Welcome! There are more than 900 Inspirational Quotes For Writers, Artists and Other Creative Leaders on this site.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Harley Brown

"Making art is the most relaxing, joyous, therapeutic stimulating way to spend your time, as you unleash the part of your brain that's been itching to get at it."

Canadian Artist
1939 - 

Unlike like writing which sometimes can be difficult, painting for me can be very relaxing and fun.  I become lost in the process and sometimes wake up several hours later only to realize that I had disappeared in the work.  I experience some of the same feelings when I write long-hand and do not use a computer or a typewriter as in the old days.  There is something about putting pen to paper that makes a difference in how one experiences the process.

Are you eager about your creative work?  Do you wake up in the morning anxious to go to work?  Or do you find excuses to avoid going to work?  Do you stare at the canvas or paper unable to lift brush or pen?  Do you enjoy the process of creating or do you agonize over it?

Here is Harley Brown talking about his art.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jimi Hendrix

"I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to."

- Jimi Hendrix
American Musician
1942 - 1970

When it is our time, it is our time.  No amount of begging, praying or demanding will delay the shade of death from stealing a soul.  No amount of laughing, crying or forgiving will prevcnt death from pushing his way into our lives.  No amount of preparation, prevention or power will keep death at bay.  When it is our time, it is our time whether we are 57 or 28.  May my sister rest in peace.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

"It's not the failure that holds us back but the reluctance to begin over again that causes us to stagnate.

American Poet, Psychoanalyst
1945 -

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anton Chekhov

"I have the feeling that I've seen everything, but failed to notice the elephants."

Russian Writer
1860 - 1904

Friday, November 25, 2011

Deepak Chopra

"The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers."

— Deepak Chopra
Indian Author/Speaker
1946 -

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

— Seneca
Roman Writer/Speaker
54 BC - 39 AD

Gratitude is not a new attitude.  It was not invented by the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock nor by the legions of motivational speakers who ride circuit and preach from the pulpit of love.  Gratitude has probably been with us from the beginning of man's time on this earth — from the moment someone offered to share her drumstick or her fur or her fire.  

Gratitude is not a one day act of thanksgiving, but a way of life.  Do you have an attitude of gratitude?  Do you wake up with a smile on your face and love in your heart?  Or are you like most of us who need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  Try this  exercise: every day write down ten things that you are grateful for.  Slowly, you will develop an attitude of gratitude and learn to stay focused on what is important.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Andrew Wyeth

Late Fall
"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."

American Artist
1917 - 2009

What is your favorite season.  My favorite, autumn, is coming to an end.  Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees.  The squirrels are burying the last of the nuts.  The geese are flying south.  Bare branches now reveal the sky.  Death hides around the corner — waiting for winter to pounce.  We have had a good autumn.  Warm, gentle and full of life.  Not too much rain, just enough to keep the creeks flowing.

How do the seasons effect you and your art?  Do you produce more creative work in one season or another?  Do the seasons enrich your art?  Can you taste the winds of autumn?  Are you counting your blessings?  Has the harvest been abundant?  Are you thankful for what you have?

Photo by Harley King

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thomas Cole


"The sky is the soul of all scenery.  It makes the earth lovely at sunrise and splendid at sunset.  In the one it breathes over the earth a crystal-like ether, in the other a liquid gold."

English Painter
1801 - 1848

Arch of Nero
Have you stopped to look at the sky lately?  There is so much to see.  So many stories to hear.  So much beauty to enjoy.  The sky changes how we see the world.  On a cloudy day people feel down.  When the sun breaks through, our hearts take a leap.  

Have you ever stared at the white fluffy clouds and imagined various creatures.  Have you ever been above the clouds looking down?  Wouldn't it be fun if we could actually ride on the clouds?  How about those storm clouds that light up the sky with lightning and thunder.  Maybe the angels are crying or having a fist fight.  

How about a clear blue sky without a cloud to be seen!  And the various shades of blue.  I love a winter sky, especially at sunrise.  The colors seem so brilliant.  Or the sky as seen from a farm on a cold winter night with the stars glittering and no city lights destroying your view.  The sky is truly the soul of the world.  A place we long to call home.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Charles Kuralt

"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines."

American Journalist
1934 - 1997

Most of the stories one finds in the media create a very negative image of people as greedy, corrupt and immoral.  The truth is that only a small segment of society fits that image.  Most people are by nature kind and generous and go out of their way to help others in their time of need.  

