Inspirational quotes by creatives

Read on for instant inspiration from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Henri Matisse.

Blog article by James Newcombe. Originally posted 31 October 2013.

There are fewer things that are more inspiring than a good quote. Here I am trying to gather some of the best i’ve seen attributed to creative types.

Saul Bass


“Failure is built into creativity… the creative act involves this element of ‘newness’ and ‘experimentalism,’ then one must expect and accept the possibility of failure.”
“Sometimes when an idea flashes, you distrust it because it seems too easy. You qualify it with all kinds of evasive phrases because you’re timid about it. But often, this turns out to be the best idea of all.”
“Work? It’s just serious play.”

Paul Rand


“I haven’t changed my mind about modernism from the first day I ever did it… It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what modernism means to me…”
“Without play, there would be no Picasso. Without play, there is no experimentation. Experimentation is the quest for answers.”
“I steered towards humourous things. People who don’t have a sense of humour really have serious problems.”
“You can’t criticize geometry. It’s never wrong.”

Joan Miró


“To be an artist is to believe in life.”
“For me an object is something living. This cigarette or this box of matches contains a secret life much more intense than that of certain human beings.”

Wassily Kandinsky


“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”

Steve Jobs


“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose… There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


“I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.”
“God is in the details.”

Pablo Picasso


“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone ”
“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

Henri Matisse


“Creativity takes courage”
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Andy Warhol


“I like boring things.”
“Everybody must have a fantasy.”
“Art is what you can get away with.”

Salvador Dali


“Have no fear of perfection — you'll never reach it.”
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

Richard Buckminster Fuller


“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”