Creativity Quotes

For centuries people have been trying to discover the nature of creativity and how to promote the practice of innovation.  Here you will find some of the most interesting and inspiring quotes about creativity organized into three somewhat arbitrary categories.  Please leave comments if there are other quotes that should be included here.  THANKS!!


All new ideas begin in a non-conforming mind that questions some tenet of the conventional wisdom.- H. G. Rickover

The best way to kill creativity in a team is letting the boss speak first– Victoria Holtz

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.– Michelangelo

Great ideas, it is said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations a faint flutter of wings; the gentle stirring of life and hope.– Albert Camus

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out. Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.– Dee Hock

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.– John W. Gardner

Every improvement or innovation begins with an idea. But an idea is only a possibility — a small beginning that must be nurtured, developed, engineer, tinkered with, championed, tested, implemented and checked ideas have no value until they are implemented.– Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder

Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.– Nolan Bushnell

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.– Albert Einstein

Innovation — a talent we all had when we were young — can be relearned and pooled in a culture of innovation to confront and overcome competitive threats. The combined creative power of all employees pulling together in cross-functional teams can provide the spark to produce winning performance in the marketplace.– Stephen Shapiro

If you always think what you always thought, you’ll always get what you always got.– Gerald Haman

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see everything as a nail.– Abraham Maslow

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. – Abraham Maslow

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. – Albert Einstein

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. – Erich Fromm

Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. – Linus Pauling

There is nothing new except what has been forgotten. – Martin Luther King Jr.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. – Rollo May

Creative ability and personal responsibility are strongest when the mind is free from supernatural belief and operates in an atmosphere of freedom and democracy. Victor Hugo


The ability to innovate is only as good as how one can accept changes and take risks.– Franco Paolo Liu Eisma

One should never impose one’s views on a problem; one should rather study it, and in time a solution will reveal itself.– Albert Einstein

Beware of the tyranny of making small changes to small things. Rather, make big changes to big things.– Roger Enrico

The very word possibility creates a mental climate conducive to creativity.– Robert H. Schuller

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.– Henry David Thoreau

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.– Edward de Bono

Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.– Edward de Bono

Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits. — Edward de Bono

Creativity is the generation and initial development of new, useful ideas. Innovation is the successful implementation of those ideas in an organization. Thus, no innovation is possible without the creative processes that mark the front end of the process: identifying important problems and opportunities, gathering relevant information, generating new ideas, and exploring the validity of those ideas.– Teresa Amabile

Creativity comes by breaking the rules, by saying that you’re in love with the anarchist.– Anita Roddick

A prudent question is one half of wisdom.– Sir Francis Bacon

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. – Arthur Koestler

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.- Beatrix Potter

Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity. – Erich Fromm

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. A real genius has his original ideas closer together. – Henry David Thoreau

There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. – Pablo Picasso


Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.– Walter Lippman

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

An established company which, in an age demanding innovation, is not able to innovation, is doomed to decline and extinction.– Peter Drucker

All it takes is one idea to solve an impossible problem.– Robert H. Schuller

Never underestimate the value of an idea. Every positive idea has within its potential for success if it is managed properly.– Robert H. Schuller

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.– Edward de Bono

The people who feel most empowered are those who foster innovation– Gerald Haman

Many people still believe a better mousetrap is all it takes. But of the 2000+ mousetraps patented, only two have sold well, and they were both designed in the 19th century. A good idea doesn’t sell itself although most ‘lone inventors’ make the mistake of thinking it will.– Andrew Hargadon

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. –  Buckminster Fuller

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. – Carl Sagan

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. – Georg C. Lichtenberg

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. – Monica Baldwin

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

Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order. – Virginia Woolf


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Irvin Dibrino
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 03:26:42

    I just added this feed to my bookmarks. I have to say, I really enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks!


  2. Marta Ockuly
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 13:41:05

    Great ideas. Wonderful quotes. Feel free to explore my creativity quotes at http://www.joyofquotes.com/creativity_quotes.html as well as a special 100 creativity quote collection for educators on my blog: http://joyofquotesblog.com/category/creative-learning-quotes/ We seem to share a passion for activating creative potential and am working toward creating a community creativity space in Sarasota, FL. Marta


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