Even the most talented run out of creative juice every now and then. There are days when we are overflowing with ideas and beaming with imagination and energy, and then there are those days when we ask ourselves why we even bothered to get out of bed. For the latter, we need to consult an external source of inspiration in order to recharge our creative batteries. Gaining insight into what fellow artists and thinkers have experienced and learned throughout their lives can be a refreshing way to start getting motivated and generating new ideas.
This article’s purpose is to inspire its readers with 50 thought-provoking artist quotes by some of the biggest masterminds in history. What all of these great minds have in common is an intellectual and creative drive that propelled them to become famous and successful.
We hope that the following artist quotes will help you find the inspiration you need in order to accomplish all of your goals, projects, and dreams. So go ahead and find inspiration, create something amazing, and contribute to the beauty of this world in your own unique way!
“Art is anything you can get away with.” – Andy Warhol
Even after his death, Andy Warhol remains one of the most influential figures in contemporary art and culture. He was the most successful and highly paid commercial illustrator in New York.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
It’s not easy to stay focused on a goal, and often we drift away from it or trade it for something else. However, it’s important to remember that in order to achieve our dreams, we need to stop dreaming about them and start working on finding ways of turning them into a reality.
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was a French artist and the colorist of the 20th century. His expressive, decorative and monumental paintings revolutionized Modern Art.
“If we go for the easy way, we never change.” – Marina Abramović
Marina Abramović is a Yugoslav performance artist. Her art explores the relationship between performer and audience and the limits of the body.
“Art should be something that liberates your soul.” – Keith Haring
Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture. He took the New York City subway system by storm in the 1980s.
“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most intriguing artists of the 20th century. She is known internationally for her boldly innovative art that captures the emotion and power of objects.
“It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on, as long as something is said.” – Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock was an influential American painter. He was the leading force behind the abstract expressionist movement in the art world. His abstract splatter paintings suggest man’s entrapment in an anxious mind and body.
“Amateurs look for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close
Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close is an American painter, artist and photographer who became popular as a photorealist. He is known for his large-scale portraits of himself, his friends and his family.
“If I knew what the picture was going to be like, I wouldn’t make it.” – Cindy Sherman
Cynthia Morris “Cindy” Sherman is an American photographer and film director. She is best known for her conceptual portraits and socially critical photography.
“I paint flowers so they will not die.” – Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, who mostly painted self-portraits. Her work is inspired by Mexican popular culture with a naïve folk art style added to it.
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí is a Spanish artist and Surrealist movement leader best known for his painting of melting clocks. His paintings evoke his dreams and hallucinations.
“The most interesting thing about artists is how they live.” – Marcel Duchamp
Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp was a French-American painter, sculptor, chess player and writer. His work is associated with Cubism and conceptual art. He challenged the very notion of what is art.
“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. He became popular as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh
In order to achieve greatness, one must remember to think positive, filter out the negativity around them, and, no matter what, stay focused on the big picture. Everyone who’s ever become someone has had to train themselves to think this way. It’s not something that you’re born with; it’s something that you consistently choose to work on.
“Every artist dips her brush into her own soul, and paints her own truth into her pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker. He is known for his support of abolishng slavery.
“Art is to console those who are broken by life.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter. He is one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.
“Inhale possibility, exhale creativity.” – Laura Jaworski
Success is not the destination, but the journey. This attitude should be turned into a lifestyle of working hard and never giving up.
“Go out and paint the stars.” – Van Gogh
One of the Netherlands’ most famous artists, Van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt.
“Go to your studio and make stuff.” – Fred Babb
Fred Babb’s art is expressive, meaningful and above all, unique. He was born in Aitkin, a small town in rural Minnesota.
“There are no rules to creativity.” – Laura Jaworski
Laura Jaworski is a children’s book author, writer and lover of all things whimsical.
“Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.” – Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko was an American painter of Russian Jewish descent who painted soft, rectangular forms. He was the leader of New York Abstract Expressionism.
“You were born to make art.” – Anonymous
There’s an artist inside each one of us!
“Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.” – Anonymous
Do you agree?
“I aspire to inspire before I expire.”
Great play of words in this quote!
“I have been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I have never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe is a 20th-century American painter. She is the pioneer of American Modernism and is best known for her canvases depicting flowers.
“If you don’t do it someone else will.”
“Art is my life and my life is art.” – Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. She is also known for her work in performance art.
“I make art to show my soul that I am listening.” – Pat Wiederspan Jones
Pat Wiederspan Jones is best known for her watercolor landscapes, but she is also interested in handmade paper, handmade books, and more.
“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.” – Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron is an American teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer, and journalist.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystery.” – Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity.
“You are your only limit.” – Anonymous
“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” – St Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi is the founder of the Franciscan family, Patron Saint of ecology and inspiration to thousands.
“Art is an experience, not an object.” – Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell was an American painter, printmaker, and editor. His work featured simple shapes, bold color contrasts and dynamic balances.
As simple as that.
“Creative isn’t the way I think, it’s the way I like to live.” – Paul Sandip
Paul Sandip is a Product Design alumni of NID, a graduate of Electrical Engineering and a cartoonist. He is also an international award-winning designer.
“The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.” – Frank Barron
Frank X. Barron was an American psychologist and philosopher. He is considered the pioneer in the psychology of creativity.
“Who says that my dreams have to stay just my dreams?”
There is no must in art because art is free.” – Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is known for painting one of the first recognized purely abstract artworks.
“Do more than just exist.”
“I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel but I learned to love myself unconditionally because I am a queen.” – India Arie
India.Arie is an American singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer.
“It isn’t until the painter has no idea what he’s doing that he makes good paintings.” – Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas was a French artist famous for his paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings.
“I feel glorious, dynamic energy. I am active and alive.” – Louise Hay
Louise Lynn Hay was an American motivational author and the founder of Hay House.
“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson as an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, leader of the the transcendentalist movement.
“If there is no way, create one.”
“I was created to create.”
“No artist tolerates reality.” – Nietzsche
Nietzsche was a German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic who believed that the central task of philosophy was to teach us to ‘become who we are’.
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso is probably the most important artistic figures of 20th century.
“Art does not reproduce what you see. It makes us see.” – Paul Klee
Paul Klee was a German artist who taught at the Bauhaus. He had a unique style that was influenced by expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and orientalism.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. He was underappreciated until after his death.