What it means to be creative: quotes

Over the years I have found and read several books that greatly inspire me. From them, I have gained a deeper understanding of what creativity is and the role that it plays in our lives.

Some authors have written creativity guides, such as Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Other authors, like Eckhart Tolle, write from a spiritual angle. Most fascinating of all (to me at least) are writings that use Jungian analysis, such as Clarissa Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves. Although each author explains their ideas in a different way, many of their ideas overlap and have themes in common.

  • Creativity and spirituality are connected. Through creative acts we are able to reach our deeper self.
  • Art and creativity are connected with the right brain and thus through images, sounds, smell, touch, taste
  • Creativity does not come from us. It comes to us and flows through us.
  • Our inner artist is a child
  • We need other artists and we need supportive people
  • Being creative means facing our shadow

All of these statements are true. Creativity is something that we channel, and in doing so we activate the right side of the brain, make our inner child happy, and gain access to our deeper self. In doing this we may face our shadow – the dark side of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge. Facing our shadow is the key to spiritual development and also to removing any creative blocks that we may have. Sometimes we become blocked because we do not want to face the shadow. For this reason, it’s important to surround ourselves with supportive people.

Here are some of my favourite quotes that help to explain these ideas.

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” — C.G. Jung

Younger Self – who can be as balky and stubborn as the most cantankerous three-year-old- is not impressed by words. . . To arouse its interest, we must seduce it with pretty pictures and pleasurable sensations – take it out dining and dancing as it were. Only in this way can Deep Self be reached.” — Starhawk

There’s a particular dimension where creativity arises.  It’s a little bit like the wick burning the flame, and its sustenance is the oil – it’s in an oil lamp, and you are the flame.  All the analogies, by the way, are very deficient, but it’s just a distant approximation to get you into a sense of what that place is.  So you are the flame, and you feel your way into the very source – down the wick into where the oil is, inside yourself.  That’s the place, the source, so if anything is new, creative, then it has a fragrance of the source.” — Eckhart Tolle

In spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.” — C.G. Jung 

It [creative recovery] is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. There will be many times when we won’t look good – to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time. Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner.” — Julia Cameron

Creativity is not a solitary movement. That is its power. What is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, is fed. That is why beholding someone else’s creative word, image, idea, fills us up, inspires us to our own creative work.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I especially love this last quote. Art connects us together, whether it is music or a painting or a movie or a book.

What does creativity mean to you?

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2 thoughts on “What it means to be creative: quotes

  1. I agree with Julia’s quote – the creative process can begin in a clumsy and embarrassing way – but if we stick with it, move through it and listen to what whispers to us – well that is where the magic begins

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