Artist Inspiration Quotes

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I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein
A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.
Salvador Dalí
When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.
Henry David Thoreau
What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.
John Lubbock (The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live in)
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
You don't have to make something that people call art. Living is an artistic activity, there is an art to getting through the day.
Viggo Mortensen
Genius is eternal patience.
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.
Steve Martin (Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life)
Be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else--that's how you'll get ahead.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
The ‘Muse’ is not an artistic mystery, but a mathematical equation. The gift are those ideas you think of as you drift to sleep. The giver is that one you think of when you first awake.
Roman Payne
Picasso had a saying - 'good artists copy, great artists steal' - and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
...it’s just another one of those things I don’t understand: everyone impresses upon you how unique you are, encouraging you to cultivate your individuality while at the same time trying to squish you and everyone else into the same ridiculous mould. It’s an artist’s right to rebel against the world’s stupidity.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
One must work and dare if one really wants to live.
Vincent van Gogh
For too many centuries women have been being muses to artists. I wanted to be the muse, I wanted to be the wife of the artist, but I was really trying to avoid the final issue — that I had to do the job myself.
Anaïs Nin
I’m…getting there. I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s okay to be a blank canvas. Maybe it’s okay that my future is unknown. And maybe,” I say with another smile, “it’s okay to be inspired by the people who do know their future.” “It goes both ways, you know.” I link his icicle fingers through mine. “What does?” “Artists are inspired by blank canvases.” My smile grows wider.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After)
So many people will tell you ”no”, and you need to find something you believe in so hard that you just smile and tell them ”watch me”. Learn to take rejection as motivation to prove people wrong. Be unstoppable. Refuse to give up, no matter what. It’s the best skill you can ever learn.
Charlotte Eriksson
If you can see yourself as an artist, and you can see that your life is your own creation, then why not create the most beautiful story for yourself?
Miguel Ruiz
I think there is a song out there to describe just about any situation.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Read deeply. Stay open. Continue to wonder.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
In life, people tend to wait for good things to come to them. And by waiting, they miss out. Usually, what you wish for doesn't fall in your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you have to recognize it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get to it. This isn't because the universe is cruel. It's because the universe is smart. It has its own cat-string theory and knows we don't appreciate things that fall into our laps.
Neil Strauss (The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists)
Another year is fast approaching. Go be that starving artist you’re afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what’s on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Jason Mraz
To be inspired is great, but to inspire is an honor.
Stacey T. Hunt
Actors in any capacity, artists of any stripe, are inspired by their curiosity, by their desire to explore all quarters of life, in light and in dark, and reflect what they find in their work. Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other's, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility.
Tom Hiddleston
As Aristotle said, 'Excellence is a habit.' I would say furthermore that excellence is made constant through the feeling that comes right after one has completed a work which he himself finds undeniably awe-inspiring. He only wants to relax until he's ready to renew such a feeling all over again because to him, all else has become absolutely trivial.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.
Chuck Close
The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation.
Ezra Pound
Men are not dogs. We merely think we are and, on occasion, act as if we are. But, by believing in our nobler nature, women have the amazing power to inspire us to live up to it.
Neil Strauss (The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists)
I wish I had the talent to paint the way I feel about you, for my words always feel inadequate. I imagine using red for your passion and pale blue for your kindness; forest green to reflect the depth of your empathy and bright yellow for your unflagging optimism. And still I wonder: can even an artist’s palette capture the full range of what you mean to me?
Nicholas Sparks (The Longest Ride)
I spoke fire, laughed smoke, and madness spilled forth from my inspiration.
Arthur Holitscher
The question is very understandable, but no one has found a satisfactory answer to it so far. Yes, why do they make still more gigantic planes, still heavier bombs and, at the same time, prefabricated houses for reconstruction? Why should millions be spent daily on the war and yet there's not a penny available for medical services, artists, or for poor people? Why do some people have to starve, while there are surpluses rotting in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?
Anne Frank
... an artist should paint from the heart, and not always what people expect. Predictability often leads to the dullest work, in my opinion, and we have been bored stiff long enough I think.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
When birds look into houses, what impossible worlds they see.
Don DeLillo (The Body Artist)
YOU ARE AN ARTIST OF THE SPIRIT Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly. Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with love, your dream becomes a masterpiece of art.
Miguel Ruiz
Artists are the serfs of a leisure society.
Bauvard (Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic)
The really magical things are the ones that happen right in front of you. A lot of the time you keep looking for beauty, but it is already there. And if you look with a bit more intention, you see it.
Vik Muñiz
The hardest thing is to do something which is close to nothing because it is demanding all of you.
Marina Abramović
You cannot free someone who is caged in their own self.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
She was a gypsy, as soon as you unravelled the many layers to her wild spirit she was on her next quest to discover her magic. She was relentless like that, the woman didn't need no body but an open road, a pen and a couple of sunsets.
Nikki Rowe
For a true artist, difficulties become opportunities and clouds become solid present.
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Summing Up)
In the beginning Marvel created the Bullpen and the Style. And the Bullpen was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the Artists. And the Spirit of Marvel said, Let there be The Fantasic Four. And there was The Fantasic Four. And Marvel saw The Fantasic Four. And it was good.
Stan Lee
What most of us must be involved in--whether we teach or write, make films, write films, direct films, play music, act, whatever we do--has to not only make people feel good and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world.
Howard Zinn (Artists in Times of War and Other Essays (Open Media))
Sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.
Itzhak Perlman
You can't make a fan of everyone. Stay true to your story, characters, music, art or whatever it is you do and fuck everyone else who doesn't like it. Life isn't perfect.
Ann Marie Frohoff
Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.
Desmond Tutu
Your life is a movie. You are the main character. You say your scripts and act to your lines. Of course you do your lines in each scene. There is a hidden camera and a director who you can ask for help anytime up above.
Diana Rose Morcilla
One of the most beautiful things to do is to paint darkness, which nevertheless has light in it.
Vincent van Gogh (Cartas a Théo)
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
Find what makes you happy and go for it with all your heart. It will be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.
Charlotte Eriksson
And this is what being an artist means, being a poet? To sacrifice yourself for your art, sacrifice your heart for your art, because it’s only through something broken that something beautiful can grow.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Every artist is a cannibal/every poet is a thief/all kill for inspiration/and then sing about the grief.
Bono
A great artist is never poor.
Karen Blixen
When you forget about the how, go back to the why.
Charlotte Eriksson
Listen to the sunset...see its pretty hue... When you see it, think of me...and I'll think of you...
