Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.
—Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
It is . . . on the level of the imagination that we formulate our initial response to the encounter with the divine; faith finds expression first as myth and ritual, sacrament, symbol, image and story. Only later does it become dogma and institution.
—Kathleen R. Fischer, The Inner Rainbow
When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist; Shakespeare knew how to listen to his work, and so he often wrote better than he could write; Bach composed more deeply, more truly than he knew; Rembrandt’s brush put more of the human spirit on canvas than Rembrandt could comprehend.
—Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
I was gathering images all of my life, storing them away, and forgetting them. Somehow I had to send myself back, with words as catalysts, to open the memories out and see what they had to offer.
—Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
At least in the actual act of writing, one has to be alone. That surely has nothing to do with community, and can only be stymied by it. Yet in leading my workshops, I have seen people stimulated by community while writing in the same room with others. Participants report a kind of group energy that raises the level of their own creativity, as they come to know one another through their mutual stories.
—Dan Wakefield, Releasing the Creative Spirit
In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.
—David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art and Fear
If you choose the riskier path and decide to spend your life as a creator, you have the job of feeling successful no matter what your objective successes look like. You must train yourself to feel successful, despite what your heart and the world tell you about your lack of success.
—Eric Maisel, The Van Gogh Blues
Although it is possible to be creative without having experienced personal trauma, such experiences often jolt people into asking questions that other people have no reason to ask and gaining a new perspective on realities that other people take for granted.
—Robert Wuthnow, Creative Spirituality