Kiki and the Artist - Creativity Quotes -

Nine Creativity Quotes Worth Remembering

Who doesn’t like a good quote? Something to start the day off, keep you motivated and/or inspired or simply to smile for a second during your lunch break. Here’s a selection of some of DIA’s favourites, although without Instagram filter type of backgrounds and not in Helvetica.


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

At the end of the day, we all want to make the outcome of our process as good as possible, but striving for perfection can actually hold you back more than not. Most of successful creatives are not afraid of making mistakes, whether it is in art, business or engineering. I have recently watched a documentary by BBC on all Apollo missions and how most of the first designs failed miserably, costing large amount of dosh and more importantly, lives. Despite that, NASA kept going and thanks to that we can all enjoy the beautiful photographed called Earthrise. Focus on the process more than on the outcome and embrace imperfection as a part of it.


It’s impossible to explain creativity. It’s like asking a bird, “How do you fly?”. You just do. – Eric Jerome Dickey

Here’s a little scene from Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. The below dialogue happens while the Artist girl is painting Kiki’s portrait, shortly after the witch lost her ability to fly.

Kiki and the Artist - Creativity Quotes -

Kiki: Painting and magical powers seem to be very similar.

Artist: Sometimes I can’t paint a thing.

K: You mean it? Then what happens?

A: Kiki, don’t look over here.

K: Without even thinking about it I used to be able to fly. Now I can’t even begin to remember how I ever managed to do it.

A: At times like that, you know what I do? Paint. That gets rid of my frustrations.

K: But still, if I can’t fly…

A: Then I just stop. Take long walks, look at the scenery, doze off at noon. Don’t do a single thing. Then, suddenly, I’m able to paint again.

K: Maybe that’ll help.

A: Trust me. It’ll happen.

Come on, don’t ruin the pose.

When I was your age, I’d already decided to become an artist. I loved painting so much that I couldn’t sleep. Then, one day, for no reason, I became unable to paint. So I just kept on painting anyway, but still it was no good. I realized that I was just imitating other painters. Just copies of paintings I’d seen somewhere. I swore I’d paint my own pictures.

K: That must’ve been hard.

A: But after that… it’s not much easier now. I think I found what painting means, at least for me. To fly, you don’t chant a spell or something, right?

K: Mm. We fly with our spirit.

A: The witches spirit? Perfect! That’s what I’m talking about. The spirit of witches. The spirit of artists. The spirit of bakers! I suppose it must be a power given by God. Sometimes you suffer for it.

K: I guess I never gave witchcraft much thought. That talk about discipline and training was so old-fashioned…


Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. – Charles Mingus

Simplicity is also a powerful spur to creativity. Simplifying counters the endless psychic demands placed on us, demands that take us away from the free and open consciousness that is needed for any creative activity, as Tim, publisher of Leicaphilia writes here. Or as Marcin recently put it, simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.


When I studied graphic design, I learned a valuable lesson: There’s no perfect answer to the puzzle, and creativity is a renewable resource. – Biz Stone

In A Beautiful Anarchy, David Duchemin compares this to biblical Manna. The food provided by God to Hebrew could be cherished during the day but in no way it could be stored overnight for the following day. They had to trust that it will be there tomorrow and in no way they could accumulate it. It is very same with creativity, it has to be put to use while it’s there, here and now, with faith that the source will be replenished tomorrow. If you will let the idea “brew” for a while you will find that with time it will seem like a silly one, not worthy of the pursuit.


I have devoted my life to uncertainty. Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity. – Shekhar Kapur

Not getting attached to the outcome and letting your process lead you where it may can be extremely stimulating and by doing that you are opening yourself to all the possibilities that may arise along the way. This is not to say that you should not have goals, but as you probably know, plans like to change along the way and by embracing uncertainty you will keep your mind open and adapt better to risen challenges.


Someday is not a day of the week. – Janet Daily

Nihil fit ex nihilo is a Latin term which can be translated to Nothing comes from nothing or Out of nothing, nothing comes. You simply have to show up for work, whatever that work may be. Put deadlines on your projects or book that dream trip you have been thinking about for the past three years. Call the day, mark in your calendar with a red, thick marker pen and make sure you stick to it. “Someday” never comes.


Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it. – Dee Hock

As we go through our daily routines, there is a lot going on in our minds. Shopping, meals, official errands etc. and as you may know, once you will fill a jar with jam, you will not be able to fit waffers in it. Here’s three ways how to create space for new ideas.


Buy the ticket, take the ride. – Hunter S. Thompson

Take the plunge. Scream at the top of your lungs. Enjoy it.


You see a child play, and it is so close to seeing an artist paint, for in play child says things without uttering a word. You can see how he solves his problems. You can also see what’s wrong. Young children, especially, have enormous creativity, and whatever’s in them rises to the surface in free play. – Erik Erikson


As parents, we put a lot of effort to teach our children “stuff” when, in fact, we can learn from them much, much more. Just by observing how they go about solving their problems we can find that solutions do not always have to be logical. I have wrote an article some time ago on what has my own one year old taught me about photography.



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  • cinevit

    Thanks for the quotes! Yes, Kiki is one of my favorite Ghibli’s films. Partly because of the characters and partly because of the story, art, flying… magic.
    When it comes to kids. Sometimes I feel that I did my best artwork when I was a kid.

    • It was Picasso who said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. Well, there’s a tenth quote then 😉
      And yes, there’s some truly great productions from Studio Ghibli out there 🙂