Creativity Quotes

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Human creativity is what drives us forward as a species. It is this unique ability to harness our thoughts and ideas that has been responsible for some of the world’s greatest inventions, from the wheel to the microprocessor.

Despite our incredible capacity for creativity and imagination, many of us actually understand very little about the creative process.

Where do we get our great ideas, and how do we transform a figment of our imagination into an innovative product that might change the world?

While we may not fully understand the nature of creativity and the creative process, research shows that being more creative and fuelling your imagination can make you healthier and happier.

To that end, we’ve collected together the best quotes about creativity, imagination, and innovation in one place. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, or just watch to indulge your creative side, we’ve got the perfect quote for you.

Creativity Quotes

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.

Albert Einstein

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono
“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.” – Dorthy Parker

All creative people want to do the unexpected.

Hedy Lamar

Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas

Donatella Versace

Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.

Jonathan Schattke

Some people use things; they destroy. You’re a creator, a builder.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
“Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” – Earl Nightingale

To be creative means to be in love with life.

Osho

There’s no one way to be creative. Any old way will work.

Ray Bradbury

Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity.

Yoko Ono

Energy is the key to creativity. Energy is the key to life.

William Shatner

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath
“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.” – Osho

Creativity doesn’t need to be a Herculean event. But it does need consistent fostering.

Carla Johnson

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.

Edward de Bono

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Arthur Koestler
“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Bill Moyers

Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.

Karl Lagerfeld

Creativity is just connecting things.

Steve Jobs

Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer.

Marilyn Monroe

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thinking is the enemy of creativity.

Ray Bradbury
“Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.” – Bryant H. McGill

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

Eric Hoffer

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.

Leo Burnett

Creativity is the soul of the true scholar.

Nnamdi Azikiwe

Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

Edwin Land

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

Gail Sheehy
“Creativity is obscured by the conscious mind.” – Naval Ravikant

Creative thinking – in terms of idea creativity – is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.

Edward de Bono

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.

Rita Mae Brown

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.

George Lois

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

Maya Angelou

A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations.

Gerald G. Jampolsky
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” – Pablo Picasso

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.

John Maynard Keynes

Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.

Michele Shea

Every day is an opportunity to be creative – the canvas is your mind, the brushes and colors are your thoughts and feelings, the panorama is your story, the complete picture is a work of art called, ‘my life’. Be careful what you put on the canvas of your mind today – it matters.

Innerspace
“Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.” – Mason Cooley

Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.

Albert Einstein

When anybody pays you to be creative, you’re very lucky.

Donald Glover

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.

Neil Gaiman

Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.

Erich Fromm
“Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out.” – David Duchovny

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

Ayn Rand

Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things . . . Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.

Osho

When I am completely myself, entirely alone during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.

Jean Piaget

The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.

Joan Miró

Creativity is based on the belief that there’s no particular virtue in doing things they way they’ve always been done.

Rudolph Flesch

Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process; it’s not random.

Ken Robinson
“Without freedom, there is no creation.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ideas and Creative Thinking Quotes

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

John F. Kennedy

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Edward de Bono

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.

Peter F. Drucker
“Find something only you can say.” – James Dickey

Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.

Robert M. Hayes

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

Edward de Bono

It seems to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.

George Kneller

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.

Voltaire

An idea is like a virus. Resilient.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception
“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

It seems to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.

George Kneller

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Arthur Koestler

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Oscar Wilde

Invention strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory; nothing can come from nothing.

Sir Joshua Reynolds
“Create with the heart; build with the mind.” – Criss Jami

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.

Charles Brower

The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.

Benjamin Franklin

The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

Carl Jung
“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” – Oscar Wilde

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.

Charles Mingus

The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.

Abe Tannenbaum

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.

Nikos Kazantzakis
“Reason is a harmonizing, controlling force rather than a creative one.” – Bertrand Russell

Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.

Dr. Seuss

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.

