25 Inspiring Quotes for Creative People


I find one of the most effective solutions to feeling unmotivated or disinterested in what I’m doing is to read a couple of quotes from others who have been and done it.

As most of the Red Lemon Club readership are people in the creative industries (though of course every single one of these could be used by anyone), I’ve picked out a handful of strong quotes that always make me feel more creative and undoubtedly better having read them.

Here are 25 quotes from different brains that should set you up for positive thoughts:


I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.

Francis Ford Coppola

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Ayn Rand

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

Steve Jobs

I think an artist’s responsibility is more complex than people realize.

Jodie Foster

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

Og Mandino

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Albert Einstein

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

Edwin Land

Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.

Dee Hock

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

Oscar Wilde

Even a true artist does not always produce art.

Carroll O’Connor

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

Gail Sheehy

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.

Charles Horton Cooley

The weeds keep multiplying in our garden, which is our mind ruled by fear. Rip them out and call them by name.

Sylvia Browne

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.

James Whistler

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

Sun Tzu

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

Dr. Seuss

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

Carl Sagan

The imagination is man’s power over nature.

Wallace Stevens

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Jim Rohn

If you’ve got a talent, protect it.

Jim Carrey

Live out of your imagination, not your history.

Stephen Covey

It’s always too early to quit.

Norman Vincent Peale

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.

Peter Marshall

What favourite quote do you have? Get it in the comments area!

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  • http://www.saatchionline.com/artfulle Carmen Fulle

    the best Steve Jobs and Francis Ford Coppola

  • http://artofanomad.blogspot.com Sue Pownall

    Carroll O’Connor is apt for me at the moment but I like the Whistler quote the best.

    A fav inspiration quotes, which show my nomadic side:

    I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do…Explore, Dream, Discover. – Mark Twain

  • Alex Mathers

    Love these two, Sue – thanks for sharing them. Feeling definitely inspired by the Twain one, he was a man full of great words!


  • http://www.distillingwords.com Chris Lovie-Tyler

    Thanks, Alex. These are good quotes.

    I felt especially encouraged by the first one, by Francis Ford Coppola.

  • http://www.daylp.com Day

    To add a few that i love & remember ….

    If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
    – Vincent Van Gogh

    If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign that you’re not doing anything very innovative.
    – Woody Allen

    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
    – Pablo Picasso

  • Alex Mathers

    Thanks Day! These are v inspiring :-)

  • http://www.christinewhone.com Christine

    Nothing is impossible. The world itself says “I’m Possible”! Audrey Hepburn.

  • http://jeannemoran.blogspot.com Jeanne Moran

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…” – Marianne Williamson

  • Jill Kesti

    “This too shall pass.”

  • http://@shawnanctil Shawn Anctil

    Good list. I made a board of it on pinterest (crediting this article):


    I’ve always been a fan of:

    “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
    – Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

  • Alex Mathers

    That’s wonderful Shawn! thank you for sharing :)

  • http://www.sueleecreative.com Sue

    Interesting. Absolutely no clue what Steve Jobs is on about, though.

  • http://www.philipdennisart.com Philip Dennis

    These are great and getting me inspired to get on with things this morning! My favourite one is Sylvia Browne’s for it’s poetry, but Jin Rohn’s made me chuckle.

  • http://creativechump.wordpress.com Creative Chump

    Another by Steve Jobs:

    Stay hungry, stay foolish.

    Inspired by Sun Tzu, Oscar WIlder and Ayn Rand. (:

  • Alex Mathers

    Awesome quote :) thanks Creative Chump!

  • http://Creativechump.wordpress.com Creative Chump

    Cheers Alex, anytime.

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  • http://www.jt76.wordpress.com Doc Wends of Journeys and Travels

    These quotes are indeed inspiring and awesomely collected.


  • Alex Mathers


  • http://www.lorraineberkshire-roe.co.uk Lorraine Berkshire-Roe

    This is paraphrased, but I really liked what Grayson Perry said on a radio 4 programme some time ago: coolness is a very uncreative force in society and is generally driven by consumerism.

  • Alex Mathers

    Nice thought, Lorraine – I think it depends whether you are deriving a sense of what’s ‘cool’ from external, consumer-driven forces, or, much more powerfully, from inside yourself.

  • http://www.lindamontgomery.ca Linda

    Great quotes Alex, thanks for the post!
    Here are a few by William James (1842-1910)

    “Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.”

    “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”

  • Alex Mathers

    Love them Linda! Thank you

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  • Alex Mathers

    Thank you Kaili! Happy Reading!

  • http://www.damsidemill.com Nel

    the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love
    colour the most (John Ruskin)

  • Alex Mathers

    Like it Nel :)

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  • http://twitter.com/RmjNDB Ronald Martin

    good luck Alex

  • http://twitter.com/JessicaSpecht Jessica Specht

    Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
    -Carl Sagan

  • http://twitter.com/ZhipZhape Richard Smartt

    Thanks for these Alex, one of my favs: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro” – Thomson

  • Ana Marcela Herrera

    Love them!

  • Análaigh

    Loving these quotes!

  • Tina Swindell

    Love these! Here’s another: Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. Napoleon Hill

  • Alex Mathers

    Very nice!

  • Yaga Baba

    And guess what they have planned for you? Not much

  • Yaga Baba

    “Original minds are not distinguished by being the first to see a new thing, but instead by seeing the old,
    familiar thing that is over-looked as something new.”Nietzsche
    My favourite :)

  • http://agtlucas.com/ AgtLucas

    “Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?” – Sun Tzu

  • http://www.octopus-creative.co.uk/ Octopus Creative Design

    Bad artists copy, good artists steal.
    Pablo Picasso

  • http://asmith3.com/ Avery Smith

    Great quotes! I needed to hear the one from Dee Hock today, especially. Thanks for the post.
    And is the quote from Og Mandino supposed to be “…water you plant now…?”

  • Carina Servante

    Very much uplifting quotes as these are my favorite. At
    least, it gives a little comfort and hope. These are also very helpful when you
    like to send to your loved ones and friends who are under unpleasant
    circumstances. Thanks for sharing, I would love to add some of these to my
    personal favorite.

    God bless always! !



    Attitude Quotes

  • Kimberly Bongon Ante

    I was looking for articles on how creative people are different and stumbled upon this awesome post :D Love it! Thanks for sharing this. I also love your aim/vision with the Red Lemon Club! I am glad to know there are people like you :) I am an aspiring writer and I blog as a starter. This post inspired me a lot :) Blessings!

  • Alex Mathers

    Great to hear that Kimberly! Thank you