10 Inspirational Creative Quotes Which Help Me Stay Inspired

Creative Quotes for Art & Design

I find that when you work in the creative industry it's hard to constantly keep yourself positive and inspired about your work. Every project for me is like an emotional rollercoaster. I get the initial brief or idea, I then get super excited and have about 20 ideas, 17 of them will be rubbish, 2 will be OK and then 1 will hopefully be great. (and I say hopefully)

I get really excited to start working on it. I jump straight in, ecstatic, I have to fight back my enthusiasm and excitement for the project. In my head, I always think that this is going to be the best piece of work which I will ever do.

Then, about 30 percent of the way in, as if out of nowhere, self-doubt kicks in. I start to question if this was even a good idea to begin with, I start thinking that its looks rubbish, so push myself to work even harder, I try and force my creativity like blood out of a stone and then suddenly smash into the large cold wall of self-doubt.

Every project goes the same way. Hitting this wall is just part of the creative process. It's easy to start but harder to solve and finish.

So, I have put together 10 quotes which help me break through this wall and work my way through finishing a project and I hope they inspire some other creatives like they inspire me.

Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it
— Salvador Dali

Thanks, Salvador always good to know. In today's world, there is a constant obsession with creating perfection and it is reinforced with continual streams of social media feeds from brands and bloggers creating this illusion of "perfection". Perfection does not exist, and this quote grounds me and actually makes me think about how there is much more beauty and humanity in imperfections which I love.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
— Joseph Chilton Pearce

This is something I hugely struggle with. I am constantly living in fear of self-doubt and that everything I do is wrong. I have no problem with having masses of ideas, I just find it difficult to know which one is right and I am always worried I have picked the wrong one. I resight this quote to myself every day because it's true, being part of being a good creative is really believing in your own ideas, however, hard that may be.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination
— Albert Einstein

I love this quote because it makes me feel brainy. I am not an academic person, I am hugely dyslexic and terrible at remembering general knowledge, however, I have a big imagination. Resighting this quote to myself makes me feel clever and if Albert Einstein says imaginative people are clever then I choose to believe it.

I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else
— Pablo Picasso

This quote gives me the license to allow ideas to develop. How often do we start with an idea, and then we are so enamoured and obsessed with it working that we don't allow it to go through the design process and develop into something else? This quote reminds me that ideas are meant to change and allowing your ideas to change is just part of the process and hopefully they will become stronger.  Don't stick to the first idea that you have. 

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt
— Sylvia Plath

Good old Sylvia Plath. Self-doubt kills absolutely everything. If I get 10 positive comments about my work and then one bad one, I will obsess about the one negative comment and it will eat at me all day. It's hard to shield yourself away from self-doubt, once it gets in your system it has a loud voice which is hard to quieten. I am still searching for a way to get over self-doubt, if anyone has any suggestions please email me Art@CarolineTowning.com

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

This is another feel good quote. Creativity is infectious, positive and exciting and if you can get into that lovely creative flow it is also addictive. This quote reminds me just how good it feel to be in the creative process and if I have hit a block it inspires me to want to get back there and keeping working my way through.

Creativity takes courage
— Henri Matisse

Creativity does take courage. It has taken me a long time to have built up the courage to even call myself an artist. To have the confidence to believe in what you do, and to put yourself out there is really brave. Every time you create something it is exposing a vulnerable part of you and subjecting yourself to criticism. Remember that it's better to keep trying and to be wrong than not try at all. Subjecting yourself to criticism and having the confidence to put yourself out there is one of the toughest learning curves that being a creative can learn.

How often do we hear that people give up their art because someone told them that they were not very good? This quote always gives me the confidence to carry on no what people say and try and believe in what I am doing.

It’s better to absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring
— Marilyn Monroe

I love this quote. I can't even recall the amount of times that I have been called ridiculous, but if I am being honest I don't think anyone has ever called me boring, well not to my face anyway...

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
— Dorothy Parker

Be wild, be free and have amazing ideas, but the real creativity is actually using your discipline and years of mastering a skill to overcome problems. When I hit a wall half way through a project I always think that this is where the real skill and discipline kicks in. This quote inspires me to put my head down and work harder until I get things right.

Do what you love and let it kill you
— Charles Bukowski

I am a huge Bukowski fan and the tortured artist inside of me loves this quote. Keep working on what you love to do, and just let it kill you. What's not to love about this?

Caroline