48 Quotes To Inspire Creativity And Play

In creating, the only hard thing is to begin: a grass blade’s no easier to make than an oak.   James Russell Lowell

To be yourself in a world that is doing its best, day and night to make you like everybody else—is to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.  e.e.cummings    


True creativity often starts where language ends.  Arthur Koestler

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.  George Bernard Shaw

When you to listen to your intuition, you will begin receiving’ intuitive flashes’ and ‘hunches’ that contain unexpected gems you never would have thought of on your own.  Angela Artemis

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star. Nietzsche

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.  Jean Piaget

To be successful we must live from our imaginations, not from our memories.  Steven Covey

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  Martha Graham

In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.  Rollo May

God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.  Pablo Picasso

Find inspiration by noticing the infinite beauty in the everyday things all around you.  The petals of a flower.  The eyelashes of a baby.  The rainbow of colors in a sunrise and sunset.  The breathing of your four-legged friends.  The infinite flavors of each bite of food.  Beauty and inspiration are everywhere.  Paige Burkes

If NATURE has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea… No one possesses the less, because every other possess the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.  Thomas Jefferson

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. Howard Aiken

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.  Henry David Thoreau

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.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.  Linda Naiman

What it is to give light must endure burning. Viktor Frankl   

The artist lives in an atmosphere of perpetual failure. Harry Crews   

The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.  Abraham Maslow

f you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Vincent van Gogh

Creation happens to us, burns into us, changes us, we tremble and swoon, we submit. Creation – we participate in it, we encounter the creator, offer ourselves to him, helpers and companions.  Martin Buber

I have lived on a razors edge. So what if you fall off. I’d rather be doing something I wanted to do. I’d walk it again. Georgia O’Keefe

What makes for great art is the courage to speak and write and paint what you know and care about.  Audrey Flack

No one travels so high as he who knows not where he is going. Oliver Cromwell

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all. Edward de Bono

When you unleash your creativity, a whole new world opens at your feet. The sun becomes brighter and the birds sing louder. Like a child running free at recess, you laugh, run, and explore, thrilled to be alive.  Tess Marshall

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Albert Einstein

In the creative state a man is taken out of himself.  E.M. Forster

No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you’re keeping the man-child alive.  John Cassavetes

Do not sell yourself short. Do not sell the world short. This is your life—love it, live it. One life, one chance—grab it. Arvind Devalia

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Carl Jung

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything. George Lois

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.  Joseph Chilton Pearce

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.  Norman Podhoretz

When you dance your dance, when you fully immerse yourself in the energy of the moment and let your passion course through you, you inspire others – not to learn your dance moves or to follow you, but to dance their own dance. THAT’S how you truly inspire others.  Melody Fletcher

Creative work is play. It is free speculation using materials of one’s chosen form.  Stephen Nachmanovitch

Creativity is the place where only you can go. Your discovery there will be wonderful for you will have discovered yourself.  Catherine Hall Tauginbaugh

Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know.  Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.  George Kneller

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.  Albert Von Szent-Gyorgy

Being intimately involved in the process of creation, it turns out, does not preclude wonder. In fact, it only increases it. Caroline McGraw

Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future.”   James Bertrand

When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.  Keith Haring

The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.  Pablo Casals

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.  Rumi

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.  Frank Capra

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. Edwin Land

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. Sylvia Plath

A great book provides escapism for me. The artistry and the creativity in a story are better than any drugs. Wentworth Miller

Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling. Madeline L’Engle

Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music.
Herbie  Hancock

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  1. Fran,

    A great list of quotes! My favorite: “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

    May I use this one on The BridgeMaker?

    Thanks for pulling these together,


    • Alex…
      Of course you can. It’s in the public domain…even if it wasn’t, I’d give you a big thumbs up! 🙂 Fran

  2. Love this and never heard it before. Love it!

    God is really another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things. Pablo Picasso

    No wonder I’m tired!
    What it is to give light must endure burning. Viktor Frankl

    My favorite artist:
    I have lived on a razors edge. So what if you fall off. I’d rather be doing something I wanted to do. I’d walk it again. Georgia O’Keefe

    I’m going to do what Paige suggests today. How did these young kids get so wise??

    • Tess,
      I’m smiling as I read your post. You are a flash of light. I’d love to know what you were like as a kid.
      When I think about how incredibly talented each of these people are and how they are able to express their thoughts, each in a unique voice, it is awesome.

      I often keep a quote on my desk so when I’m working, I take a deep breath, let my eyes fall on the quote, exhale….and feel refreshed and inspired. Fran

      • Fran,
        As a kid are you kidding me? I was undiagnosed ADHD. Which was unheard of in the 60s! I was number 6 in a family of 10 kids so I was always fighting to get my share. I was the scape goat so I was always opening my mouth when it shouldn’t have been. Not a pretty scene.

        Now the other side of me, I was compassionate, fun, funny, gutsy and daring…mixed with the above it meant trouble! LOL

        Serious about the ADHD I take meds for it and will until the day I die. They are that helpful. Just wrote this because you asked!

        • Tess…

          All of the wonderful character traits you listed, I already know about you. Thanks for sharing! Fran

  3. Fran,
    I just sent your link to my 82 year olf wonderful water color artist friend! It will make her day;)

    • Tess…
      I’m so happy to hear that. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to share all of this good stuff? When I come across a quote that moves me…and then I read who the author is, I am often surprised….and I smile:))

  4. Wonderful quotes including some by my favorite bloggers! I’m working on a post for creativity today so you’ve inspired me!

    • Betsy…
      How wonderful. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say….it’s always good stuff. Fran

  5. With all this wonderful inspiration, we have no excuses for not releasing our unique expressions of creativity. Thanks for the mention! I LOVE this list!

    • Paige…
      Some of the quotes are works of art. I get lost in combing through then. Each one has such meaning…and inspiration. I love your term ‘releasing unique expressions of creativity’….

  6. Hi Fran,

    Wonderful list of quotes, and thanks for including me. I’m honored! This is an inspiring list that will urge us to get out and create!

    • Cathy..
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m going to write down a quote everyday to keep on my desk. I know it will help me set my intention for the day…and inspire!! Fran

  7. Fran,
    This is wonderful. I love all the quotes.
    I think this is my favorite one though:
    What it is to give light must endure burning. Viktor Frankl

    We are so blessed to be able to express our creativity.
    Thank you for this uplifting post and for including my contribution!

    • Angela,

      I understand why you chose the Viktor Frankl quote. Talk about a resilient personality. I have always been in awe of him. Fran

  8. Wow. That is a list of amazing. I feel as though these new people I have connected with, some of who are on this list are truly part of my sense of happiness right now.

    When I fill my mind with these things there is no room for the negative to take up residence or even a rented small room in my mind!


    • JT…

      What a wonderful way of phrasing your thoughts …’some of who are on this list are truly past of my sense of happiness now’…your whoosh of positive energy has made my day JT….:)

  9. Fran: Love this pote. I am a quote “junkie” 🙂 and these are all great ones. Thanks for sharing them.

    • With pleasure Sybil!

  10. Fran, what a grand collection!

    You have given me lots of material for future tweets:)

    Thank you

    • Arvind…

      Thanks. Am glad to oblige 🙂

  11. Hi Fran,

    I absolutely love this:

    “There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.” Martha Graham

    That is beautiful and just what I needed today. Hope you’re having a great day!

    • Hi Bryan,

      Am glad you found a favorite quote. Whenever there is a list, I pick out two or three, write them down and then place one near computer on a given day to keep me mindful of what’s important.) Fran


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