Art is a creative expression encompassing a wide range of human activities, products, and experiences, producing an emotional or aesthetic response. Here are what some have said about art, artists, and the artistic process.

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To have much learning, to be skillful in handicraft, well-trained in discipline, and to be of good speech — this is the greatest blessing.

— Buddha

The serious revolutionary, like the serious artist, can’t afford to lead a sentimental or self-deceiving life.

— Adrienne Rich

When we speak, in gestures or signs, we fashion a real object in the world; the gesture is seen, the words and the song are heard. The arts are simply a kind of writing, which, in one way or another, fixes words or gestures, and gives body to the invisible.

— Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

Living gives you a better understanding of life. I would hope that my characters have become deeper and more rounded personalities. Wider travels have given me considerably greater insight into how cultural differences affect not only people, but politics and art.

— Alan Dean Foster

I am spellbound by the plays of Shakespeare. And I am spellbound by the second law of thermodynamics. The great ideas in science, like the Cro-Magnon paintings and the plays of Shakespeare, are part of our cultural heritage.

— Alan Lightman

A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.

— Albert Camus

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

— Albert Einstein

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

— Albert Einstein

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

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

— Albert Einstein

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

— Albert Einstein

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.

— Alice Walker

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.

— Anaïs Nin

There is not a work of art that is without short cuts.

— Andre Gide

I find working with glass meditative, almost therapeutic. I can leave the world behind, and focus… The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense colour, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance… The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made.

— Andrew Kuntz

No book has yet been written in praise of a woman who let her husband and children starve or suffer while she invented even the most useful things, or wrote books, or expressed herself in art, or evolved philosophic systems.

— Anna Garlin Spencer, Woman’s Share in Social Culture, 1912

What would be the point of producing unconsidered, rushed works? That would be disrespectful, to ourselves and to those we regard as the target group of our endeavours.

— Annika Ekdahl

Art is not living. It is the use of living.

— Audre Lorde

The computer brings out the uptight perfectionist in us — we start editing ideas before we have them.

— Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Art for art’s sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own.

— Benjamin Constant

Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.

— Berenice Abbott

Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term — selectivity.

— Berenice Abbott

The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are, whether a portrait, a city street, or a bouncing ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework – that to me is the art of photography.

— Berenice Abbott

If I ever loved a man better than I love my art, I should marry him and leave the stage. But I have never met such a man.

— Billie Burke

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

— C. S. Lewis

Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.

— Carl Jung

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.

— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts

— D.T. Suzuki

Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.

— Daniel Barenboim

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man’s name live for thousands of years.

— Denis Diderot

I don’t think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals.

— Denise Levertov

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

— Elie Wiesel

Each of the Arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a Muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them.

— Eliza Farnham

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.

— Elizabeth Murray

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.

— Eugene Delacrois

Good art can not be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.

— Ezra Pound

An architect’s most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Art for art’s sake is a philosophy of the well-fed.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.

— Frank Sinatra

Art raises its head where creeds relax.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Art is not merely an imitation of the reality of nature, but in truth a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature, placed alongside thereof for its conquest.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

I do not know what the spirit of a philosopher could more wish to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal, also his fine art, finally also the only kind of piety he knows, his ‘divine service.’

— Friedrich Nietzsche

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

We have art in order not to die of the truth.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad.

— Friedrich Schiller

In the case of the creative mind, it seems to me, the intellect has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell, and only then does it review and inspect the multitude. You worthy critics, or whatever you may call yourselves, are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and passing madness which is found in all real creators, the longer or shorter duration of which distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints of unfruitfulness, for you reject too soon and discriminate too severely.

— Friedrich Schiller

A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

— George Bernard Shaw

I said to myself — I’ll paint what I see — what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it — I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.

— Georgia O’Keeffe

Nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small it takes time — we haven’t time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

— Georgia O’Keeffe
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