the Creative Mind


Aristotle once said, “No great genius has ever existed without a strain of madness.” In order to change the world, you must see the world differently. The ones who leave a lasting impact on humanity are more often than not the same brilliant minds who fight mental illness with breathtaking courage.

The link between genius and madness has been romanticized by the public but is also being researched by scientists. A 2015 study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience states “creative people take novel approaches requiring cognitive processes that are different from prevailing modes of thought or expression.  Thinking differently from others is, therefore, a prerequisite for creativity.”

There is mounting evidence in neuroscience that these two extremes of brain function are connected. The Stanford Journal of Neuroscience published an article that delves into the neurological view of the “tortured artist” and it explains how the unusual activity of neurotransmitters in the frontal lobe region is related to both mental illness and creativity. As someone who has always been creative yet also struggled with my bipolar disorder, I take comfort in this knowledge.

At the heart of creativity lies our curiosity and the will to pursue it. Whether your artistic expression is through painting, writing, music, cooking, dance or other pursuits, here is a list of quotes to help encourage and uplift you.

Words to Inspire your Creative Spirit

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

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

“Do not fear mistakes – there are none.” – Miles Davis

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

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

"We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents." - Bob Ross

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – Bob Ross

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

“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.” – Emile Zolo

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

"Art is to console those who are broken by life." - Vincent Van Gogh

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseu

“In order to do something well, we must first be willing to do it badly.” – Julia Cameron

“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’Keefe

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what -iffing like that.” – Roald Dahl

“I feel there is nothing more artistic than to love people.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

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

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out here and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here and I’m just as strange as you.” – Frida Kahlo