The Top 60 Art Quotes to Inspire Your Creative Self

Expressing your feelings, thoughts, and emotions is one of the basic needs of human beings. The thing about humans, though, is that each person expresses their emotions in a different way that’s entirely unique.
Some people know how to turn their thoughts into words, others can hold conversations as easily as they breathe air. Yet, a large percentage of individuals prefer less straightforward ways to acknowledge their inner monologue.
Yes, we’re talking about artists. Painters let their brushstrokes tell their stories instead of using other methods. Usually, the results are fascinating and inspirational to others, which is why everyone appreciates art. But what if your creativity, as an artist, isn’t at its best place right now?
In that case, you may want to take a look at some of our favorite quotes by world-famous artists for a little bit of inspiration. Before we get to these quotes, let’s address the topic of inspiration in art first, shall we?

What Is Inspiration and Why Is It Important for An Artist?

The word “inspiration” comes from the Latin inspirare, which translates to “to breathe into.” In other words, inspiration is an unconscious process that happens in the mind of artists when their creativity takes hold.
When an artist is inspired by something, it means that they look at it in a different light. It fills their minds with new ideas and changes their perspective on what could be a mundane subject.
As a result, the artist will try to capture that idea and transform it into a visual experience to share it with others. And this is what makes art so breathtaking as it’s a result of another person’s interpretation of thoughts and ideas.
Of course, inspiration is a major factor in all types of creative arts. It’s essential for musicians, songwriters, painters, sculptors, writers, etc. Without inspiration, those people won’t be able to offer new ideas in their creative art.
So what happens when a painter runs out of ideas in what’s pretty similar to a writer’s block? Well, they might find it useful if they read a few inspirational quotes to make their sparks ignite!

How Can Art Quotes Benefit an Artist?

You could be a beginner, a hobbyist, or a professional artist who makes art for a living. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re in; you’ll still need a burst of inspiration or encouragement every now and then.
Here’s how reading art quotes can help your art.
  • It’s encouraging to learn that famous artists have started small just as you have
  • It can make you relate to artists of different backgrounds, skill levels, cultures, etc.
  • Art quotes are short and straight to the point to help your mind stay on track and not wander
  • Art quotes tend to work on the subconscious mind, enhancing your creativity in ways you may not be aware of
  • Inspirational art quotes are a breeze to remember and share with other artists, increasing your social skills
  • Reading a good art quote while working on a difficult project may improve your mood and help you overcome the stress
  • Inspirational art quotes can make negative thoughts seem less intimidating, boosting your confidence and battling procrastination
Now that you’re aware of how art quotes can up your creativity levels, it’s time that we share with you the top 60 quotes that we’ve come across.

Inspirational Art Quotes for Beginners

Beginners need a push, or several pushes, to help them find their identity in art and understand what works best for them. Luckily, there’s nothing better than the following words of wisdom to set them on the right track.
  • “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” ― Paul Cezanne
  • “To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty. There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is, without creating still more of them.” ― Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • “Every artist was first an amateur.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” ― Marc Chagall
  • “Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.” ― Anais Nin
  • “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ― Pablo Picasso
  • “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” ― Ray Bradbury
  • “I paint flowers so they will not die.” ― Frida Kahlo
  • “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see - to see correctly - and that means a good deal more than merely looking with the eye.” ― Kimon Nicolaides
  • “One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.” ― Balthus
  • “If you hear a voice within you saying, ”You are not a painter,” then, by all means, paint… and that voice will be silenced.” ― Vincent van Gogh
  • “An artist must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye.” ― Michelangelo
  • “Those who do not want to imitate anything produce nothing.” ― Salvador Dali
  • “Never worry about being obsessive. I like obsessive people. Obsessive people make great art.” ― Susan Sontag
  • “The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.” ― Wassily Kandinsky
  • “The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.” ― Eric Gill
  • “Drawing things makes them seem more real and makes me feel more alive. It also makes me pin down and remember things: landscapes, season, weather, occasions, incidents, people that would otherwise have melted from my memory.” ― David Gentleman
  • “The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” ― Neil Gaiman
  • “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ― Henry Ward Beecher

