Posts tagged ‘creative arts’


the arts

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country (2005)


step back / take in

When you’re in your 20s and have that leadership gene, the bad thing is that you don’t know when to shut up. You think you know all the answers, but you don’t. What you learn later is when to just listen to everybody else…Creativity cannot explode if you do not have the ability to step back, take in what everybody else says and then fuse it with your own ideas.

Francesca Zambello, interview with the New York Times (2013)



When we’re children, we think we can do anything. Especially in terms of creativity, we don’t think about our skill set as being limited. Why does that stop at a certain age?

Jocelyn K. Glei, Talent Isn’t Fixed and Other Mindsets That Lead to Greatness (2013)


modern art

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.

Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction (1925)



Just coloring inside the lines won’t help you succeed. More esoteric character strengths like optimism and zest are things that can be taught and are also predictive of success.

Paul Tough, quoted in “Your IQ Doesn’t Matter & Other Lessons About Creativity From Children” (2012)


a cautious creative

You can be Cautious or you can be Creative (but there’s no such thing as a Cautious Creative). A Cautious Creative is an oxymoron.

George Lois, interview with Designers & Books (2012)



I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.

James Michener, unsourced



Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

William Strunk, Jr., Elements of Style (1918)

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