50+ Most Inspiring Art Quotes: Learn to Think Like the Masters!

most inspiring art quotes

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Looking for some art quotes for inspiration?

Whether you’re looking for a source of inspiration and motivation for yourself or for other creatives, the art quotes from famous masters in history listed below will help guide your way:

How to Make the Most of Art Quotes?

What are art quotes but the essence of fine art condensed into a single phrase or paragraph?

For such a good thing, it’s always best to have a preliminary understanding so that your own mastery of art can be consolidated to a deeper level.

They can spark inspiration, motivate you to continue creating art, and allow you to gain a deeper understanding of certain skills and techniques without having to research the subject too deeply.

Best Art Quotes from Great Masters


We Don’t Make Mistakes, Just Happy Little Accidents.

  • Bob Ross
portrait of bob ross
Portrait of Bob Ross

Bob Ross is a famous American Painter who is widely known throughout the world because of his art video series, “The Joy of Painting”. If you want to learn how to think and paint like one of the masters, this video series is one of the best resources to do so!

After all, while Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, etc. are considered to be more prominent in art history. You can’t learn from them like with Bob Ross. He can appear on any digital screen and impart knowledge without you having to travel through great mountains and rivers. Not even time or space can stop you!

Case in point, his famous art quote, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents,” has been so widely spread that even non-artists know about it!


Art Is the Desire of a Man to Express Himself, to Record the Reactions of His Personality to the World He Lives In.

  • Amy Lowell


Creativity Takes Courage.

  • Henri Matisse


Art Enables Us to Find Ourselves and Lose Ourselves at the Same Time.

  • Thomas Merton


Painting Is Poetry That Is Seen Rather Than Felt, and Poetry Is Painting That Is Felt Rather Than Seen.

  • Leonardo da Vinci
the last supper by leonardo da vinci
“The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist who was completely self-taught. A genius in both art and science that was built entirely from his own observations of the world.

His art was his reality come to life. Poetry that can be seen, imparting his unique insights to the world and allowing the next generation of artists to learn from his genius.


Art Is the Daughter of Freedom.

    • Friedrich Schiller


A Work of Art Which Isn’t Based on Feeling Isn’t Art at All.

  • Paul Cézanne


Life Is Art. Art Is Life. I Never Separate It.

  • AI Weiwei


Have No Fear of Perfection, You’ll Never Reach It.

  • Salvador Dali
portrait of salvador dali
Portrait of Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí was a big player in the art world during the 1930s – 1950s. He can be said to be one of the most outstanding of his time, partly because of his cartoonish appearance and theatrical behavior.

The most eye-catching of his traits is that his outward appearance completely matches his own soul as an artist. The wild and free style naturally reflects Salvador Dali’s own nature, which proves that his everyday life is filled with color and freedom.


Art Is the Stored Honey of the Human Soul, Gathered on Wings of Misery and Travail.

  • Theodore Dreiser


Nature Is Not Only All That Is Visible to the Eye, It Also Includes the Inner Pictures of the Soul.

  • Edvard Munch


Great Art Picks up Where Nature Ends.

  • Marc Chagall


The Essence of All Beautiful Art, All Great Art, Is Gratitude.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche


Those Who Do Not Want to Imitate Anything, Produce Nothing..

  • Salvador Dali
the secret life of salvador dali
“The Secret Life of Salvador Dali” by Salvador Dali

If you want to paint dreams like Salvador Dali, you can consider checking out his autobiography to get a deeper understanding of his true artist persona.

The Secret Life of Salvador Dali” not only includes his own inner and outer journey as an artist, but it also imparts important techniques that all artists — whether they are interested in Surrealism or not — may want to know.


Creativity Is Magic. Don’t Examine It Too Closely.

  • Edward Albee


Every Artist Dips His Brush in His Own Soul, and Paints His Own Nature Into His Pictures.

  • Henry Ward Beecher


Art Brings Consolation To Individuals.

  • Stefan Zweig


Art Washes Away From the Soul the Dust of Everyday Life.

  • Pablo Picasso

Be like Picasso and don’t spend all your life looking at day-to-day scenery. Instead, create a work of art that washes the dust that has cloaked your creative soul and reveals your inner artist’s world for others to understand.

the old guitarist
“The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso


Art Is the Highest Form of Hope.

  • Gerhard Richter


Art Is the Only Serious Thing in the World. And the Artist Is the Only Person Who Is Never Serious.”

  • Oscar Wilde


The Aim of Art is to Represent Not the Outward Appearance of Things, but Their Inward Significance.

