“ The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.
Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.
The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job.
Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.
I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin.
The job is not the work. ”
“ The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize. ”
“ What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them. ”
“ All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. ”
“ The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
, June 10, 1996)] ”
“ When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn't climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened. ”
“ Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. ”
“ Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ”
“ Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.
What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.
An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.
That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.
Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does.
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another. ”
“ ...it’s just another one of those things I don’t understand: everyone impresses upon you how unique you are, encouraging you to cultivate your individuality while at the same time trying to squish you and everyone else into the same ridiculous mould. It’s an artist’s right to rebel against the world’s stupidity. ”
“ We artists are indestructible; even in a prison, or in a concentration camp, I would be almighty in my own world of art, even if I had to paint my pictures with my wet tongue on the dusty floor of my cell. ”
“ creativity keeps the world alive, yet, everyday we are asked to be ashamed of honoring it, wanting to live our lives as artists. i’ve carried the shame of being a ‘creative’ since i came to the planet; have been asked to be something different, more, less my whole life. thank spirit, my wisdom is deeper than my shame, and i listened to who i was. i want to say to all the creatives who have been taught to believe who you are is not enough for this world, taught that a life of art will amount to nothing, know that who we are, and what we do is life. when we create, we are creating the world. remember this, and commit. ”
“ To create art with all the passion in one's soul is to live art with all the beauty in one's heart. ”
“ I would rather be an artist than a leader. Ironically, a leader has to follow the rules. ”
“ You've always lived a life of pretense, not a real life-- a simulated existence, not a genuine existence. Everything about you, everything you are, has always been pretense, never genuine, never real. ”
“ Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed, so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics. ”
“ Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty. Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light. ”
“ People who have a creative side and do not live it out are most disagreeable clients. They make a mountain out of a molehill, fuss about unnecessary things, are too passionately in love with somebody who is not worth so much attention, and so on. There is a kind of floating charge of energy in them which is not attached to its right object and therefore tends to apply exaggerated dynamism to the wrong situation. ”
“ Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art. ”
“ Who but the artist has the power to open man up, to set free the imagination? The others - priest, teacher, saint, statesman, warrior - hold us to the path of history. They keep us chained to the rock, that the vultures may eat out our hearts. It is the artist who has the courage to go against the crowd; he is the unrecognized "hero of our time" - and of all time. ”
“ It's a good thing you and your pills weren't around a few hundred years ago or there never would have been a Vermeer or a Caravaggio. You'd have drugged "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "The Taking of Christ" right the hell out of them. ”
“ I want to burn with excitement or anger and bleed, bleed out my words. I want to get all fucked up and write raw and ugly about all these things I see and am and could be. ”
“ Writers and artists build by hand little worlds that they hope might effect change in real minds, in the real world where stories are read. A story can make us cry and laugh, break our hearts, or make us angry enough to change the world. ”
“ Tattooing, when understood in its entirety, must be seen as a religious act. The human being brings forth images from the center of the self and communicates them to the world. Fantasy is embodied in reality and the person is made whole. ”
“ The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. ”
“ Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece. ”
“ Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing. ”
“ Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. ”
“ To make a deliberate falsification for personal gain is the last, worst depth to which either scholar or artist can descend in work or life.
Letter to Muriel St. Clare Byrne
, 8 September 1935) ”
“ ... an artist should paint from the heart, and not always what people expect. Predictability often leads to the dullest work, in my opinion, and we have been bored stiff long enough I think. ”