Oksana Rus
Sometimes in life confusion tends to arise and only dialogue of dance seems to make sense.
Shah Asad Rizvi
I don't believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all. If there's one thing that's dangerous for an artist, it's precisely this question of total freedom, waiting for inspiration and all the rest of it.
Federico Fellini
From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.
Henri Matisse
Patience is eternal genius
Michelangelo Buonarroti
We are never more creative than when we are at odds with the world and there is nothing so artistically destructive as comfort. Princess Leia taught me that.
Simon Pegg
Destruction wasn't when you chose to destroy me. It was when i let you.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
Take me to your darkest corners and watch your demons surrender to mine..
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
Venice, it's temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantment piled to heaven.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
My life isn't good or bad. It's an incredible series of emotional and mental extremes, with beautiful thunderstorms and stunning sunrises. Some would say this is my artistic temperament. Others would say i am mentally ill or bipolar. I SAY... it's a bit of both and i make the most of them, CREATIVELY.
Jaeda DeWalt
I've seen so many versions of you. With me. Without me. Artist. Teacher. Graphic designer. But it's all, in the end, just life. We see it macro, like one big story, but when you're in it, it's all just day-to-day, right? And isn't that what you have to make your peace with?
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness and loss of belonging in the world & through it I'll walk myself home.
Nikki Rowe
The tools are real. The viewer is real, you, the artist, is real and a part of everything you paint. You connect yourself to the viewer by sharing something that is inside of you that connects with something inside of him. All you have as your guide is that you know what moves you. All you have to do it with is a brush, some chemical and canvas, and technique.
Steven Brust
Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man's faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
Giacomo Puccini
You were born an original work of art. Stay original always. Originals cost more than imitations.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
Inspiration is for amateurs,’ the artist Chuck Close once memorably observed. ‘The rest of us just show up and get to work.
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
Caution not spirit, let it roam wild; for in that natural state dance embraces divine frequency.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Be a worthy worker and work will come.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Master the art of selflove and you will never have to seek validation ever again.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
Fueled by my inspiration, I ran across the room to steal the cup of coffee the bookshelf had taken prisoner. Lapping the black watery brew like a hyena, I tossed the empty cup aside. I then returned to the chair to continue my divine act of creation. Hot blood swished in my head as my mighty pen stole across the page.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
as an artist, i do not always enjoy the questions, ‘what were you thinking when you wrote this. what was the inspiration behind this.’ these questions imply that there is always thought involved in creation. for me it is the exact opposite. creativity is the act of experiencing the unconscious in the conscious. sometimes, i want to say, without sarcasm, ‘i do not know what my soul was thinking when i wrote that poem, i was too busy listening.
Nayyirah Waheed
Well, Daddy, I used to believe that artists went crazy in the process of creating the beautiful works of art that kept society sane. Nowadays, though, artists make intentionally ugly art that’s only supposed to reflect society rather than inspire it. So I guess we’re all loony together now, loony rats in the shithouse of commercialism.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
Dance is the timeless interpretation of life.
Shah Asad Rizvi
I celebrate myself, I paint and dance and sing myself, and what I assume you will assume, for every atom as of me as good belongs to dreamy You. I am a song. I am a poem. I am the soil and a gem. I am a stargate and a voyage. I am the ocean and your soul.
Oksana Rus
A person who is truly cool is a work of art. And remember, original works of art cost exponentially higher than imitations. Just take a look at the the coolest people in history. They will always be a part of history for being extremely original individuals, not imitations.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
It is most certainly a good thing that the world knows only the beautiful opus but not its origins, not the conditions of its creation; for if people knew the sources of the artist's inspiration, that knowledge would often confuse them, alarm them, and thereby destroy the effects of excellence. strange hours! strangely enervating labor! bizarrely fertile intercourse of the mind with a body!
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice and Other Tales)
It's okay darling, creative people are called crazy all the time.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
If spirit is the seed, dance is the water of its evolution.
Shah Asad Rizvi
...she (the artist, the writer) doesn't wait for inspiration, she acts in the anticipation of its apparition.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don't out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
If movements were a spark every dancer would desire to light up in flames.
Shah Asad Rizvi
You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like.
Phyllis A. Whitney
I was lost for too long but when i found you, i could feel it in my bones. You were my home.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
Music shouldn't be just a tune, it should be a touch.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Some days i am the artist, Other days i am art and When life gets real weird, I become both.
Nikki Rowe
An artist without ideas is a mendicant; barren, he goes begging among the hours.
Irving Stone (The Agony and the Ecstasy)
You are a legend. Your self-invention matters. You are the artist of your own life.
Lady Gaga
The more you believe in yourself, the more the world believes in you!
Isa Zapata
Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief…. Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l’originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le vol-pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.
William S. Burroughs
Inking is meditation in liquid form...
J.H. Everett (Izzy and the Candy Palace)
I create beautiful art, so I can look back on the life my body fell short of in such a way that it brings me peace.
Nikki Rowe
He was no god, just an artist; and when an artist is a man, he needs a woman to create like a god.
Roman Payne
If you opened the dictionary and searched for the meaning of a Goddess, you would find the reflection of a dancing lady.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Stale water is a poor drink,' said Annlaw. 'Stale skill is worse. And the man who walks in his own footsteps only ends where he began.
Lloyd Alexander (Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain, #4))
When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become--whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm--her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, 'Yes, someone like me can do this.
Sonia Sotomayor
Because the world is so corrupted, misspoken, unstable, exaggerated and unfair, one should trust only what one can experience with one's own senses, and THIS makes the senses stronger in Italy than anywhere in Europe. This is why, Barzini says, Italians will tolerate hideously incompetent generals, presidents, tyrants, professors, bureaucrats, journalists and captain of industry, but will never tolerate incompetent opera singers, conductors, ballerinas, courtesans, actors, film directors, cooks, tailors... In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
All I need to do is place my pen against paper and your love writes for me.
Kamand Kojouri
You have to keep doing it, Even if no one is watching. The best artists, are those Who live from their expressions, Not chasing the impressions.
Nikki Rowe
I am no one's to be claimed, I belong to me.
Anjum Choudhary (Souled Out)
Don't breathe to survive; dance and feel alive.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Show me a person who found love in his life and did not celebrate it with a dance.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Life is an affair of mystery; shared with companions of music, dance and poetry.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Mathematics is the music of reason. To do mathematics is to engage in an act of discovery and conjecture, intuition and inspiration; to be in a state of confusion—not because it makes no sense to you, but because you gave it sense and you still don't understand what your creation is up to; to have a break-through idea; to be frustrated as an artist; to be awed and overwhelmed by an almost painful beauty; to be alive, damn it.