Given the stories that we hear every day, it is easy to lose faith in people and the institutions they manage.  Yet, for every corrupt, greedy person, there are thousands of kind, caring people who shovel the sidewalks of their neighbors, serve food to the homeless and share car rides to work.  Remember most people have good hearts and give of themselves to help others.  Don't let the greedy few distort your view of the world.

Here is an update to one of Charles Kuralt's famous stories about the Chandler family.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pierre Alechinsky

"When I paint, I liberate monsters . . . They are the manifestations of all the doubts, searches and groping for meaning and expression which all artists experience . . . One does not choose the content, one submits to it.

1927 -
Belgian Artist

Do you choose the content of your creative work?  Or does the content choose you?  This is probably one of those chicken and egg questions that we will never know the answer to.  Most of the time my content chooses me.  I sit down and start writing.  I don't have a plan.  And the content appears out of no where.  Rarely, do I make a conscious choice about what to write.

Does your creative work liberate the monsters within your heart and spirit?  For me it does.  We all have a dark side whether we want to admit it or not.  Most of us most of the time keep this dark side under control either through drugs, religion, sports, creative work or sheer will power.  Yet I am amazed at some of the monsters that emerge from my writing.  What monsters have emerged from your creative work?  Here are a couple of my short poems.


Sometimes while alone
in the corner of my cell

I have second thoughts
about the recent return of Christ

and how I could have saved her
from the outpourings of his wrath

if she would only have rocked me in her arms.


A hand reaches out of the closet
and slits the throat

of the young man with black hair.
We all fall upon his body

like scavengers picking tidbits
from the evening garbage.

I slurp his brains from my cupped hands.

(Quote source:  The Painter's Keys)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chuck Palahniuk

"We all die.  The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."

American Writer
1962 - 

No one lives forever no matter how much we try.  No amount of plastic surgery, pills or prayer will keep us young.  When we die, we will live on only in the memories of those who knew us and one day all those with memories will be gone.  As artists, writers and creative leaders, our creative work is the key to keeping our memories alive.

(Quote source:  Goodreads.com)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cornelia Funke

"Stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do  Stories always go on.  They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page."

German Writer
1958 -

Story is the essence of life.  Story is what makes us unique?  Story is what gives life meaning.  Do you know your personal stories?  Do you share your personal stories with family and friends?  How do your personal stories impact your art, your writing or your acting?  

(Quote source:  Goodreads.com)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Claron McFadden

"The human voice: mysterious, spontaneous, primal.  For me, the human voice is the vessel on which all emotions travel — except perhaps jealousy.  And the breath, the breath is the captain of that vessel.  A child is born, takes its first breath — and we behold the wondrous beauty of vocal expression — mysterious, spontaneous and primal."

American Musician
1961 -

When I was fifty years old, I finally realized that my voice was a gift.  No, I am not a singer.  I can't even carry a tune.  As a child, I was given the speaking parts in church plays because I had a loud voice.  My gift is my loud voice.  And about 90% of the people in my audiences like it and 10% don't.  I have people tell me they could listen to my voice all day and others who wish I would shut up.  

Remember your voice is the vessel for your emotions.  Take a deep breath and let it out with power, passion and persistence.  Be yourself.

Now, listen to Claron McFadden talk about the human voice and demonstrate its power.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Robert Frost

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

— Robert Frost
American Poet
1874 - 1963

In the fall of  1967, I was a freshman in college and felt the world about to come to an end.  The Vietnam War raged on and on.  Riots were occurring in the streets of big cities.  The world was burning and I was convinced that it would all be over in five years.  But like Frost, I have learned that life does go on.  

Some people today feel the world is about to end.  We face economic upheaval and poverty, political corruption and stalemate, as well as religious hatred and global warming.  Will the world still be here in five years?  I have learned that life goes on.  Or in the words of another cliche: This too shall pass.

Don't despair because your writing was rejected by yet another publisher or an art gallery refused to carry your work.  Life goes on.  This too shall pass.

When Robert Frost was 86, he was asked to read a poem at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. He was the first poet to read at a presidential inauguration.  In January of 1963 he died from complications from prostate surgery.  In November 1963, Kennedy was assassinated.  Some thought it was the end of the world, but life goes on.

Here is Robert Frost performing The Gift Outright at Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.  He recited the poem from memory.

(Quote Source:  Goodreads.com)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terry Pratchett

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one."

