Notable Quotes
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The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.

NEIL GAIMAN, journal, Nov. 5, 2004

Creation which cannot express itself becomes madness.

ANAIS NIN, diary, Oct. 18, 1936

The creative urge is the demon that will not accept anything second rate.

AGNES DE MILLE, attributed, Witty Words from Wise Women

Creativity means not copying.

FERRAN ADRIÀ, Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2011

Creativity is one of the main foundations on which human progress is built up.

A. N. P. UMMERKUTTY, Success is a Marathon

Creativity is never just doing something different. It is doing something different that is significant at that precise point in the cultural tradition.

MARK AMSLER, The Languages of Creativity

The search for knowledge about creativity is linked with magic, the demonic, and the divine, yet such knowledge is at the forefront of rational inquiry. Creativity is paradoxical and complex, and the most steadfast investigator is constantly beset with feelings of awe and a sense of mystery as he pursues his inquiry. Creativity encompasses the magical incantations and drawings of primitive man, the appearance of new forms in nature, and the evil genius of Faust. It is a human capacity but it seems to transcend human capacities.

ALBERT ROTHENBERG, The Creativity Question

The creative personality never remains fixed on the first world it discovers. It never resigns itself to anything.

ANAIS NIN, The Novel of the Future

A requirement of creativity is that it contributes to change. Creativity keeps the creator alive.

FRANK HERBERT, unpublished notes, attributed in Dune: House of Atreides

I am a natural creator. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy--pure creative energy. It is my birthright to co-create my life and my experience. My dreams come from God. The power to fulfill my dreams is God given. There is an indwelling, underlying creative power infusing all of life, including ourselves. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the Great Creator working with us and within us.


I don't know where creativity comes from, but I think everybody has the ability to be creative. I think what's important about creativity starts when you're very young and how we're allowed to experience our imagination. The people who bring us up and teach us are fundamental in either encouraging creativity or discourging creativity. My imagination was always encouraged.

LYLE LOVETT, The Hartford Courant, Nov. 18, 2011

Creativity follows its own rules.


Too academic an education can inhibit the workings of the creative mind.

MARGARET DRABBLE, The Paris Review, fall/winter 1978

Peaks of creativity are, of course, rare, as are peaks of strength, beauty, or goodness. We are a gifted species, but feats like penning a Hamlet, or formulating the relativity theory, or inspiring satyagraha by the millions do come but once in a long while. But peaks are not the only attractive or important features of a landscape. There are also vales and moors and meadows and waters and woods. The layperson may look at the sun and conclude there is no worthwhile light elsewhere. She would be mistaken. Lesser human creativity is scattered widely, like the lights of a city at night, and in its own way, is quite attractive and useful.

KWANDWALLA, Lifelong Creativity

If you stick in the business of being creative, you get hurt. And creative disappointment seems so much harder to take than any other kind. But if you're not prepared to get hurt like that, life can be pretty boring. I think I'm going to keep on going.

CHUCK BARRIS, The Guardian, Mar. 3, 2003

In creating, the only hard thing's to begin;
A grass-blade's no easier to make than an oak,
If you've once found the way you've achieved the grand stroke.


Creativity means learning where the rules exist, and then breaking them! Saying, "It's better this way." But you have to know the rules in order to break them with any grace.

ALAN ARKIN, New Mexico Magazine, Jun. 2011

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

MAYA ANGELOU, Conversations with Maya Angelou

Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in art, in music, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.


I've discovered that the more freedom I have to be creative, the more creative I become.


When I was 10, I learned what unlocks creativity. We were studying William Butler Yeats, one of the great poets of the 20th century, and my teacher explained that there was a period when Yeats had writer's block. I put my hand up in class and asked, "Why didn't he write about that?" It was like, "Oh, shut up." I've since learned that there's something to being truthful. The Scriptures say the truth will set you free. The truth is at the root of every piece of creativity. So if you're truthful about your situation, whatever it is as an artist—whether it's despair, whether it's hope, whether it's ambition—suddenly you're there.

BONO, Oprah Magazine, Apr. 2004

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

MARY OLIVER, "Of Power and Time," Blue Pastures

You can always make up in creativity what you lack in good fortune. Playing the game of life is like playing poker. Playing three aces badly won't get you as far as playing a terrible hand well.

ERNIE J. ZELINSKI, The Lazy Person's Guide to Success: How to Get What You Want Without Killing Yourself for It

Creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.

ANNE LAMOTT, "Time Lost and Found", Sunset


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