To create is to cause something to exist by one’s actions. Creativity and the creative process are about taking original ideas, inspired from imagination, and then producing something new. To be creative means to generate original ideas and possibilities that will, when applied, be useful, entertaining, or beautiful, or otherwise worthwhile. What part discipline and spontaneity play in creativity are matters of debate. Artists and thinkers have tried to put into words what creativity is about. Here are some of those words.

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One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

— A. A. Milne

Ideas may drift into other minds, but they do not drift my way. I have to go and fetch them. I know no work manual or mental to equal the appalling heart-breaking anguish of fetching an idea from nowhere.

— A. A. Milne

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

— Abraham Lincoln

Determine the thing that can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.

— Abraham Lincoln

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.

— Abraham Maslow

Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.

— Albert Einstein

To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.

— Albert Einstein

Discovery consists in seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel winner (Physiology and Medicine, 1937)

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

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.

— Anna Freud

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

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

— Beatrix Potter

Understanding marginality as position and place of resistance is crucial for oppressed, exploited, colonized people. If we only view the margin as sign, marking the condition of our pain and deprivation, then a certain hopelessness and despair, a deep nihilism penetrates in a destructive way the very ground of our being. It is there in that space of collective despair that one’s creativity, one’s imagination is at risk, there that one’s mind is fully colonized, there that the freedom one longs for is lost.

— bell hooks

American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull’s skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.

— Ben Silliman, Family Life Specialist with the University of Wyoming’s Cooperative Extension Service

Does not the very word ‘creative’ mean to build, to initiate, to give out, to act – rather than to be acted upon, to be subjective? Living photography is positive in its approach, it sings a song of life – not death.

— Berenice Abbott

Creativeness often consists of merely turning up what is already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little more than a century ago?

— Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When people really listen to each other in a quiet, fascinated attention, the creative fountain inside each of us begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected wisdom.

— Brenda Ueland

So you see, imagination needs noodling — long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.

— Brenda Veland

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

— Brené Brown

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

— Brené Brown

The authentic human has the might of compassion and the creative power to do any manner of good.

— Bryant McGill

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

— Buckminster Fuller

The creative mind plays with the object it loves.

— Carl Jung

Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth.

— Carl Jung

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.

— Carl Sagan

It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.

— Carl Sagan

I have an almost complete disregard of precedent and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things always have been done …. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything new that might improve the past.

— Clara Barton

When I open my eyes in the morning, I am not confronted by the world, but by a million possible worlds.

— Colin Wilson

No abundance of material goods can compensate for the death of individuality and personal creativity.

— Coretta Scott King
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