Paul Lockhart (A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form)
Dreams. They start in your beautiful mind. Think of beautiful things and it will manifest into actions because your body will listen to you. Like it always does.
Diana Rose Morcilla
Dance to inspire, dance to freedom, life is about experiences so dance and let yourself become free.
Shah Asad Rizvi
The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple — to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.
Craig Raine
There is no doubt that even the greatest musical geniuses have sometimes worked without inspiration. This guest (inspiration) does not always respond to the first invitation. We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
DANCE – Defeat All Negativity (via) Creative Expression.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Art is the outward integration inspired by the artist's inner disintegration.
Clive James
Being passionate about something is the most beautiful characteristic you can develop.
Charlotte Eriksson
You are the artist, and your days the canvas. Will you create an original masterpiece, or live a paint-by-numbers kind of life?
John Mark Green
Want the change. Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears. The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much as the curve of the body as it turns away. What locks itself in sameness has congealed. Is it safer to be gray and numb? What turns hard becomes rigid and is easily shattered. Pour yourself like a fountain. Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins. Every happiness is the child of a separation it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel, dares you to become the wind. - Sonnets To Orpheus, Part Two, XII
Rainer Maria Rilke (Sonnets to Orpheus)
I have a fear of living a surface kind of life; barely existing, barely touching or tasting anything. That's why you'll always see me giving my all or walking away ~ I'm too full of depth to dance in the middle of anything.
Nikki Rowe
...we have the satisfaction of knowing that whatever we did, we did at the time in the best of faith. Of course, we took some bold steps and often did things with much single-mindedness; but this is surely preferable to never putting one's convictions to the test, for lack of will or courage.
Kazuo Ishiguro (An Artist of the Floating World)
I am not a finished poem, and I am not the song you’ve turned me into. I am a detached human being, making my way in a world that is constantly trying to push me aside, and you who send me letters and emails and beautiful gifts wouldn’t even recognise me if you saw me walking down the street where I live tomorrow for I am not a poem. I am tired and worn out and the eyes you would see would not be painted or inspired but empty and weary from drinking too much at all times and I am not the life of your party who sings and has glorious words to speak for I don’t speak much at all and my voice is raspy and unsteady from unhealthy living and not much sleep and I only use it when I sing and I always sing too much or not at all and never when people are around because they expect poems and symphonies and I am not a poem but an elegy at my best but unedited and uncut and not a lot of people want to work with me because there’s only so much you can do with an audio take, with the plug-ins and EQs and I was born distorted, disordered, and I’m pretty fine with that, but others are not.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
You might say “no, you will never do that, that’s not you, not who I know, not who I thought you were”, and I will say "watch me".
Charlotte Eriksson
The really inspired person is never inspired: he's always inspired: he doesn't go looking for inspiration and he doesn't get up in arms about artistic technique.
Raymond Queneau (Odile)
Your true power is not in your difference, but in your consistency of being different. The world will always adjust to consistency, yet struggle with change.
Shannon L. Alder
Allowing yourself to make mistakes can ultimately go beyond a writer’s block.
Neeraj Agnihotri (Procrasdemon - The Artist's Guide to Liberation from Procrastination)
You are the Poem I dreamed of writing, the Masterpiece I longed to paint. You are the shining Star I reached for in my ever hopeful quest for life fulfilled. Yes, I am Blessed.
Oksana Rus
I think part of why I have so many books around me and why I read every day is because I mythologize the writer. I don’t do that with any other artists.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Through synergy of intellect, artistry and grace came into existence the blessing of a dancer.
Shah Asad Rizvi
Because at night when others are sleeping, I drown myself in poetry.
Kamand Kojouri
Clearly the hardest thing for the working artist is to create his own conception and follow it, unafraid of the strictures it imposes, however rigid these may be... I see it as the clearest evidence of genius when an artist follows his conception, his idea, his principle, so unswervingly that he has this truth of his constantly in his control, never letting go of it even for the sake of his own enjoyment of his work.
Andrei Tarkovsky
The phrase and the day and the scene harmonized in a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue: sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the greyfringed fleece of clouds. No it was not their colours: it was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and colour? Or was it that, being as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language manycoloured and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose?
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination…Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous 'I don't know.
Wisława Szymborska
Remember, the village idiot was the spiritual man who built the ark and saved his family. Keep being you and never give up marching to the beat of your own drum!
Shannon L. Alder
During your struggle society is not a bunch of flowers, it is a bunch of cactus.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
She who is a dancer can only sway the silk of her hair like the summer breeze.
Shah Asad Rizvi
It has been my personal experience that as I allow the painting to speak I become lost, it is delicious and at the same time frightening. The best ones, to me, have a life of their own.
Luther E. Vann (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
It is as well that the world knows only a fine piece of work and not also its origins, the conditions under which it came into being; for knowledge of the sources of an artist's inspiration would often confuse readers and shock them, and the excellence of the writing would be of no avail.
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice)
With the manipulation of abstract symbols, an artist can send you information without sound, change your feelings and, sometimes, even beliefs. Artists convey the unspeakable. Artists inspire.
Jonathan Culver
Tell your story until it becomes woven into the fabric of our story. Write about the joys and the pain and every event and every artist who inspires you to dream. Tell your story, because if you don't, it could be wiped out. No one tells our stories for us. And one more thing. If you see an elderly person walking down the street, or across from you at a coffee shop, don't look away from them, don't dismiss them, and don't just ask them how they're doing. Ask them where they have been instead. And then listen. Because there's no future without a past.
Abdi Nazemian (Like a Love Story)
She preferred the quiet solitary atmosphere, to create in her own world of paint and colour, the thrill of anticipating how her works would turn out as she eyed the blank sheets of paper or canvas before starting her next masterpiece. How satisfying it was to mess around in paint gear, without having to worry about spills, starch or frills, that was the life!
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
Is being burnt a requisite for the making of art? Personally, I don't think it is. But art is poultice for a burn. It is a privilege to have, somewhere within you, a capacity for making something speak from your own seared experience.
Molly Peacock (The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72)
It is probably better that the world knows only the result, not the conditions under which it was achieved; because knowledge of the artist’s sources of inspiration might bewilder them, drive them away and in that way nullify the effect of the excellent work.