  • Aristotle


Every Artist Was First an Amateur.”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Art
portrait of ralph waldo emerson
Engraved Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to be a good artist, one of the things that you must overcome to create good art is your own self-conscious nature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is not a visual artist himself, but as a famous essayist, philosopher, and poet he understands that all great artists were once amateurs and that great artists will only continue to be born when those who are courageous and persevering enough can persist.


They Always Say Time Changes Things, but You Actually Have to Change Them Yourself.

  • Andy Warhol


We’ve All Forgotten How to Be Original.

  • Peter Jackson


Painting Is Just Another Way of Keeping a Diary.

  • Pablo Picasso


If You Hear a Voice Within You Say, ‘You Cannot Paint,’ Then by All Means Paint, and That Voice Will Be Silenced

  • Vincent Van Gogh
portrait of vincent van gogh
Self-Portrait of Vincent van Gogh

Sometimes, no matter what you do, it’s hard to create art. Art block is just like this, sometimes it wears you down little by little, and sometimes it screams at you and forces you to a halt each time you want to pick up your brush or pen.

But there’s a very easy way to solve it! As dictated by the ever-famous Vincent van Gogh, whenever you hear a voice with you say ‘You can’t’, then by all means, do it! Only by doing it once and for all can you prove that you can.

FUN FACT! This may seem unreliable. But it’s true! One of the most common causes of art block is white paper syndrome, which is fear of a blank page or canvas. For some artists, even just poking a dot on a piece of paper unleashes creativity and is enough to get them started.


Passion Is One Great Force That Unleashes Creativity, Because if You’re Passionate About Something, Then You’re More Willing to Take Risks.

    • Yo-Yo Ma


If I Create From the Heart, Nearly Everything Works; If From the Head, Almost Nothing.

  • Marc Chagall


Art Is a Lie That Makes Us Realize Truth.

  • Pablo Picasso


To Create One’s Own World in Any of the Arts Takes Courage.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe
portrait of georgia o'keeffe
Portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe

According to Georgia O’Keeffe, any work of art requires great perseverance to complete.

If you want to be a great artist, you must learn to be courageous. Don’t let any new ideas go and pursue them to the fullest extent. Only in that way can you allow your artist soul to grow and prosper.


Creativity Is Contagious, Pass It On.

  • Albert Einstein


Everybody Born Comes From the Creator Trailing Wisps of Glory. We Come from the Creator With Creativity. I Think That Each One of Us Is Born With Creativity.

  • Maya Angelou


Color Is My Day-Long Obsession, Joy and Torment.

  • Claude Monet


Creativity Is Allowing Yourself to Make Mistakes. Art Is Knowing Which Ones to Keep.

  • Scott Adams

Scott Adams, the famous cartoonist who created the comic strip “Dilbert”, understands that creative people must allow themselves to constantly make ‘mistakes’. And that the creation of  true art relies on whether you can understand whether what you created is truly a mistake or a happy little accident!

how to fail at everything
“How to Fail at Almost Everything”  by Scott Adams


Art Is Not a Thing, It Is a Way.

  • Elbert Hubbard


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 True Sign of Intelligence Is Not Knowledge but Imagination.

  • Albert Einstein


I Never Paint Dreams or Nightmares. I Paint My Own Reality.”

  • Frida Kahlo
self-portrait of frida kahlo
Self-Portrait of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is a master artist recognized for having eerie semi-realistic art. For some, the painting may seem like it could have been drawn from some fantasy, be it a dream or a nightmare. But as Kahlo herself stated, each of her paintings was created from her own reality.

This is the key to her success as an artist. And it might be yours as well! All you have to do is work hard to unlock your unique artist’s world and perceive the truth within your soul. It seems a bit difficult to do, but for those who are uniquely talented in this area, sometimes it’s as easy as breathing.


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


The Great Artists of the Past Were Aware That Human Life Was Full of Chaos and Suffering but They Had a Remedy for This and the Name of That Remedy Was Beauty. The Beautiful Work of Art Brings Consolation in Sorrow and Affirmation in Joy, It Shows Human Life to Be Worthwhile.

  • Roger Scruton


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


Every Child Is an Artist; The Problem Is Staying an Artist When You Grow Up

  • Pablo Picasso
“Violin” by Pablo Picasso

Most of Picasso’s own work can be said to be very whimsical or, even, childish. His creativity is endless, just like that of a child. This excellent quality in him allows him to create great works like “Violin”, which opens the mind and soul.


