We've compiled a list of 100 of the most wonderful quotes about creativity we could uncover. And the purpose is simple and clear: to inspire you, enrich your career, enhance your life, and get the creativity flowing.
Creativity is a beautiful thing, but the actual process of producing something fresh and exciting is a difficult task. As employers and employees, we spend a lot of time thinking about creativity and the problems and challenges that the future of work will bring to our profession.
When your job requires you to be imaginative regularly, you're going to think about topics like these a lot. Thankfully, many of the inventors and bright minds we admire have been sharing their ideas on these matters for decades.
We've collected a list of insightful words from these legends that are enlightening and motivating. As we all know, quotes are a source of constant inspiration. Be it at your office desk or your at-home workstation, you can use these quotes to push yourself to work smarter.
Here are some of the most inspiring quotes about creativity, so without further ado, let's read these nuggets of wisdom.
1. Charles Mingus
Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
2. Leo Burnett
A company in which anyone is afraid to speak up, to differ, to be daring and original, is closing the coffin door on itself.
3. Nancy Andreasen
Creative people are better at recognizing relationships, making associations and connections, and seeing things in an original way—seeing things that others cannot see… Having too many ideas can be dangerous. Part of what comes with seeing connections no one else sees is that not all of these connections actually exist.
4. Steve Jobs
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. And the reason they were able to do that because they've had more experiences or have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
5. Edward de Bono
There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.
6. Edward de Bono
It is no longer inspiration or being creatively talented. Anyone can be creative – provided they learn and develop their skills.
7. Ray Bradbury
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.
8. Don Norman
It is not enough that we build products that function, that are understandable and usable, we also need to build products that bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and, yes, beauty to people’s lives.
9. George Bernard Shaw
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
11. Pablo Picasso
The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.
12. Scott Adams
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
13. Dr. Seuss
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.
14. Albert Einstein
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
15. Vincent van Gogh
If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
16. Richard Florida
Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steel-making.
17. Robert Frost
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office.
18. Linda Naiman
Creativity is the power to create something new, to reach deep into our subconscious for that “aha” solution. Sometimes it happens in a nanosecond, and sometimes that solution can take a lifetime to reveal itself.
19. Akio Morita
From a management standpoint, it is very important to know how to unleash people’s inborn creativity… anybody has creative ability, but very few people know how to use it…Only with creativity can the public receive the benefit of a new technology.
20. Maya Angelou
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
21. Miles Davis
I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning… Every day I find something creative to do with my life.
22. Brene Brown
There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.
23. Neil Gaiman
Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.
24. Bruce Garrabrandt
Creativity doesn't wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.
25. Mary Lou Cook
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
26. Arthur Ashe
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
27. Paulo Coelho
One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.
28. Napoleon Hill
If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.
29. Tom Wolfe
Put your good where it will do the most.
30. John Steinbeck
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon, you have a dozen.
31. John Maynard Keynes
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
32. Sylvia Plath
The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.
33. Scarlett Thomas
Routine kills creative thought.
34. Pablo Picasso
Everything you imagine is real.
35. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit. When knowledge is lit, the economy flourishes.
36. Howard Aiken
Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
37. Warren Bennis
The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is a pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.
38. Saul Steinberg
The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
39. Rita Mae Brown
Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.
40. Susan Cain
There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.
41. Coco Chanel
Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.
42. Steven Covey
To be successful we must live from our imaginations, not from our memories.
43. Benjamin Disraeli
We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.
44. Patrick Dixon.
The paradox of innovation is this: CEOs often complain about lack of innovation, while workers often say leaders are hostile to new ideas.
45. Peter Drucker
Business has only two basic functions — marketing and innovation.
46. Thomas Edison
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.
47. Henry Ford
The more you think, the more time you have.
48. Adam Grant
Creativity may be hard to nurture, but it’s easy to thwart.
49. Phil Guarascio
I sell ideas and visions. That kind of selling requires a different set of muscles from those that you need to sell products. The challenge is to help people see things that they may not be able to see for themselves. Now, I’m not a visionary from the blinding-flash-of-light school. Instead, I base my ideas on intuition, on facts, and on specific opportunities. The greatest resistance that I encounter from people whom I’m trying to sell to is grounded in discomfort — which really comes from a lack of understanding. So a great salesperson, in effect, knows how to sell understanding.
50. Anthony Jay
The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.
51. Thomas Jefferson
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.