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice)
Who Am I? I’m a creator, a visionary, a poet. I approach the world with the eyes of an artist, the ears of a musician, and the soul of a writer. I see rainbows where others see only rain, and possibilities when others see only problems. I love spring flowers, summer’s heat on my body, and the beauty of the dying leaves in the fall. Classical music, art museums, and ballet are sources of inspiration, as well as blues music and dim cafes. I love to write; words flow easily from my fingertips, and my heart beats rapidly with excitement as an idea becomes a reality on the paper in front of me. I smile often, laugh easily, and I weep at pain and cruelty. I'm a learner and a seeker of knowledge, and I try to take my readers along on my journey. I am passionate about what I do. I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer. Come dream with me.
Sharon M. Draper
No one can discover you until you do. Exploit your talents, skills and strengths and make the world sit up and take notice.
Rob Liano
You have given intelligence to find one solution, and imagination to find ten.
Amit Kalantri
The creative strength is good enough and deep enough to bring itself to flower and to grow in spite of this sickness.
Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
... because one day, maybe one day, if I learned how to write clear enough, sing loud enough, be strong enough, I could explain myself in a way that made sense and then maybe one day, one day, someone out there would hear and recognise her or himself and I could let them know that they are not alone. Just like that song I had on repeat for several nights as I walked lonely on empty streets, let me know that I was not alone and that’s how it starts.
Charlotte Eriksson
Fiction comes from truth. It is a wonderful, imaginative, flourishing thing grown from a seed of real feelings, real desires, real fears. No artist ever creates from nothing. We work from what we've experienced, inspired by the unique piece of the world we see. It's why art cannot be replicated.
Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Roughest Draft)
CALIGULA: I'm the only true artist Rome has known - the only one, believe me - to match his inspiration with his deeds. CHEREA: That's only a matter of having the power. CALIGULA: Quite true. Other artists create to compensate for their lack of power. I don't need to make a work of art; I live it.
Albert Camus (Caligula)
For a painter, the Mecca of the world, for study, for inspiration and for living is here on this star called Paris. Just look at it, no wonder so many artists have come here and called it home. Brother, if you can't paint in Paris, you'd better give up and marry the boss's daughter.
Alan Jay Lerner
In the hierarchy, the artist faces outward. Meeting someone new he asks himself, What can this person do for me? How can this person advance my standing?   In the hierarchy, the artist looks up and looks down. The one place he can’t look is that place he must: within.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
I've been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people - world leaders, inventors, musicians, astronauts, athletes, professors, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, pioneering doctors and researchers. Some (though not enough) of them are women. Some (though not enough) are black or of color. Some were born poor or have lives that to many of us would appear to have been unfairly heaped with adversity, and yet still they seem to operate as if they've had every advantage in the world. What I've learned is this: All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roaring, stadium-sized collection of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake. The noise doesn't go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
As artist Nature splashes color across the vast canvas of the sky with the radiance and splendor of sunrise and sunset. She arches rainbows against the passing storm, creates flowers and foliage, sets autumn woods on fire with the beauty of turning leaves and touches mountaintops with snow crystals.
Wilferd Peterson
Sure all life's highways at some point must end, so I plan to ride it in style and plummet in a swan dive when the pavement runs out... And hopefully leave behind artistically that which may make other roads an even better ride...
Tom Althouse (The frowny face cow)
At last everything was satisfactorily arranged, and I could not help admiring the setting: these mingled touches betrayed on a small scale the inspiration of a poet, the research of a scientist, the good taste of an artist, the gourmet’s fondness for good food, and the love of flowers, which concealed in their delicate shadows a hint of the love of women
August Strindberg (Madman's Defence)
And it was about then, about that time, that I began to find life unsatisfactory as an explanation of itself and was forced to adopt the method of the artist of not explaining but putting the blocks together in some other way that seems more significant to him. Which is a rather fancy way of saying I started writing.
Tennessee Williams (Collected Stories)
Ninety-nine percent talent…ninety-nine percent discipline…ninety-nine percent work. He must never be satisfied with what he does. It is never as good as it can be done. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury)
Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. Finding one's voice isn't just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos. Any artist knows these truths, no matter how deeply he or she submerges that knowing.
Lewis Hyde (The Gift)
We do it because we care. We care that Vincent Van Gogh mutilated his ear. We care that behind a pile of manure in the yard he destroyed his life. We care that Scott Joplin's music lives! We care because we know this: the life we save is our own.
Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose)
Let me put it more artistically, with greater sophistication: They left us in the toilet. In the deepest pile of shit. And we're coated in the crappy residue of their desicions. But that does not mean we are the one who pooped, Moritz. And neither are we the poop. Never think that. We're not the poop.
Leah Thomas (Because You'll Never Meet Me (Because You'll Never Meet Me, #1))
In times when evil comes because men misunderstand and hate one another, it is the mission of the artist to praise sweetness, confidence, and friendship, and so to remind men, hardened or discouraged, that pure morals, tender sentiments, and primitive justice still exist, or at least can exist, in this world.
George Sand (La Petite Fadette)
I didn't come looking for you the day you uninvitedly appeared on my doorstep How did we go from nonchalant conversation me waiting for you to turn me off with corny jokes and mind dumbing conversation to love To love and mind blowing chemistry that I've yet to make sense of What are you here to teach me?
Maquita Donyel Irvin (Stories of a Polished Pistil: Lace and Ruffles)
I do not possess the ability to draw or paint. I can’t sing or dance. I can’t knit or sew. But I am an artist. I have the ability to put onto paper, words that tell an intriguing story. I am a writer. A writer is someone who, with just words, can paint a beautiful picture. A writer can open up a world of imagination you didn’t realize was possible. When you open up a book and become so consumed in the story, you feel like you’re a part of it… you’re standing next to that character and feeling the same way that character feels, That’s the art of a writer. I am an artist. My inspiration is the world around me. My paintbrush is my words. My easel is my computer. My canvas is the mind of my reader.
Bri Justine (Heinous Crimes, Immoral Minds)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
Coffee, my delight of the morning; yoga, my delight of the noon. Then before nightfall, I run along the pleasant paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg. For when air cycles through the lungs, and the body is busy at noble tasks, creativity flows like water in a stream: the artist creates, the writer writes.
