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.
For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
Invention hovers always a little above the rules.
Does it not appear to you versatility is the true and rare characteristic of that rare thing called genius — versatility and playfulness? In my mind they are both essential.
Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.
We need to build millions of little moments of caring on an individual level. Indeed, as talk of a politics of meaning becomes more widespread, many people will feel it easier to publicly acknowledge their own spiritual and ethical aspirations and will allow themselves to give more space to their highest vision in their personal interactions with others. A politics of meaning is as much about these millions of small acts as it is about any larger change. The two necessarily go hand in hand.
Instead of a bottom-line based on money and power, we need a new bottom-line that defines productivity and creativity as where corporations, governments, schools, public institutions, and social practices are judged as efficient, rational and productive not only to the extent they maximize money and power, but to the extent they maximize love and caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and our capacities to respond with awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation.
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.
A positive mind finds a way it can be done; a negative mind looks for all the ways it can’t be done.
There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Because it’s so easy to copy anything, a lot of people have convinced themselves that they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Well, the reason you get paid is because the people who sit all day long at their desks creating books and songs and software have mortgages. And if you’re only going to sell one copy of everything and then the world is going to make a gazillion pirated copies off of it, it’s going to be really hard to pay your mortgage.
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.
A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely . . . but by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at every attitude . . .
Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
Life is ‘trying things to see if they work.’
Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You cannot intellectualize creativity. You can think about something before or after — but not during.
Spirituality exists wherever we struggle with the issue of how our lives fit into the greater cosmic scheme of things. This is true even when our questions never give way to specific answers or give rise to specific practices such as prayer or meditation. We encounter spiritual issues every time we wonder where the universe comes from, why we are here, or what happens when we die. We also become spiritual when we become moved by values such as beauty, love, or creativity that seem to reveal a meaning or power beyond our visible world. An idea or practice is ‘spiritual’ when it reveals our personal desire to establish a felt-relationship with the deepest meanings or powers governing life.
We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.
Here I am showing you the ferocity of my hunger. Here I am, finally freeing myself to be vulnerable and terribly human. Here I am, reveling in that freedom. Here. See what I hunger for and what my truth has allowed me to create.
Imagination belongs to hope. It’s the creative dance of possibility.
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.
A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.
I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.
I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I am, which is my life, the power to create.
Over the years I have developed a picture of what a human being living humanely is like. She is a person who understand, values and develops her body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate to what is new and different, keeping that part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not.
It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.