160 Creativity Quotes for Imagination and Innovation

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Feeling a little blocked? These creativity quotes will inspire you to get creative and innovative in no time.

Human creativity is what drives us forward as a species.

This unique ability to harness our thoughts and ideas has generated some of the world’s greatest inventions, from the wheel to the microprocessor.

To that end, here are the best creativity quotes to stimulate imagination and innovation through the creative process.

Top 10 Creativity Quotes

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.

Albert Einstein

Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.

Mason Cooley
Dorothy Parker quote "Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye"
“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.” – Dorothy Parker

Thinking is the enemy of creativity.

Ray Bradbury

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.

Donatella Versace

Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse

To be creative means to be in love with life.

Osho quote "Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence"
“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.” – Osho

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

Eric Hoffer

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

Maya Angelou

Quotes about Creativity

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

Edward de Bono

Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.

Jonathan Schattke

There’s no one way to be creative. Any old way will work.

Ray Bradbury

Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity.

Yoko Ono
Earl Nightingale quote "Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm"
“Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” – Earl Nightingale

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath

Creativity doesn’t need to be a Herculean event. But it does need consistent fostering.

Carla Johnson

Energy is the key to creativity. Energy is the key to life.

William Shatner

It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville

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

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Arthur Koestler

Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process; it’s not random.

Ken Robinson

The more you know, the more you want to know. Not only that, but the more you know, the more connections you can make between the different bits of knowledge that you have in your head and therefore the more ideas you have, which is why curiosity is really the wellspring of creativity.

Georgina Venning

Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.

Karl Lagerfeld

Creativity is just connecting things.

Steve Jobs

To live is to express, and to express you have to create. Creation is never merely repetition. To live is to express oneself freely in creation.

Bruce Lee
Naval Ravikant quote "Creativity is obscured by the conscious mind"
“Creativity is obscured by the conscious mind.” – Naval Ravikant

Art, freedom, and creativity will change society faster than politics.

Victor Pinchuk

Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.

Bruce Garrabrandt

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.

Julia Cameron

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

Virginia Wolfe

Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer.

Marilyn Monroe

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creativity is seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.

Michele Shea

The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.

Joan Miró

Written reports stifle creativity.

H. Ross Perot

Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.

Bryant H. McGill
"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous"
“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Bill Moyers

Creativity is based on the belief that there’s no particular virtue in doing things they way they’ve always been done.

Rudolph Flesch

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

Gail Sheehy

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out.

David Duchovny

When I am completely myself, entirely alone during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Creative thinking – in terms of idea creativity – is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.

Edward de Bono

Without freedom, there is no creation.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.

Pablo Picasso

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

John Maynard Keynes

Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.

George Lois
Edwin Land quote "Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity"
“Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.” – Edwin Land

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.

Neil Gaiman

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

Erich Fromm

Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things . . . Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.


Creative People

Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing.

Alan Cohen

Creative people are often found either disagreeable or intimidating by mediocrities.

Criss Jami

Some people use things; they destroy. You’re a creator, a builder.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.

Leo Burnett

Truly creative people care a little about what they have done, and a lot about what they are doing. Their driving focus is the life force that surges in them now.

Alan Cohen

Creativity is the soul of the true scholar.

Nnamdi Azikiwe

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

Rita Mae Brown
Hedy Lamarr quote "All creative people want to do the unexpected"
“All creative people want to do the unexpected.” – Hedy Lamarr

When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.

George Washington Carver

Creativity is people who care enough to keep thinking about something until they find the simplest way to do it.

Tim Cook

People have a God-given right to use their creativity to produce things that improve our lives.

Paul Ryan

The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things-ancient history, nineteenth century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later, or six months, or six years. But he has faith that it will happen.

Carl Ally

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

John Cleese

When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play and it is play that stimulates creativity.

Linda Naiman

One of my early mentors, poet David Wagoner, who divides the creative process into three phases – madman, poet and critic – once told me that you need to find your own magic to stay in the world of creative play.

Sonia Gernes

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.

Paulo Coelho

A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations.

Gerald G. Jampolsky

Every day is an opportunity to be creative – the canvas is your mind, the brushes and colors are your thoughts and feelings, the panorama is your story, the complete picture is a work of art called, ‘my life’. Be careful what you put on the canvas of your mind today – it matters.

"In order to be creative you have to be allowed to fail"
“In order to be creative you have to be allowed to fail.” – Julie Walters

Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.