52. Sir Ernest Hall
To be a successful entrepreneur one needs a vision of greatness for one’s work. If we dream extravagantly we will be inspired to forge a reality beyond the straightjacket of practicalities. There is a profound connection between art and enterprise which allows businesses to overcome the limitations of their existing visions.
53. Aldous Huxley
The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar… Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.
54. Henry Mintzberg
Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.
55. Alex Osborn
Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it at the bud.
56. David M. Ogilvy
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.
57. Tom Peters
Business isn’t some disembodied bloodless enterprise. Profit is fine — a sign that the customer honors the value of what we do. But “enterprise” ( a lovely word ) is about heart. About beauty. It’s about art. About people throwing themselves on the line. It’s about passion and the selfless pursuit of an ideal.
58. Ross Perot
Written reports stifle creativity.
59. William Pollard
Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.
60. Heather Simmons
To the disrupters go the spoils.
61. Arthur VanGundy
Ideas are not solutions; they are the raw material of solutions.
62. Jack Welch
Focus on a few key objectives…I only have three things to do. I have to choose the right people, allocate the right number of dollars, and transmit ideas from one division to another with the speed of light. So I’m really in the business of being the gatekeeper and the transmitter of ideas.
63. Margaret J. Wheatley
Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.
64. Alfred North Whitehead
Ideas won’t keep: something must be done about them.
65. Stefan Mumaw
Live in the leading—the spaces in between the rules.
66. Salvador Dali
Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.
67. Irene Au
Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.
68. Ray Kroc
Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.
69. Torrie T. Asai
Creativity is nothing but a mind set free.
70. Marshall McLuhan
Art is anything you can get away with.
71. Paula Scher
It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.
72. Christoph Niemann
Get rid of everything that is not essential to making a point.
73. Diana Santos
Creativity is nothing but the way to solve new problems.
74. Don Draper
Make it simple, but significant.
75. Robert Baden-Powell
Leave it better than you found it.
76. Vico Magistretti
Look at usual things with unusual eyes.
77. Drory Ben-Menachem
You don’t have to be ‘a creative’ to be creative.
78. Abraham Lincoln
The best way to predict the future is to create it
79. Nicholas Negroponte
Where do new ideas come from? The answer is simple: differences. Creativity comes from unlikely juxtapositions.
80. George Nelson
You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.
81. Massimo Vignelli
If you do it right, it will last forever.
82. Kenya Hara
Creativity is to discover a question that has never been asked. If one brings up an idiosyncratic question, the answer he gives will necessarily be unique as well.
83. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
84. Scott Shell
There is no such thing as a boring project. There are only boring executions.
85. John Maeda
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.
86. William Edmund Hick
The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of alternatives increases.
87. Daniel Pink
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic ‘right-brain’ thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.
88. M.C. Escher
Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.
89. Tim Brown
Above all, think of life as a prototype. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, and change our perspectives. We can look for opportunities to turn processes into projects that have tangible outcomes. We can learn how to take joy in the things we create whether they take the form of a fleeting experience or an heirloom that will last for generations. We can learn that reward comes in creation and re-creation, no just in the consumption of the world around us. Active participation in the process of creation is our right and our privilege. We can learn to measure the success of our ideas not by our bank accounts by their impact on the world.
Creativity is only as obscure as your reference.
91. Alexander Isley
Get in over your head as often and as joyfully as possible.
92. E. F. Schumacher
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.
Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.
94. Buckminster Fuller
A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist.
95. Malcolm Gladwell
Innovators have to be open. They have to be able to imagine things that others cannot and be willing to challenge their own preconceptions. They also need to be conscientious. An innovator who has brilliant ideas but lacks the discipline and persistence to carry them out is merely a dreamer … But crucially, innovators need to be disagreeable … They are people willing to take social risks—to do things that others might disapprove of.
96. B.J. Fogg
Put hot triggers in the path of motivated people.
97. Jessica Hische
The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.
98. Jonathan Irwin
As we decrease uncertainty, we give ourselves permission to increase fidelity.
99. Walt Disney
When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.
100. David Ogilvy
The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
Wrapping it up
Whether it’s for new products or services, more efficient production methods, or unique marketing and sales avenues, every firm needs creativity.
By offering creative solutions for your customers and prospects, builds the basis for active prosperity.
We hope you enjoyed these inspiring quotes about creativity. Feel free to share them with a colleague right away if you did!