Roman Payne
The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art. To women he is half vivisector, half vampire. He gets into intimate relations with them to study them, to strip the mask of convention from them, to surprise their inmost secrets, knowing that they have the power to rouse his deepest creative energies, to rescue him from his cold reason, to make him see visions and dream dreams, to inspire him, as he calls it. He persuades women that they may do this for their own purpose whilst he really means them to do it for his. He steals the mother’s milk and blackens it to make printer’s ink to scoff at her and glorify ideal women with. He pretends to spare her the pangs of child-bearing so that he may have for himself the tenderness and fostering that belong of right to her children. Since marriage began, the great artist has been known as a bad husband. But he is worse: he is a child-robber, a blood-sucker, a hypocrite, and a cheat. Perish the race and wither a thousand women if only the sacrifice of them enable him to act Hamlet better, to paint a finer picture, to write a deeper poem, a greater play, a profounder philosophy! For mark you, Tavy, the artist’s work is to shew us ourselves as we really are. Our minds are nothing but this knowledge of ourselves; and he who adds a jot to such knowledge creates new mind as surely as any woman creates new men. In the rage of that creation he is as ruthless as the woman, as dangerous to her as she to him, and as horribly fascinating. Of all human struggles there is none so treacherous and remorseless as the struggle between the artist man and the mother woman. Which shall use up the other? that is the issue between them. And it is all the deadlier because, in your romanticist cant, they love one another.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
A writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people. I've done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe 50 people read. And you just keep doing your work because you have to, because it’s your calling. But it’s beautiful to be embraced by the people. Some people have said to me, “Well, don’t you think that kind of success spoils one as an artist? If you’re a punk rocker, you don’t want to have a hit record…” And I say to them, “Fuck you!” One does their work for the people. And the more people you can touch, the more wonderful it is. You don’t do your work and say, “I only want the cool people to read it.” You want everyone to be transported, or hopefully inspired by it. When I was really young, William Burroughs told me, “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work. And make the right choices and protect your work. And if you can build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.
Patti Smith
Beyond imagination and insight, the most important component of talent is perseverance—the will to write and rewrite in pursuit of perfection. Therefore, when inspiration sparks the desire to write, the artist immediately asks: Is this idea so fascinating, so rich in possibility, that I want to spend months, perhaps years, of my life in pursuit of its fulfillment? Is this concept so exciting that I will get up each morning with the hunger to write? Will this inspiration compel me to sacrifice all of life's other pleasures in my quest to perfect its telling? If the answer is no, find another idea. Talent and time are a writer's only assets. Why give your life to an idea that's not worth your life?
Robert McKee
God is not a technician. God is an Artist. This is the God who made you. The same God who lives inside of you. He comes into us, then comes out of us, in a million little ways. That's why there's freedom, even in the blah. Hope, even in the dark. Love, even in the fear. Trust, even as we face our critics. And believe in the midst of all that? It feels like strength and depth and wildflower spinning; it feels risky and brave and underdog winning. It feels like redemption. It feels like art.
Emily P. Freeman (A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live)
There's something beautiful about facing tragedy, you crack open a new, you find yourself in the parts of you; that can finally be explored freely with out judgement or guilt. Where to from here doesn't exist & your not sure when it will return, but there's something beautiful in facing tragedy, a new type of being within you is born and one whom is more fearless than ever before.
Nikki Rowe
Is it possible to make a living by simply watching light? Monet did. Vermeer did. I believe Vincent did too. They painted light in order to witness the dance between revelation and concealment, exposure and darkness. Perhaps this is what I desire most, to sit and watch the shifting shadows cross the cliff face of sandstone or simply to walk parallel with a path of liquid light called the Colorado River. In the canyon country of southern Utah, these acts of attention are not merely the pastimes of artists, but daily work, work that matters to the whole community. This living would include becoming a caretaker of silence, a connoisseur of stillness, a listener of wind where each dialect is not only heard but understood.
Terry Tempest Williams (Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert)
I would venture to say that approaching the Christian Story from this direction, it has long been my feeling (a joyous feeling) that God redeemed the corrupt makingcreatures, men, in a way fitting to this aspect, as to others, of their strange nature. The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. They contain many marvels—peculiarly artistic, beautiful, and moving: ‘mythical’ in their perfect, self-contained significance; and among the marvels is the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe. But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfillment of Creation. The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. It has pre-eminently the ‘inner consistency of reality’. There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
The renaissance of interest in Eastern spiritual philosophies, various mystical traditions, meditation, ancient and aboriginal wisdom, as well as the widespread psychedelic experimentation during the stormy 1960s, made it absolutely clear that a comprehensive and cross-culturally valid psychology had to include observations from such areas as mystical states; cosmic consciousness; psychedelic experiences; trance phenomena; creativity; and religious, artistic, and scientific inspiration.
Stanislav Grof
And as an artist, as someone who writes stories and tries to make words into beautiful forms, it's vitally important to me, especially in a culture that's forgotten the value of beauty. It's a primary source or inspiration, I guess, when so much of what goes on around you is only about money and big swinging dick capitalism. It's important for blokes to be able to do beautiful stuff, impractical stuff, that adds to life. That's an early life-lesson from surfing.
Tim Winton
I have always been jealous of artists. The smell of the studio, the names of the various tools, the look of a half-finished canvas all shout of creation. What do writers have in comparison? Only the flat paper, the clacketing of the typewriter or the scrape of a pen across a yellow page. And then, when the finished piece is presented, there is a small wonder on one hand, a manuscript smudged with erasures or crossed out lines on the other. The impact of the painting is immediate, the manuscript must unfold slowly through time.
Jane Yolen
Beauty is the only human aspect which cannot be captured on any canvas howsoever hard an artist tries. At the most, the undaunted artist can replicate the beauty on paper but what is a replica in comparison to the original! The humbling resemblance can only be respected, not truly adored. Beauty cannot be imprisoned in the lens of a camera. The images of beauty are a moment of its essence. Beauty cannot be displayed to evoke pleasure for all on a cinema screen. Those are just its imprints, mere illusions of its existence. Beauty cannot be described by words; it cannot be written or read about. There are no suitable words in all the languages of the world, ancient or modern to hold it between a paper and a pen or a script and an eye. Beauty can only be experienced from far, its delightful aroma can only be tasted through one’s eyes and its pleasurable sight can only be felt from the soul. Beauty can only be best described at its origin through a befuddling silence, the kind that leaves one almost on the verge of a pleasurable death, just because one chooses beauty over life. There is nothing in this world to hold something so pure, so divine except a loving heart. And it is the only manner through which love recognises love; the language of love has no alphabet, no words.
Faraaz Kazi
You were all given the same chance. This day was your test. The monk who dropped the scale did so at my request. I was watching to see what you would do. I need someone who can wait with patience, and yet know when it is time to act without fear. Someone who is able to see patterns even when none may be obvious. Someone who can also express his own artistic viewpoint...I want someone who will leave the world a more beautiful place than he found it.
