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28 Creativity Quotes to Inspire You to Put on Your Thinking Cap


A great idea cannot exist in isolation. The ability to slice bread was useless before the preservatives were invented that kept bread from hardening within minutes. The color copier had no value before color printing was commonplace.

Each great idea builds on the ideas of innovators who came beforehand. That is perhaps why we’re so fascinated by the thinking of creative giants. We want to get into their heads, we want to think like they do—so we can have ideas as incredible as theirs.

Below I’ve compiled a list of my favorite quotes on creativity—from the people who inspire me to think of better ideas. Some are about the determination it takes to finally have an amazing idea. Others are about trying, failing and rising again. Others are about getting started, or about inspiring others to get behind your idea.

28 Creativity Quotes That Inspire Me to Put on My Thinking Cap

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams

Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.
– Coco Chanel

If you have time to judge other people you have way too much time on your hands. Get off your ass and do something meaningful.
– Shane Gibson

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.
– Jack Kerouac

Inspiration comes and goes, creativity is the result of practice.
– Phil Cousineau

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
– André Gide

Mistakes are the portals of discovery
– James Joyce

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.
– Mary Anne Radmacher

Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– T.S. Eliot

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
– Nelson Mandela

The grass is greener where you water it.
– Neil Barringham

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
– Henry David Thoreau

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
– Francis of Assisi

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
– Antoine De Saint Exupery

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

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

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

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

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.
– John F. Kennedy

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
– Audrey Hepburn

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

Listen to anyone with an original idea, no matter how absurd it may sound at first. If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.
– William McKnight, 3M President

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
– John Steinbeck

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
– Goethe

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.
– John Cage

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’
– George Bernard Shaw

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