Art Quotes on the Meaning of Art

Over centuries, people have mulled over the meaning of art, what it relates to in life, and what makes a person a true artist. Of course, groundbreaking painters like Picasso, Monet, and more had a lot to say about what painting and colors meant to them.
  • “What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence.” ― Claude Monet
  • “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” ― Pablo Picasso
  • “Art is a line around your thoughts.” ― Gustav Klimt
  • “There is no must in art because art is free.” ― Wassily Kandinsky
  • “A true masterpiece does not tell everything.” ― Albert Camus
  • “Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” ― John Lubbock
  • “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ― Aristotle
  • “Drawing at its best is not what your eyes see but what our mind understands.” ― Millard Sheets
  • “Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feelings the artist has experienced.” ― Leo Tolstoy
  • “Art is longing. You never arrive, but you keep going in the hope that you will.” ― Anselm Kiefer
  • “Drawing is not what one sees, but what one can make others see.” ― Edgar Degas
  • “For me drawing is an attempt to understand what I feel about the world I live in.” ― Brian Froud
  • “Painting from nature is not copying the object, it's realizing one's sensations.” ― Paul Cezanne
  • “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” ― Pablo Picasso
  • “How you draw is a reflection of how you feel about the world. You're not capturing it, you're interpreting it.” ― Juliette Aristides
  • “Drawing is giving a performance; an artist is an actor who is not limited by the body, only by his ability and, perhaps, experience.” ― Marc Davis
  • “The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” ― Jerzy Kosinski
  • “A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.” ― Al Hirschfeld
  • “More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed.” ― Joan Miro

Art Quotes on Improving Your Artistic Skills

There isn’t one recipe for success in art; each artist must find his power points and unique touch. Yes, that can be pretty hard to figure out sometimes, but the following quotes may be of much-needed help in this regard.
  • “Stay firmly in your path and dare. Be wild two hours a day!” ― Paul Gauguin
  • “Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.” ― Edgar Degas
  • “As I work on my drawings, day after day, what seemed unattainable before is now gradually becoming possible. Slowly, I'm learning to observe and measure. I don't stand quite so helpless before nature any longer.” ― Vincent van Gogh
  • “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” ― Pablo Picasso
  • “Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” Anais Nin
  • “It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create.” ― J. M. W. Turner
  • “When I paint, I never think of selling. People fail to understand that we paint in order to experiment and to develop ourselves as we strive for greater heights.” ― Edvard Munch
  • “I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “It is not enough to know your craft, you have to have feelings. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.” ― Edouard Manet
  • “The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.” ― Joan Miro
  • “It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover, to your surprise, that you have rendered something in its true character.” ― Camille Pissarro
  • “Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.” ― David Hockney
  • “Sketching is almost everything. It is the painter's identity, his style, his conviction, and then color is just a gift to the drawing.” ― Fernando Botero
  • “While drawing I discover what I really want to say.” ― Dario Fo
  • “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.” ― Pablo Picasso
  • “Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” ― Jackson Pollock
  • “A work is finished when an artist realizes his intentions.” ― Rembrandt
  • “When I'm painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It's only after a ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I've been about.” ― Jackson Pollock
  • “The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Drawing is a form of probing. And the first generic impulse to draw derives from the human need to search, to plot points, to place things and to place oneself.” ― John Berger


As an artist, you’ll soon discover that your success relies on both inspiration and hard work. Once you pair those with some inspirational art quotes every time you need a little push, your journey may seem a notch easier.
It always helps to know that, centuries past, painters, writers, and philosophers have faced the same challenges as you have. You could use this knowledge to build your confidence, pursue your art with passion, and eventually get all the glory that you deserve!