Lisa Mangum (The Golden Spiral (Hourglass Door, #2))
No art takes places without inspiration. Every artist also needs effective knowledge of his or her tools (e.g., does a certain brush function well with a particular kind of paint?). What’s more, artists need effective techniques for using those tools. Likewise, to express ourselves skillfully with maximum efficiency and minimum effort, we need to investigate the most effective ways of using the mind and body since, in the end, they are the only “tools” we truly possess in life.
H. E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation
It was an irresistible development of modern illustration (so largely photographic) that borders should be abandoned and the "picture" end only with the paper. This method may be suitable for for photographs; but it is altogether inappropriate for the pictures that illustrate or are inspired by fairy-stories. An enchanted forest requires a margin, even an elaborate border. To print it coterminous with the page, like a "shot" of the Rockies in Picture Post, as if it were indeed a "snap" of fairyland or a "sketch by our artist on the spot", is a folly and an abuse.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
When I met Wittgenstein, I saw that Schlick's warnings were fully justified. But his behavior was not caused by any arrogance. In general, he was of a sympathetic temperament and very kind; but he was hypersensitive and easily irritated. Whatever he said was always interesting and stimulating and the way in which he expressed it was often fascinating. His point of view and his attitude toward people and problems, even theoretical problems, were much more similar to those of a creative artist than to those of a scientist; one might almost say, similar to those of a religious prophet or a seer. When he started to formulate his view on some specific problem, we often felt the internal struggle that occurred in him at that very moment, a struggle by which he tried to penetrate from darkness to light under an intense and painful strain, which was even visible on his most expressive face. When finally, sometimes after a prolonged arduous effort, his answers came forth, his statement stood before us like a newly created piece of art or a divine revelation. Not that he asserted his views dogmatically ... But the impression he made on us was as if insight came to him as through divine inspiration, so that we could not help feeling that any sober rational comment of analysis of it would be a profanation.
Rudolf Carnap (The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap, Volume 11)
Moreover, knowledge and investigation help promote wonder they do not destroy it. Whatever our tastes, we can generally appreciate such things as music, art or wine better when we understand a bit about them. We read up on our favourite singers or artists because we feel we can appreciate their work better when we know how they think and what they bring to their work. The giddy delight and curiosity that comes from marvelling at the beauty of this universe is deepened, not cheapened, by the laws and facts science gives us to aid our understanding. In a similar way, the psychological tricks at work behind many seemingly paranormal events are truly more fascinating than the explanation of other-worldiness precisely because they are of this world, and say something about how rich and complex and mysterious we are as human beings to be convinced by such trickery, indeed to want to perpetuate it in the first place.
Derren Brown (Tricks of the Mind)
You said how Michelangelo was a manic-depressive who portrayed himself as a flayed martyr in his painting. Henri Matisse gave up being a lawyer because of appendicitis. Robert Schumann only began composing after his right hand became paralyzed and ended his career as a concert pianist. (...) You talked about Nietzsche and his tertiary syphilis. Mozart and his uremia. Paul Klee and the scleroderma that shrank his joints and muscles to death. Frida Kahlo and the spina bifida that covered her legs with bleeding sores. Lord Byron and his clubfoot. The Bronte sisters and their tuberculosis. Mark Rothko and his suicide. Flannery O’Connor and her lupus. Inspiration needs disease, injury, madness. “According to Thomas Mann,” Peter said, “‘Great artists are great invalids.
Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
The left half of your brain deals with logic, language, calculation, and reason. This is the half people perceive as their personal identity. This is the conscious, rational, everyday basis of reality. The right side of your brain, is the center of your intuition, emotion, insight, and pattern recognition skills. Your subconscious. Your left brain is a scientist,. Your right brain is an artist. People live their lives out of the left half of their brains. It's only when someone is in extreme pain, or upset or sick, that their subconscious can slip into the conscious. When someone's injured or sick or mourning or depressed, the right brain can take over a flash, just an instant, and gives them access to divine inspiration. A flash inspiration. A moment of insight. According to German philosopher Carl Jung, this lets us connect to a universal body of knowledge. The wisdom all people over all time.
Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
The wild. I have drunk it, deep and raw, and heard it's primal, unforgettable roar. We know it in our dreams, when our mind is off the leash, running wild. 'Outwardly, the equivalent of the unconscious is the wilderness: both of these terms meet, one step even further on, as one,' wrote Gary Snyder. 'It is in vain to dream of a wildness distinct from ourselves. There is none such,' wrote Thoreau. 'It is the bog in our brains and bowls, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires the dream.' And as dreams are essential to the psyche, wildness is to life. We are animal in our blood and in our skin. We were not born for pavements and escalators but for thunder and mud. More. We are animal not only in body but in spirit. Our minds are the minds of wild animals. Artists, who remember their wildness better than most, are animal artists, lifting their heads to sniff a quick wild scent in the air, and they know it unmistakably, they know the tug of wildness to be followed through your life is buckled by that strange and absolute obedience. ('You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star,' wrote Nietzsche.) Children know it as magic and timeless play. Shamans of all sorts and inveterate misbehavers know it; those who cannot trammel themselves into a sensible job and life in the suburbs know it. What is wild cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or copied. It is. Unmistakeable, unforgettable, unshamable, elemental as earth and ice, water, fire and air, a quitessence, pure spirit, resolving into no contituents. Don't waste your wildness: it is precious and necessary.
Jay Griffiths (Wild: An Elemental Journey)
When we think of the past we tend to assume that people were simpler in their functions, and shaped by forces that were primary and irreducible. We take for granted that our forbears were imbued with a deeper purity of purpose than we possess nowadays, and a more singular set of mind, believing, for example, that early scientists pursued their ends with unbroken „dedication“ and that artists worked in the flame of some perpetual „inspiration“. But none of this is true. Those who went before us were every bit as wayward and unaccountable and unsteady in their longings as people are today. The least breeze, whether it be sexual or psychological – or even a real breeze, carrying with it the refreshment of oxygene and energy – has the power to turn us from our path.