Originality Is Nothing but Judicious Imitation. The Most Original Writers Borrowed One From Another. The Instruction We Find in Books Is Like Fire. We Fetch It From Our Neighbor’s, Kindle It at Home, Communicate It to Others, and It Becomes the Property of All.

  • Francois Voltaire


My Idea of Heaven Is to Wake Up, Have a Good Breakfast, and Spend the Rest of the Day Drawing.

  • Peter Falk


Only Those Who Attempt the Absurd Can Achieve the Impossible.

  • Albert Einstein


You Can’t Use up Creativity. The More You Use, the More You Have.

  • Maya Angelou
letter to my daughter
“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

One thing to remember is that art is never finished. Creativity will never run out. Sometimes it feels like it, but in fact, if you persist, you’ll find that the more you do, the better you are. Just as described by the ever-wise Maya Angelou.


The Job of the Artist Is Always to Deepen the Mystery.

  • Francis Bacon


Every Good Painter Paints What He Is.

  • Jackson Pollock


To Be an Artist Is to Believe in Life.

  • Henry Moore


Life Beats Down and Crushes the Soul and Art Reminds You That You Have One.

  • Stella Adler

(BONUS!) How Do I Create My Own Quotes?

As a bonus for those who are interested in other matters involving art quotes, let’s talk about how to create art quotes!

Is it even possible? If you’re talking about literally, making quotes is fairly simple. After all, isn’t an art quote just art knowledge condensed into a single phrase?

BUT!!! A statement is just a statement if it’s not passed around. Which leads to the real dilemma. How to create art quotes that other people can take inspiration from? Let’s break it down for your reference:

  • Step 1: Condense Knowledge – It’s best to keep your art quote as short and concise as possible. In that way, it will be easier for others to remember.
  • Step 2: Publish it on Social Media – To start gaining traction for your art quote, you can post it on social media. An example would be @plesnistudiofever’s Instagram post below:

  • Step 3: Use Quote Regularly in Daily Life – The more you say it, the more it spreads. Use the quote when speaking to your fellow art enthusiasts. Better yet! You can post videos on sites like YouTube and use the quote regularly — until it becomes a trademark of your brand!

If you want to be remembered as an artist, having art quotes that can withstand the test of time is one of the easiest ways. At least, you can be certain that those who have heard and understood the knowledge in your words will be able to remember you.

(BONUS!!) How to Spark Inspiration with Art Quotes?

The next bonus section is about how to make the most out of art quotes! If this is something that you’re interested in, take a look at the following ideas to learn more:

1. Use Quotes for an Art Journal

use quotes for an art journal

Creating an art journal is one of the most common ways to make use of art quotes. You can use the art quote as inspiration for the art journal entry OR you can take it even further and make the art quote the main subject of the entry altogether.

PRO TIP! If you want to practice your art skills, you can do an art journal challenge inspired by art quotes for 10 or 30 days, whatever is most convenient for you! If you stick to it, you’ll find that it’ll get easier and easier with time.

2. Decorate Your Art Studio with Art Quotes

decorate your art studio with art quotes

Another way to indirectly spark inspiration with quotes is to arrange it so that it can be seen regularly in your daily life. The easiest way to do this is to print or draw out art quote decorations (e.g., like the photo framed decorations in the image) to hang on the wall of your art studio.

The picture frame can also be placed on the table or you can go another route and put the quote on a post-it note on a pegboard. Whatever works! Some people even directly tape quotes on their mirrors so that they can pump themselves up every day.

3. Use Quotes as Screensaver

use quotes as screensaver

Another way to arrange quotes to appear regularly in your daily life is to use them as a screensaver! It can be on your desktop, your phone, your tablet, etc.!

4. Use Quotes to Practice Calligraphy

use quotes to practice calligraphy

If you like calligraphy, using art quotes as practice is very convenient. Not to mention, after you finish a piece, you can hang it up or post it whenever you want as decoration!

PRO TIP! There are many benefits to practicing calligraphy as an artist. Not only does it enhance motor skills, it also sharpens one’s creativity, and increases your confidence when painting or drawing.

5. Post Quotes on Chalkboard/Blackboard

post quotes on chalkboard

One fun way to spark inspiration with art quotes is to use a chalkboard or blackboard. As long as you get into the habit of changing it regularly, you’ll find that it’s just as good as using quotes to practice in journals or calligraphy. At the very least, it exercises your creativity.

Final Thoughts:

Inspirational art quotes may not look like they can have much effect. But, as Vincent van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

As long as you can persist in your art practice, you can be certain to do bigger and greater things in the future!

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