Inspiration, Information, and Learnings For People In The Arts

Part 6 of a series.  See also Part 1, Part 2 & 3 Part 4, and Part 5

Pink and orange zinnias in impressionist style

Late Season Zinnias by Steven V. Ward


  • “Artists shape the structure of their creative lives not by means of their gifts, but by means of their work. Production–to produce good works– is the artist’s overriding goal. Delicate creatures, when unable to produce works, they almost immediately fall into some form of self-doubt and then despair” (David J. Rogers).
  • “To possess and capture beauty (the artist) will do anything, use anything…be ruthless, murderous and destructive, cold and cruel and merciless…to get the thing he wants, achieve the thing he values” (Thomas Wolfe).
  • Berry branch with shadowy colored background

    Berry Shadows by Steven V. Ward

    “There is nothing we will not give to the person who can show us the undiscovered world within ourselves, for most of us are unaware of the possibilities we hold” (Seymour Krim).

  • “It is all in the art. You get no credit for living” (V.S. Pritchett)
  • “The hunger to succeed in spite of every impediment and the confidence that you can, along with skill, energy, focus, and the knack of overcoming obstacles have proven to be the key indicators of success in art” (David J. Rogers).



  • “The uninitiated imagine that one must await inspiration in order to create. That is a mistake. I am far from saying that there is no such thing as inspiration; quite the opposite. It is found as a driving force in every kind of human activity, and is in no wise peculiar to artists. But that force is only brought into action by effort, and that effort is work” (Igor
    Pink flowers on impressionist background

    Spring Colors by Steven by Ward


  • “It has not been possible to demonstrate that creativity tests are valid” (Howard Gardner).
  • “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing works” (Marc Chagall).
  • “If he thought, he would go wrong; it is only the clumsy and uninventive artist who thinks) (John Ruskin).
  • “If a man has talent and can’t use it, he’s failed. If he uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he uses the whole of it, he has succeeded, and won a satisfaction and triumph few men ever know” (Thomas Wolfe).
  • “Everything you can imagine is real” (Pablo Picasso).
  • “It is important to forget about the opinions of others and to write after your own fashion with careless, proud indifference” (Llewelyn Powys).
  • ”There are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their clichés and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams (Anne Rice).
  • “Most creators know intuitively from the beginning of their serious work on a project what the final product will “feel” like. It may take weeks, months, or years to complete the work. But they’ve had from the beginning some sense of it. And that sense will guide them through the entire creative process” (David J. Rogers).
  • “Great artists feel as opportunity what others feel as a menace” (Kenneth Burke).
  • “A great portrait is always more a portrait of the painter than of the painted” (Samuel Butler).
Three white and pink lotus blossoms on blue background

Lotus Trio by Steven V. Ward


  • “Wake about seven thirty, have breakfast and am working by nine and usually work straight through until two p.m. After that it’s like living in a vacuum until working time next day” (Ernest Hemingway).
  • “Publishing is a very mysterious business. It is hard to predict what kind of sale or reception a book will have and advertising seems to do very little to the good” (Thomas Wolfe).
  • “We should write our own thoughts in as nearly as possible the language we thought them in, as though in a letter to an intimate friend. We should not disguise them in any way” (Leo Tolstoy).
  • “When I write I feel like an artist. When I’m not writing I don’t feel like anything at all) (Saul Bellow).
  • “I work on whatever medium likes me at the moment” (Marc Chagall).
  • “They come and ask me what idea I meant to embody in Faust as if I knew myself and could inform them” (Goethe).
  • “Great artists have no consideration for anyone’s sleep. Left alone and working all night, they phone you at three or four in the morning to announce they’ve thought of something” (David J. Rogers).
  • “We all do better in the future” (Raymond Carver).
  • Yellow Wildflowers on an impressionis style background

    Yellow Wildflowers by Steven V. Ward

    “You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, and publicity” (Thomas Wolfe).

  • “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working” (Pablo Picasso)

I am pleased to again feature in this post artwork by the talented artist Steven V. Ward whose work can be found on FineArtAmerica.  Some of his work also appears in my post More Inspiration and Information For Creators #5

© 2018 David J. Rogers

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Filed under Artists, Creativity, Creators' Work Life, Quotations, The Nature of Artists, Writers, Writing

6 responses to “Inspiration, Information, and Learnings For People In The Arts

  1. Good morning David, I have really enjoyed this series. As I read the quotes ini this post, I am reminded time and time again of what it is to be a creative. It will be most helpful for me in my next post which is about how artists hang on despite all the obstacles along the road!

    At this point in time I am feeling buoyant – ready for my next adventures, to Portugal on the 18th and the States on the 3rd of May….and open to all the creativity that will come from these trips. I will of course be seeing family and dear friends, and always meeting new people along the way who as yet I have no idea of their existence and they of mine…which is always an interesting prospect.

    Thinking of you and the family enjoying spring and of course the baseball season:) Best wishes to you – janet

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to mention how lovely it is to see Steven Ward’s work. I follow him on Twitter and really enjoy his work. Janet


    • davidjrogersftw

      Hello Dear Janet. It’s so good to hear from you. So you are buoyant–what a fantastic word for a wonderful creative mood. Isn’t that exactly the mood spiritual disciplines and all the arts are to bring us to? I think so.

      I can picture it before it occurs–you lovely Janet traveling about so contentedly absorbing new experiences, letting them enter your mind, mixing with your spirit, and being transformed into tangible form in your beautifully written ideas and painted images. I so look forward to what you will be bringing to us out here later this year. I hope you have the best of times in Portugal and enjoy your return to America. I wonder will it be very different than it used to be.

      You speak of the people you will be meeting. When I was so busy traveling to give speeches in North America and Europe I would come in contact with so many talented people, and formed the opinion that there was no end to the breadth of creativity that exists in this world–so many people who astound you with the beautiful capabilities they worked so hard to develop and refine. So much beauty everywhere in art–among painters, writers, composers, musicians, actors, dancers– that I melt, as I’m sure do you.

      I’m glad you like my quotes posts. I thought you would and I do too. I like many of the quotes, but particularly Saul Bellow’s about feeling like an artist when he was writing but not feeling like anything at all when he wasn’t. I know what he means and I think you do too. If you can’t do your work there is no substitute. I think you would like Bellow.

      Diana and I like Stephen Ward’s work very much. It’s a testimonial to it that you do too.
      Best wishes, friend. Talk to you soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good morning David, Thank you for this beautiful response….it’s put a huge smile on my face this morning. I hope that you and Diana are thoroughly enjoying spring and of course the onset of baseball season. Life is good 🙂 Best wishes to you – Janet x


  3. I’m still reading this, but am overwhelmed by the depth of – what would you call it? Data? Details? Delineations? Insights? Intrigue into the human heart of creativity? All I know is I’m bookmarking this & making sure I can keep reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

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