Albert Einstein

When anybody pays you to be creative, you’re very lucky.

Donald Glover

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Ayn Rand

Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.

Frank Goble

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.

Jean Piaget

Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Charles Mingus

The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.

Abe Tannenbaum

Innovation and Creative Ideas

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

John F. Kennedy

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Edward de Bono

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.

Peter F. Drucker
Stephen Spielberg quote "Replace fear with curiosity"
“Replace fear with curiosity.” – Stephen Spielberg

All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.

Leonardo Da Vinci

When the uncreative tell the creative what to do, it stops being art.

Tony Bennett

Creative works may indeed be kind of like property, but it’s property that we’re all building on.

Kirby Ferguson

Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.

Robert M. Hayes

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.

Anthony Jay

Rational thoughts never drive people’s creativity the way emotions do.

Neil Degrasse Tyson

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 idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Edward de Bono

Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.

Robert M. Hayes

It seems to be one of the paradoxes of creativity that in order to think originally, we must familiarize ourselves with the ideas of others.

George Kneller
James Dickey quote "Find something only you can say"
“Find something only you can say.” – James Dickey

An idea is like a virus. Resilient.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception

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

Victor Hugo

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Arthur Koestler

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Oscar Wilde

Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.

Dee Hock

Invention strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory; nothing can come from nothing.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.


Create with the heart; build with the mind.

Criss Jami

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

The question is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
"To cease to think creatively is to cease to live"
“To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.” – Benjamin Franklin

In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.

Austin Kleon

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung

All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.

Carl Jung

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

Oscar Wilde

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.

Nikos Kazantzakis

Reason is a harmonizing, controlling force rather than a creative one.

Bertrand Russell

Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.

Dr. Seuss

The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened.

Bruce Lee

Creative thinking is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.

Edward de Bono
David Ogilvy creativity quote "If it doesn’t sell it isn’t creative"
“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” – David Ogilvy

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Carl Sagan

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

Scott Adams

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.

Theodore Levitt

An artist paints, dances, draws, writes, designs, or acts at the expanding edge of consciousness. We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely and lively.

Julia Cameron

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.

Mary Shelly

Outrageous behavior, also known as the lunatic fringe, is the seed bed of innovation and creativity.

Joel Salatin

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.

George Bernard Shaw

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

Brené Brown
Steve Jobs quote "Innovation is saying no to a thousand things"
“Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.” – Steve Jobs

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

Albert Einstein

Creative Genius Quotes

Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.

William James

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.

Thomas Troward

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

Benjamin Franklin

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Bertrand Russell

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.

Sir Richard Branson

Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is curious and playful, changing with the tides of time.

Debbie Ford
Paul Gaugin quote "I shut my eyes in order to see"
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gaugin

The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.

Edith Södergran

A harmless hilarity and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.

Charles Caleb Colton

The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.

Arthur Koestler

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.

Jean Dubuffet

I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is the mystery of the creative act that something other than our conscious self takes over.

Arthur Erickson

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.

Alan Alda

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

Marta Graham

Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert

An artist or a creative person of any kind goes about their work because it’s their path, it’s what excites them, it’s what aligns their soul with who they truly are, who they showed up to be.

Wayne W. Dyer
"Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience"
“Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.” – Benjamin Franklin

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it.

Nikos Kazantzakis

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.

Julia Cameron

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning.

Salvador Dali

Fun Creativity Quotes

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

Albert Einstein

You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.

Jack London

It’s no accident that AHA and HAHA are spelled almost the same way.

Mitch Ditkoff

A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.

Abraham Maslow

The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.

Ernest Becker

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Beatrix Potter
Edison quote "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk"
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison

Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing.

Austin Cleon

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such.

Steve Wozniak

The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones.


The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.

G.K. Chesterton,
The Blue Cross: A Father Brown Mystery

We hope these creativity quotes lit a spark in your mind and helped you feel more creative.

Despite our incredible capacity for creativity and imagination, many of us actually understand very little about the creative process.

Where do we get our great ideas, and how do we transform a figment of our imagination into an innovative product that might change the world?

While we may not fully understand the nature of creativity and the creative process, research shows that being more creative and fueling your imagination can make you healthier and happier. So don’t be shy about starting your next creative project soon!

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

1 thought on “160 Creativity Quotes for Imagination and Innovation”

  1. Thank you so much for your outlook on being creative. I see one who does not see how they were created to be creative is not living a life they are lost and wandering in life.


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