Carol Shields (The Stone Diaries)
I noticed that the [drawing] teacher didn't tell people much... Instead, he tried to inspire us to experiment with new approaches. I thought of how we teach physics: We have so many techniques - so many mathematical methods - that we never stop telling the students how to do things. On the other hand, the drawing teacher is afraid to tell you anything. If your lines are very heavy, the teacher can't say, "Your lines are too heavy." because *some* artist has figured out a way of making great pictures using heavy lines. The teacher doesn't want to push you in some particular direction. So the drawing teacher has this problem of communicating how to draw by osmosis and not by instruction, while the physics teacher has the problem of always teaching techniques, rather than the spirit, of how to go about solving physical problems.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
Mitchell Maxwell’s Maxims • You have to create your own professional path. There’s no longer a roadmap for an artistic career. • Follow your heart and the money will follow. • Create a benchmark of your own progress. If you never look down while you’re climbing the ladder you won’t know how far you’ve come. • Don’t define success by net worth, define it by character. Success, as it’s measured by society, is a fleeting condition. • Affirm your value. Tell the world “I am an artist,” not “I want to be an artist.” • You must actively live your dream. Wishing and hoping for someday doesn’t make it happen. Get out there and get involved. • When you look into the abyss you find your character. • Young people too often let the fear of failure keep them from trying. You have to get bloody, sweaty and rejected in order to succeed. • Get your face out of Facebook and into somebody’s face. Close your e-mail and pick up the phone. Personal contact still speaks loudest. • No one is entitled to act entitled. Be willing to work hard. • If you’re going to buck the norm you’re going to have to embrace the challenges. • You have to love the journey if you’re going to work in the arts. • Only listen to people who agree with your vision. • A little anxiety is good but don’t let it become fear, fear makes you inert. • Find your own unique voice. Leave your individual imprint on the world, not a copy of someone else. • Draw strength from your mistakes; they can be your best teacher.
Mitchell Maxwell
All that summer and fall she painted, mornings, afternoons, evenings, then walked around the streets that were still echoing the music of the masters, and every stone, every pebble seemed to have a life and reason of its own and she somehow felt, though vaguely, a part of that reason. Some nights she would sit in the café with other young artists and poets and musicians and who knows what else, drinking wine and talking and laughing and discussing and arguing and life was exciting and tangible and crisp like the clear Mediterranean sunlight. Then as the grayness of winter slowly seeped down from the north the energy and inspiration seemed to ooze from her as paint from a tube and now when she looked at a bare canvas it was only a bare canvas, a piece of material stretched over a few pieces of wood, it was no longer a painting waiting to be painted. It was just, canvas. She went further south. Sicily. North Africa. Trying to follow the sun to the past, the very recent past, but all she found was herself.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
In the case of Michel Angelo we have an artist who with brush and chisel portrayed literally thousands of human forms; but with this peculiarity, that while scores and scores of his male figures are obviously suffused and inspired by a romantic sentiment, there is hardly one of his female figures that is so,—the latter being mostly representative of woman in her part as mother, or sufferer, or prophetess or poetess, or in old age, or in any aspect of strength or tenderness, except that which associates itself especially with romantic love. Yet the cleanliness and dignity of Michel Angelo's male figures are incontestable, and bear striking witness to that nobility of the sentiment in him, which we have already seen illustrated in his sonnets.
Edward Carpenter (The Intermediate Sex: A Study Of Some Transitional Types Of Men And Women)
My inspiration for writing music is like Don McLean did when he did "American Pie" or "Vincent". Lorraine Hansberry with "A Raisin in the Sun". Like Shakespeare when he does his thing, like deep stories, raw human needs. I'm trying to think of a good analogy. It's like, you've got the Vietnam War, and because you had reporters showing us pictures of the war at home, that's what made the war end, or that shit would have lasted longer. If no one knew what was going on we would have thought they were just dying valiantly in some beautiful way. But because we saw the horror, that's what made us stop the war. So I thought, that's what I'm going to do as an artist, as a rapper. I'm gonna show the most graphic details of what I see in my community and hopefully they'll stop it quick. I've seen all of that-- the crack babies, what we had to go through, losing everything, being poor, and getting beat down. All of that. Being the person I am, I said no no no no. I'm changing this.
Tupac Shakur (Tupac: Resurrection 1971-1996)
But the Greeks and the Romans both believed in the idea of an external daemon of creativity—a sort of house elf, if you will, who lived within the walls of your home and who sometimes aided you in your labors. The Romans had a specific term for that helpful house elf. They called it your genius—your guardian deity, the conduit of your inspiration. Which is to say, the Romans didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believed that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius. It’s a subtle but important distinction (being vs. having) and, I think, it’s a wise psychological construct. The idea of an external genius helps to keep the artist’s ego in check, distancing him somewhat from the burden of taking either full credit or full blame for the outcome of his work. If your work is successful, in other words, you are obliged to thank your external genius for the help, thus holding you back from total narcissism. And if your work fails, it’s not entirely your fault. You can say, “Hey, don’t look at me—my genius didn’t show up today!” Either way, the vulnerable human ego is protected. Protected from the corrupting influence of praise. Protected from the corrosive effects of shame.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
I am the interpretation of the prophet I am the artist in the coffin I am the brave flag stained with blood I am the wounds overcome I am the dream refusing to sleep I am the bare-breasted voice of liberty I am the comic the insult and the laugh I am the right the middle and the left I am the poached eggs in the sky I am the Parisian streets at night I am the dance that swings till dawn I am the grass on the greener lawn I am the respectful neighbour and the graceful man I am the encouraging smile and the helping hand I am the straight back and the lifted chin I am the tender heart and the will to win I am the rainbow in rain I am the human who won’t die in vain I am Athena of Greek mythology I am the religion that praises equality I am the woman of stealth and affection I am the man of value and compassion I am the wild horse ploughing through I am the shoulder to lean onto I am the Muslim the Jew and the Christian I am the Dane the French and the Palestinian I am the straight the square and the round I am the white the black and the brown I am the free speech and the free press I am the freedom to express I will die for my right to be all the above here mentioned And should threat encounter I’ll pull my pencil
Mie Hansson (Where Pain Thrives)
There is no ready vocabulary to describe the ways in which artists become artists, no recognition that artists must learn to be who they are (even as they cannot help being who they are.) We have a language that reflects how we learn to paint, but not how we learn to paint our paintings. How do you describe the [reader to place words here] that changes when craft swells to art? "Artists come together with the clear knowledge that when all is said and done, they will return to their studio and practice art alone. Period. That simple truth may be the deepest bond we share. The message across time from the painted bison and the carved ivory seal speaks not of the differences between the makers of that art and ourselves, but of the similarities. Today these similarities lay hidden beneath urban complexity -- audience, critics, economics, trivia -- in a self-conscious world. Only in those moments when we are truly working on our own work do we recover the fundamental connection we share with all makers of art. The rest may be necessary, but it's not art. Your job is to draw a line from your art to your life that is straight and clear.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Most striking about the traditional societies of the Congo was their remarkable artwork: baskets, mats, pottery, copper and ironwork, and, above all, woodcarving. It would be two decades before Europeans really noticed this art. Its discovery then had a strong influence on Braque, Matisse, and Picasso -- who subsequently kept African art objects in his studio until his death. Cubism was new only for Europeans, for it was partly inspired by specific pieces of African art, some of them from the Pende and Songye peoples, who live in the basin of the Kasai River, one of the Congo's major tributaries. It was easy to see the distinctive brilliance that so entranced Picasso and his colleagues at their first encounter with this art at an exhibit in Paris in 1907. In these central African sculptures some body parts are exaggerated, some shrunken; eyes project, cheeks sink, mouths disappear, torsos become elongated; eye sockets expand to cover almost the entire face; the human face and figure are broken apart and formed again in new ways and proportions that had previously lain beyond sight of traditional European realism. The art sprang from cultures that had, among other things, a looser sense than Islam or Christianity of the boundaries between our world and the next, as well as those between the world of humans and the world of beasts. Among the Bolia people of the Congo, for example, a king was chosen by a council of elders; by ancestors, who appeared to him in a dream; and finally by wild animals, who signaled their assent by roaring during a night when the royal candidate was left at a particular spot in the rain forest. Perhaps it was the fluidity of these boundaries that granted central Africa's artists a freedom those in Europe had not yet discovered.
Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa)
Some years ago, I was lucky enough invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things. And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn’t qualify to be there, among these people who had really done things. On my second or third night there, I was standing at the back of the hall, while a musical entertainment happened, and I started talking to a very nice, polite, elderly gentleman about several things, including our shared first name. And then he pointed to the hall of people, and said words to the effect of, “I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.” And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.” And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.
Neil Gaiman
For some young artists, it can take a bit of time to discover which tools (which medium, or genre, or career pathway) will truly suit them best. For me, although many different art forms attract me, the tools that I find most natural and comfortable are language and oil paint; I've also learned that as someone with a limited number of spoons it's best to keep my toolbox clean and simple. My husband, by contrast, thrives with a toolbox absolutely crowded to bursting, working with language, voice, musical instruments, puppets, masks animated on a theater stage, computer and video imagery, and half a dozen other things besides, no one of these tools more important than the others, and all somehow working together. For other artists, the tools at hand might be needles and thread; or a jeweller's torch; or a rack of cooking spices; or the time to shape a young child's day.... To me, it's all art, inside the studio and out. At least it is if we approach our lives that way.
Terri Windling
A thought expressed is a falsehood." In poetry what is not said and yet gleams through the beauty of the symbol, works more powerfully on the heart than that which is expressed in words. Symbolism makes the very style, the very artistic substance of poetry inspired, transparent, illuminated throughout like the delicate walls of an alabaster amphora in which a flame is ignited. Characters can also serve as symbols. Sancho Panza and Faust, Don Quixote and Hamlet, Don Juan and Falstaff, according to the words of Goethe, are "schwankende Gestalten." Apparitions which haunt mankind, sometimes repeatedly from age to age, accompany mankind from generation to generation. It is impossible to communicate in any words whatsoever the idea of such symbolic characters, for words only define and restrict thought, but symbols express the unrestricted aspect of truth. Moreover we cannot be satisfied with a vulgar, photographic exactness of experimental photoqraphv. We demand and have premonition of, according to the allusions of Flaubert, Maupassant, Turgenev, Ibsen, new and as yet undisclosed worlds of impressionability. This thirst for the unexperienced, in pursuit of elusive nuances, of the dark and unconscious in our sensibility, is the characteristic feature of the coming ideal poetry. Earlier Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe said that the beautiful must somewhat amaze, must seem unexpected and extraordinary. French critics more or less successfully named this feature - impressionism. Such are the three major elements of the new art: a mystical content, symbols, and the expansion of artistic impressionability. No positivistic conclusions, no utilitarian computation, but only a creative faith in something infinite and immortal can ignite the soul of man, create heroes, martyrs and prophets... People have need of faith, they need inspiration, they crave a holy madness in their heroes and martyrs. ("On The Reasons For The Decline And On The New Tendencies In Contemporary Literature")
Dmitry Merezhkovsky (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
Style is not how you write. It is how you do not write like anyone else. * * * How do you know if you're a writer? Write something everyday for two weeks, then stop, if you can. If you can't, you're a writer. And no one, no matter how hard they may try, will ever be able to stop you from following your writing dreams. * * * You can find your writer's voice by simply listening to that little Muse inside that says in a low, soft whisper, "Listen to this... * * * Enter the writing process with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery. Let it surprise you. * * * Poems for children help them celebrate the joy and wonder of their world. Humorous poems tickle the funny bone of their imaginations. * * * There are many fine poets writing for children today. The greatest reward for each of us is in knowing that our efforts might stir the minds and hearts of young readers with a vision and wonder of the world and themselves that may be new to them or reveal something already familiar in new and enlightening ways. * * * The path to inspiration starts Beyond the trails we’ve known; Each writer’s block is not a rock, But just a stepping stone. * * * When you write for children, don't write for children. Write from the child in you. * * * Poems look at the world from the inside out. * * * The act of writing brings with it a sense of discovery, of discovering on the page something you didn't know you knew until you wrote it. * * * The answer to the artist Comes quicker than a blink Though initial inspiration Is not what you might think. The Muse is full of magic, Though her vision’s sometimes dim; The artist does not choose the work, It is the work that chooses him. * * * Poem-Making 101. Poetry shows. Prose tells. Choose precise, concrete words. Remove prose from your poems. Use images that evoke the senses. Avoid the abstract, the verbose, the overstated. Trust the poem to take you where it wants to go. Follow it closely, recording its path with imagery. * * * What's a Poem? A whisper, a shout, thoughts turned inside out. A laugh, a sigh, an echo passing by. A rhythm, a rhyme, a moment caught in time. A moon, a star, a glimpse of who you are. * * * A poem is a little path That leads you through the trees. It takes you to the cliffs and shores, To anywhere you please. Follow it and trust your way With mind and heart as one, And when the journey’s over, You’ll find you’ve just begun. * * * A poem is a spider web Spun with words of wonder, Woven lace held in place By whispers made of thunder. * * * A poem is a busy bee Buzzing in your head. His hive is full of hidden thoughts Waiting to be said. His honey comes from your ideas That he makes into rhyme. He flies around looking for What goes on in your mind. When it is time to let him out To make some poetry, He gathers up your secret thoughts And then he sets them free.
Charles Ghigna
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)