English Novelist
1948 - 

Poets, writers and artists are scary people.  They turn the common everyday world upside down.  They hold up a mirror and reveal the reality of who we are to ourselves.  In many societies throughout history, creative leaders have been honored and despised, loved and hated, worshipped and jailed.

Our imaginations can be a threat to those who are insecure and unhappy.  Our imaginations create worlds that expose the weaknesses of our world.  Some consider our imaginations dangerous and wish to destroy us.  As creative leaders, our role in society is very important.  Without creative leaders, society would stagnate and drown under the mundane.  Celebrate your imagination.  Celebrate the worlds that grow inside your head.

Watch this interview with Terry Pratchett.

(Quote Source:  Goodreads.com)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Planet We Call Earth

An inspiring video of the earth from 240 miles above it.

C. S. Lewis

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

— C. S. Lewis
Irish Writer
1898 - 1963

When we stop dreaming, we start dying.  Life is about discovering our dreams and embarking on a journey to achieve them.  Colonel Harlan Sanders was 65 when he began his journey to build the fast food restaurant chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Immanuel Kant wrote one of his best philosophical works at the age of 74.  Grandma Moses picked up a paintbrush at age 76 and painted over a thousand paintings during the next 25 years.  Jessica Tandy won an Oscar at age 80 for her role in Driving Miss Daisy.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe finished Faust at 81.  Henry Roth published his first novel when he was 28 and his second when he was 89.

What dreams have you given up on?  What dreams have you not yet dreamed?  Is it time to set another goal?

(Quote source:  Goodreads. com)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taylor Swift

"People haven't always been there for me but music always has."

American Musician
1989 -

I would wager that most people reading this quote would agree with the first half.  Rarely do we receive unconditional love from people, even our parents.  Usually there are strings attached.  And sometimes huge ropes.  If we don't live up to people's expectations, they reject us or kick us out.  For some of us all we have is our art.  Even in the most difficult of times, we have our music, our art, our writing, our acting.

This message was driven home to me a number of years ago when my wife and I interviewed over 100 people who were grieving over the death of a pet.  Often these people spoke of the unconditional love they received from their pet.  They would say even when they were having a bad day, the pet would be there for them.  This is not something they received from the people in their lives.  We published our interviews in our book, It's Okay To Cry, that can be found on Amazon.

I think the challenge we all face is to love the people in our lives unconditionally not matter how they treat us.  Love your children unconditionally.  Love your significant other unconditionally.  Love your parents unconditionally.  And most of all, love yourself unconditionally.

Here is Taylor Swift singing Fearless.  Enjoy.

(Quote Source:  Goodreads.com)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nancy Grossman

"When I was a little kid I always drew on the walls, on books, on scrap paper.  I loved to draw.  It was something to rejoice upon.  It was magical."

American Artist
1940 -

Do you enjoy painting, drawing, or writing?  Creativity is magical and fills us with joy.  It is one of the best gifts we have been given.  Remember the joy you had drawing as a child.  That is the same feeling you should have as an adult.  If you don't have fun creating, then maybe you need to reevaluate your life and go in a different direction.  Producing creative work should fill your spirit with joy.  To create something from little or nothing is magical.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

American Speaker, Author
1884 - 1962

Is there something that you have wanted to do but were afraid to do it because you might fail? Then that is the one thing you were meant to do.  We are not given dreams that we can not achieve.  We must work hard to achieve those dreams and not let fear overcome us.  Take the step today to do that which you want to do.  Have the faith that you can do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rene Magritte

"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist."

Belgian Artist
1898 - 1967

Is there mystery in your creative work?  Are people curious after reading your stories or viewing your paintings?  Do you evoke the spirit of mystery?  Do you raise questions that have no answers?  Do you open doors to the unknown and the forbidden?  

The False Mirror

Castle in the Pyrenees
(Quote source:  Goodreads.com)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Edouard Manet

"I need to work to feel well."

— Edouard Manet
French Artist
1832 - 1883

A Bar at the Folies-Bergere
If I go too long without writing, I feel it in my soul, not my body.  I feel something is missing — that my life is out of whack.  And the only way to bring everything back into balance is to put pen to paper.  I have been writing for 36 years and I know I will continue to write as long as I can breathe and my mind is sound.  I met a man once who was writing his first book at 101.  When I saw him two years later, he was working on his second book.  Creative people have a need to produce creative works.  A number of actors have turned to painting in their later years.  Some current actors are writing novels.  Writers turn to painting and painters turn to poetry.

