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Quotations about Imagination & Creativity
Imagination is the soul's happiest retreat. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
One is never happier than when a strong inclination determines one to live exclusively in this world. My misfortune is that I exist, never in this world, but in a number of possible concatenations and combinations created, with the help of conscience, by my imagination. And thus I lose a part of my time without reason being able to get the upper hand. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance" [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908).
Far away in the land of "If and Perhaps"
The city of "Make-Believe" lies,
With its wonderful, beautiful towers and domes
And turrets that reach the skies;
'Tis peopled by fairies, pixies, and gnomes,
And nobles and ladies fair,
And the poorest gamin that walks the streets
Is a prince if he enters there...
~Cynthia M. McCague, "The City of Make-Believe," in The Outlook, 1898 March 12th
His faculty of imagination, his most faithful companion, never leaves him... ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "Concerning a Person of My Acquaintance" [Writing of himself. An unfinished work. Translated by Norman Alliston, 1908.
Don't expect anything original from an echo. ~Author Unknown
I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them. ~Pablo Picasso
There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. ~G.K. Chesterton
Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life. ~Simone Weil
Personally, I would sooner have written Alice in Wonderland than the whole Encyclopedia Britannica. ~Stephen Leacock
Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring. ~Terri Guillemets
Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence. ~Norman Podhoretz
They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe, "Eleonora"
He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet. ~Joseph Joubert
Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~Lewis Carroll
There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. ~Ansel Adams
I admit to having an imagination feverish enough to melt good judgment. ~Dean R. Koontz, Seize the Night
Things are only impossible until they're not. ~Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
When I have a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out and paint the stars. ~Vincent Van Gogh
Imagination is the highest kite one can fly. ~Author Unknown
In the realist you have the sorry sight of the five senses deprived of their imagination. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The strongest nation on earth is your imagi-nation. ~Matt Furey
When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play. ~Henri Matisse
I pluck roses out of the air and press them to my yearning breast. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923 [a little altered
The theoretician believes in logic and believes that he despises dreams, intuition, and poetry. He does not recognize that these three fairies have only disguised themselves in order to dazzle him.... He does not know that he owes his greatest discoveries to them. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell
Trust that little voice in your head that says "Wouldn't it be interesting if..." And then do it. ~Duane Michals, "More Joy of Photography"
Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. ~George Scialabba
Not "cribb'd in, cabin'd, and confin'd,"
By that small closet's bounds, his mind,
In winter's long dark night,
Unfolds its wings; and fancy flies
Where landscapes, under summer skies,
Bask in its sunshine bright.
~Bernard Barton, "Stanzas on the Approach of Winter" (stanza XIX), Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822
Trapped by reality, freed by imagination. ~Nicolas Manetta
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
Anyone who can be replaced by a machine deserves to be. ~Dennis Gunton
To unpathed waters, undreamed shores. ~William Shakespeare
If you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future. ~Danielle Steel
I can always be distracted by love, but eventually I get horny for my creativity. ~Gilda Radner
Really we create nothing. We merely plagiarize nature. ~Jean Baitaillon, quoted in Reader's Digest Quotable Quotes: Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions, 1997
The hardest thing about reality is returning to it after an hour inside your child's mind. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. ~Jessamyn West
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind. ~William Butler Yeats
I remembered a story of how Bach was approached by a young admirer one day and asked, "But Papa Bach, how do you manage to think of all these new tunes?" "My dear fellow," Bach is said to have answered, according to my version, "I have no need to think of them. I have the greatest difficulty not to step on them when I get out of bed in the morning and start moving around my room." ~Laurens Van der Post
I'm creative — you can't expect me to be neat too. ~Author Unknown
Man can lend himself to all the sallies of imagination; he consents to follow its adventurous bark through the narrowest and most perilous straights; but when once it has broken the tie that bound it to reality, he either ceases to follow it at all, or follows it without sympathy, with impatience, or anxiety. ~Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)
I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant. ~Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night
I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see. ~Duane Michals, Real Dreams
I am now and have always been a stranger to the realm of practical matters. ~Anton Chekhov
I never did very well in math — I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn't meant my answers literally. ~Calvin Trillin
Those who do not think outside the box are easily contained. ~Nicolas Manetta
Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training. ~Anna Freud
To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. ~George Kneller
When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge. ~Tuli Kupferberg
It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block. ~Paul Gauguin