It’s very possible that your life in art — your successful life in art — might be a struggle from start to finish.

Sally Warner

If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.

Charlie Parker

Sure I have self-doubts. I just spent three days trying to paint a two-inch rock and thought maybe I’d be better off wrapping produce in a supermarket.

Maria Mijares

Artists don’t talk about art. Artists talk about work. If I have anything to say to young writers, it’s stop thinking of writing as art. Think of it as work.

Paddy Chayefsky

There is no such thing as Art. There are only artists.

E. H. Gombrich

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas Edison

If you wish to be a writer, write.


In this country we encourage “creativity” among the mediocre, but real bursting creativity appalls us. We put it down as undisciplined, as somehow “too much.”

Pauline Kael

Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.

Salvador Dali

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical composition.

A. Whitney Griswold

No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.

Antonin Artaud

I have asked a lot of my emotions — 120 stories. The price was high . . . because there was one little drop of something, not blood, not a tear, not my seed, but me more intimately than these, in every story; it was the extra I had. Now it is gone.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Do not think of your faults, still less of others’ faults; look for what is good and strong, and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off, like dead leaves, when their time comes.

John Ruskin

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

Anna Freud

The great thing and the hard thing is to stick to things when you have outlived the first interest, and not yet got the second, which comes with a sort of mastery.

Janet Erskine Stuart

The question becomes: what is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What is the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood? These are the things that concern my work today.

Leonard Cohen

I think of that friend too much moved by music who turned to games and made a game of boredom, of that one too much moved by faces who turned his face to the wall, and of that marvelous liar who turned at last to truth.

Henri Coulete

What never vary are the necessities of being in the world, of having to labor and to die there.

Jean-Paul Sartre

I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that, too, is a deed.

Etty Hillesum