Paulo Coelho

The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened.

Bruce Lee

Creative thinking is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.

Edward de Bono
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

Quotes about Creative Genius

Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.

William James

Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing. Their driving focus is the life force that surges in them now.

Alan Cohen
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.

Thomas Troward

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

Benjamin Franklin

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Bertrand Russell

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.

Anthony Jay
“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” – Albert Einstein

One of my early mentors, poet David Wagoner, who divides the creative process into three phases – madman, poet and critic – once told me that you need to find your own magic to stay in the world of creative play.

Sonia Gernes

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.

Sir Richard Branson

Creative people are often found either disagreeable or intimidating by mediocrities.

Criss Jami
“Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.” – Dee Hock

Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is curious and playful, changing with the tides of time.

Debbie Ford

The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.

Edith Södergran

The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things-ancient history, nineteenth century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later, or six months, or six years. But he has faith that it will happen.

Carl Ally
“All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

A harmless hilarity and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.

Charles Caleb Colton

Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.

Virginia Wolfe

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

Arthur Koestler

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.

Jean Dubuffet
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gaugin

Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.

Neil Degrasse Tyson

I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is the mystery of the creative act that something other than our conscious self takes over.

Arthur Erickson

Innovation Quotes

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.

Alan Alda

When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.

Linda Naiman

Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.

Bruce Garrabrandt
“Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.” – Steve Jobs

An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely and lively.

Julia Cameron

Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.

Robert M. Hayes

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

Marta Graham
“Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

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

Mary Lou Cook

Creative works may indeed be kind of like property, but it’s property that we’re all building on.

Kirby Ferguson

An artist or a creative person of any kind goes about their work because it’s their path, it’s what excites them, it’s what aligns their soul with who they truly are, who they showed up to be.

Wayne W. Dyer

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.

David Ogilvy
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it” – Nikos Kazantzakis

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Edward de Bono

Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing.

Alan Cohen

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.

Mary Shelly

To live is to express, and to express you have to create. Creation is never merely repetition. To live is to express oneself freely in creation.

Bruce Lee
“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.” – Julia Cameron

When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.

George Washington Carver

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

John Cleese
“Replace fear with curiosity.” – Stephen Spielberg

Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.

Frank Goble

Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.

Benjamin Franklin
“In order to be creative you have to be allowed to fail” – Julie Walters

Creativity is people who care enough to keep thinking about something until they find the simplest way to do it.

Tim Cook

In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.

Austin Kleon

People have a God-given right to use their creativity to produce things that improve our lives.

Paul Ryan

Creativity through Art

Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams
“I think the idea of art kills creativity.” – Douglas Adams

It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning.

Salvador Dali

Outrageous behavior, also known as the lunatic fringe, is the seed bed of innovation and creativity.

Joel Salatin

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.

George Bernard Shaw
“When the uncreative tell the creative what to do, it stops being art.” – Tony Bennett

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

Brené Brown

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.

Julia Cameron

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

Albert Einstein
“Art, freedom, and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk

Art and creativity go hand in hand so check out more great quotes about art if you want more words from your favorite artists.

Funny Creativity Quotes

You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.

Jack London

It’s no accident that AHA and HAHA are spelled almost the same way.

Mitch Ditkoff
“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.” – Abraham Maslow

The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.

Ernest Becker

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.

Austin Cleon

Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such.

Steve Wozniak
“The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones.” – Unknown

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

Thomas Edison

The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.

G.K. Chesterton, The Blue Cross: A Father Brown Mystery

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Beatrix Potter
“Written reports stifle creativity.” – H. Ross Perot

We hope you’re feeling inspired by these creativity quotes and thoughts on imagination and innovation! Whatever you enjoy doing, and whether you think your ideas could change the world or not, have the courage to pursue them.

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has invested in online properties since 2009. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie and his dog Oban. When not working on KIM, he enjoys traveling, poker, and anything related to crypto.