10 Quotes About Creativity

Be inspired by global artists and photographers. Read thought provoking statements from Ai Weiwei, Kara Walker, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alexander Calder and more – reflecting on creativity in today’s world.


  1. “Art is the one place we all turn to for solace.” – Carrie Mae Weems.

2. “Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act.” – Ai Weiwei.

3. “Above all, art should be fun.” – Alexander Calder.

4. “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe.

5. “There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist – it’s not like becoming a doctor. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.” – Kara Walker.

6. “I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun.” – Yoko Ono.


7. “An artist is not special. An artist is an ordinary person who can take ordinary things and make them special.” – Ruth Asawa.

8. “There should be something revelatory about art. It should be totally creative and open doors for new thoughts and experiences.” – Tracey Emin.

9. “I saw art in life and life as art. I couldn’t separate one from another. So my gaze to the world and my questions were always related to life itself.” – Kimsooja.


10. “Art is our weapon. Culture is a form of resistance.” – Shirin Neshat.


Image Credits:
1. Alexander Calder, Five Swords, 1976. Sheet metal, bolts, and paint, 17’ 9″ x 22′ x 29′. Calder Foundation, New York © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
2. Untitled, 1990 (negative), 2011 (print), by Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953), 2011-194-2a–c © Carrie Mae Weems, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
3. Untitled (Man Reading Newspaper) © Carrie Mae Weems/Carrie Mae Weems.
4. Ai Weiwei, Fountain of Light, 2007, installation view in Ai Weiwei’s studio, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing / Lucerne
5. Alexander Calder, Five Swords, 1976. Sheet metal, bolts, and paint, 17’ 9″ x 22′ x 29′. Calder Foundation, New York © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
6. Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe–After Return from New Mexico, 1929 © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
7. Kara Walker, Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On), 2000, Installation view: Moving Pictures, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2002, Photo: Ellen Labenski © Kara Walker
8. Yoko Ono, ‘Parts Of A Light House’, 1966. Photo by Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Fauschou Foundation
9. Ruth Asawa in her home, San Francisco, 1954. Photo: Nat Farbman / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images. Artwork: © The Estate of Ruth Asawa / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy The Estate of Ruth Asawa and David Zwirner.
10. Ruth Asawa working on a wire sculpture at her Saturn Street home, San Francisco, 1957. Photo by Imogen Cunningham. © 2020 Imogen Cunningham Trust. Artwork © Estate of Ruth Asawa, Courtesy David Zwirner
11. Tracey Emin, Monument Valley (Grand Scale), 1995–7
12. To Breathe: Bottari, 2013, mixed media installation with The Weaving Factory, 2004–2013, the artist’s voice performance sound, 5.1 channel, 9:14, loop. Photo Jaeho Chong.
13. Shirin Neshat, Rebellious Silence, 1994. © Shirin Neshat. Photo by Cynthia Preston. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.
14. Shirin Neshat, Untitled, 1996. © Shirin Neshat. Photo by Larry Barns. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.