Quotes on Creativity (Spark Your Creative Process & Find Your Muse)  

Check out our list of quotes on creativity and the creative process from authors, thinkers, poets and other excellent humans to get yourself creatively motivated.

Sometimes getting the creative juices flowing takes a little inspiration from the greats.

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“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”  

William Faulkner

“Critique by creating.” 

Michelangelo Buonarroti

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”  

Benjamin Franklin

“Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.”  

Karl Lagerfeld

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young  

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”  

Stephen King

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” 

Robert Louis Stevenson (Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson)

“Routine kills creative thought.” 

Scarlett Thomas, PopCo

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  

Albert Einstein

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”  

Ray Bradbury

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”  

Pablo Picasso

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath  

“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.”

Leonardo da Vinci  

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

Maya Angelou

“The best ideas will eat at you for days, maybe even weeks, until something, some incident, some impulse, triggers you to finally express them.” 

Criss Jami, Killosophy

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”  

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

“A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I’ll take A Midsummer Night’s Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh.” 

Stephen King

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 

Scott Adams

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

Erich Fromm  

“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination  they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.”  

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” 

Sophia Loren

“The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.” 

Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

“Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity” 

T.S. Eliot

“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

“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

“To create art with all the passion in one’s soul is to live art with all the beauty in one’s heart.” 

Author-Poet Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” 

Robert Henri

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.”  

Rita Mae Brown

“When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honor it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.”

Justina Chen Headley, North of Beautiful  

“I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen a statue of a critic.”  

Leonard Bernstein

“Spend more time doing things that make you forget about the time.”  

Charlotte Eriksson

“My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” 

Miles Davis

“If your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.”

Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity  

“Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure. . . Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not happen. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.”  

Maya Angelou

“Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche

“We need our Arts to teach us how to breathe”

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing  

“A good-enough novel violently written now is better than a perfect novel meticulously written never.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear  

“Everyone who has taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.”  

Nolan Bushnell

“That’s creativity in a nutshell. A messy tug-of-war with imagination to erase that feeling that nothing really matters anyway.”

Zoe Whittall, Holding Still For As Long As Possible  

“Every animal leaves traces of what it was; man alone leaves traces of what he created.” 

Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.

Vilayat Inayat Khan

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can play weird– that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple complicated is commonplace–making the complicated simple, awesomely simple–that’s creativity.”  

Charles Mingus

“Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation.”

Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire  

“Given the freedom to create, everybody is creative. All of us have an innate, instinctive desire to change our environment, to put our original stamp on this world, to tell a story never told before. I’m absolutely thrilled at the moment of creativity – when suddenly I’ve synthesized my experiences, reality, and my imagination into something entirely new. But most people are too busy working on survival to find the opportunity to create. Fortunately, I’ve been freed by reputation, by the economics of success, and by emotional contentment to turn my ideas into reality. I’ve discovered that the more freedom I have to be creative, the more creative I become.”  

― William Shatner, Up Til Now  

“Creative people, especially those who are just starting out, feel that they have to conform and be a mass-produced product in order to be noticed. The truth of the matter is that genuineness and unconventionality is often what helps make a mark on the world.” 

Veronika Carnaby

“Creativity is one of the highest transmissions of love.”  

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play”

John Cleese  

“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted” 

George Keller

“Get off the treadmill of consumption, replication, and mediocrity. Begin lifting the weights of creativity, originality, and success.”

Ryan Lilly  

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Hopefully these quotes on creativity have sparked your joy for creation and got you motivated for your latest endeavor… Looking for a new creative hobby? Check out a few of our creative hobby ideas here…