What happens when you stop painting or writing?  Can you feel the change in your soul?  In your bones?  Do you feel yourself drawn back to work?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Truman Capote

"Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor."

American Writer
1924 - 1984

People, unfortunately, strive to be perfect and not make any mistakes.  For creative leaders, perfection creates paralysis and immobility.  Painters who seek perfection stay with the tried and true because they don't want to risk failure.  Writer won't step outside their comfort zone because of the fear of failure.  We are a society driven to be perfect and we don't tolerate mistakes.  Yet, without failure there is no success.  Failure provides the flavor to life.  

For a society that dwells on perfection, we crave seeing others fail.  We love to watch the mighty fall.  We cling to our entertainment shows to see which celebrity screwed up.  Who is going through a divorce.  Who is sleeping with who.  Who is fighting with who.  If I began naming names, the list would never end.  Every moment of every day someone stumbles and falls.  

Yet, it is in the moments of failure that some of the greatest novels have been written and some of the greatest paintings have been painted.  Without the pain of failure, there would be no joy in success.  So I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

(Source of quote: Goodreads.com)

Monday, November 7, 2011

John Steinbeck

"The story was gradually taking shape.  It ruined a story to have it all come out quickly.  The good story lay in half-told things which must be filled in out of the hearer's own experience."

— John Steinbeck
American Novelist
1902 - 1968

The painter and writer are only half the equation.  The people who make up the audience are the other half.  They bring their own experiences to the story and interpret what they read and see based on past experiences.  If a reader doesn't like your writing, more than likely it is because of something in his past experience.  I am sure that you have read a book that you loved and most of your friends did not or visa versa.  I read a discussion recently on Goodreads.com by some people who did not like Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky which is one of my all time favorite books.  I also know people who love Moby Dick by Melville which I tried to read on four occasions and I could never finish it.  The audience and readers play a role in their enjoyment of a work of art.

Have you ever loved a book that you read, but hated the movie when you saw it?  Most readers have had that experience.  The movie does not live up to how we experienced the book.  And the reason is that we brought our own experiences to the reading, just as the screenwriter brought his experiences to the book and the movie.

Would you still write if you did not have any readers?  Would you still paint if no one saw your paintings?  I would and have.  Yes, I would love to have readers but I don't stop writing because they are few and far between.  My writing is driven by more than the need for readers.  It is driven by the need to express myself.  Why do you write or paint?  What drives you?

(Quote source: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Harley King

(Photo by Harley King)

Are you inspired by the changing colors 
to write a poem, paint a picture 
tell a story or take a walk?
May you find hope in 
the changing of the seasons.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Peter Drucker

"Here I am, fifty-eight, and I still don't know what I'm going to be when I grow up."

Austrian Writer/Management Consultant
1909 - 2005

We have all been asked the question:  "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  And we usually give the simple answers like teacher, nurse or fireman.  The first response that I remember making was architect.  My father was a general contractor and I was in the seventh grade.  

When I was a sophomore in high school I dedicated my life to the ministry.  By the time I was senior I had lost my faith.  While in college I decided I wanted to be a writer and I have spent more than thirty-five years writing.  And since life has a way of coming full circle, I also became a speaker.  Sometimes an audience member will tell me that I missed my calling — that I should have been a preacher.  I smile and in my heart I know that I have been a preacher, although I have no church and no gospel.

When I turned fifty, I wrote an article for my college alumni magazine entitled: What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? Or How I Found Myself!  I realized that I had grown up to be what I had wanted to be.  I had lived the life that I desired.  I had done what I wanted to do.  Here is a link to the article.

Have you become the person you wanted to be?  Or are you still wandering through the forest of uncertainty, not knowing what you want to do with your life?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Joseph Joubert

"All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so."

French Writer
1754 - 1824

During the past year my wife on two occasions hired a cleaning service to do some deep cleaning in our house.  The surprising thing has been the compliments she has received from these housekeepers who visit lots of houses.  They compliment her on how artistic and beautiful the house looks.  To paraphrase Joubert, people live in beautiful places because they make them so.

We create the environment in which we live — the space we occupy — from the yard to the closets.  What are you doing to make your abode a place you enjoy.  How about your office?  Or your studio?  Is it a place that encourages you to do your best work?  Or do you have to push things aside to work today?  Does your work place depress you?  What are you doing to change it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

James Stephens

"What the heart knows today, the head will understand tomorrow."

— James Stephens
Irish Novelist
1882 - 1850

Take a break, my friend, from your thoughts and listen to your heart.