Find Inspiration With These Quotes About the Creative Process

Being creative is unique to each writer or artist, but these quotes about the creative process show what inspires some of the greatest creative minds.

Writing is a highly creative process, and writers often find themselves struggling to create their art because of a block in creativity. While the creative process is unique to each creator, the process itself can have some similarities from one project to the next.

Many geniuses and creative masterminds over the years have coined some impressive quotes about the creative process and their creative work. Consider these quotes and apply them to your own creativity.

Pablo Picasso

Quotes about the creative process

Pablo Picasso was one of the most creative people in history. The artist learned early in his creative life to think outside the box and create art that inspired and made people think. Some of his most famous creativity quotes are:

Pablo Picasso was one of the most creative people in history
AnonymousUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.

Pablo Picasso

Many creative people would argue that little in art is truly unique. This is one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous creativity quotes because it forces people to think. Can an artist truly create something new and inspiring, or is all art simply a transformation of something already created?

Everything you can imagine is real.

Pablo Picasso

For an artist known for surrealism, this quote is fitting. Picasso used his imagination to re-imagine every item he painted. He made the imaginary reality through his art.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Nearly every child has a stage where he or she loves to create. Research has shown that growing into adults changes that because the creative side of the brain gets less useful as we age. Here, Picasso is saying that the challenge isn’t to teach kids to make art but to teach them to continue making art as they grow.

The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.

Pablo Picasso

This, perhaps, is one of the most famous Picasso quotes. He understood that too much logical thinking could squelch creativity.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein isn’t known for his great works of art, but rather for his contributions to science. Yet, his work required creativity to find the discoveries that furthered his fame. Some of his most famous creativity quotes include these:

Albert Einstein's work required creativity to find the discoveries that furthered his fame
Ferdinand Schmutzer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

Based on this line of thinking, the rational thinking that causes problem creativity must solve. Solving problems requires changing established ways of thinking, and that is the very definition of being creative.

I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein had a very clear ability to think in abstract ways. By his own admission, some of that thinking involved no words at all.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Albert Einstein

Creativity falls short without imagination. In this quote, Einstein shows the importance of the imagination, indicating that it trumps even knowledge in importance.

You might also be interested in these great literature quotes.

Maya Angelou

As a poet, Maya Angelou has proven she knows something about creativity. Some of her most inspiring quotes include:

Maya Angelou has proven she knows something about creativity
kyle tsui from Washington, DC, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

The poet clearly valued creativity as an endless resource. She encouraged those around her to continue using it to develop more in their lives.

If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

Maya Angelou

Angelou understood that true creatives are always going to be a little different. She embraced her differences as she furthered her creativity.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert have made history with her writing, and she has a lot to say about creativity, including these gems:

Author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert has made history with her writing
Erik Charlton from Menlo Park, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You don’t need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.

Elizabeth Gilbert

This quote gives everyone, no matter their stage in life, permission to flex their creativity.

Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it’s a gift. It’s the frosting. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe.

Elizabeth Gilbert

With this quote, Gilbert showcased the benefits and wonder of creativity.

And since creativity is still the most effective way for me to access wonder, I choose it.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Here, Gilbert shows that being creative is often a choice. She actively chooses creativity so she can embrace wonder.

Steve Jobs

Creativity and innovation go hand-in-hand, and Steve Jobs is the king of innovation. His creativity quotes will squash self-doubt and encourage you to embrace the creative life, one project at a time.

Creativity and innovation go hand-in-hand, and Steve Jobs is the king of innovation
Matthew Yohe, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Steve Jobs

Here, Steve Jobs indicates that failure and mistakes are part of the creative process. They should never give you an excuse to quit.

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.

Steve Jobs

With this quote, Steve Jobs shows that anyone can have creativity if they can learn to see these connections.

Additional Quotes by Creative People

Quotes about creative process
Quotes about the creative process show what inspires creative minds

Choosing a list of creative people is challenging as so many creatives have contributed to this world and its art and science. Here are some more inspiring quotes about creativity that are worth noting:

Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.

Julia Cameron

Here, Julia Cameron focuses on the fact that the creative process and the progress made is what is needed of creative people.

We have art so that we may not perish by the truth.

Friedrich Nietzsche

With this quote, Friedrich Nietzsche showed the importance of art. Truth can be too harsh a reality for a human being without the presence of art to temper it.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

Henri Matisse

According to this quote from Henri Matisse, beauty, which inspires creative people, is always around. We simply need to have the desire to see it.

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

This definition of creativity from Mary Lou Cook shows the various aspects of it. It’s not just the creative process, but it’s everything involved in getting to the final product.

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

Like most of the great masters, Vincent Van Gogh had a unique perspective on the subject of art. Here, he talks about how to silence the hateful voices inside that make people think they cannot paint. Simply by doing the work, you can create art and silence that naysayer of self-doubt inside.

If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started ‘being creative,’ well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are.

Austin Kleon

Here, Austin Kleon expounds on the fact that creativity is not about having arrived at a perfect understanding of self and then using that to create great art. It’s about figuring out who you are through art.

Final Word on Quotes About the Creative Process

As you keep working on your next work of art, whether it is a painting or a written work, keep these inspirational quotes in mind. These people knew how to create great art and what it took to make that art inspire others.

Embrace these motivational quotes as part of the creative act, and you will squash your self-doubt and begin to create and inspire yourself.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.