Artists Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old artists quotes, artists sayings, and artists proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.     

Pablo Picasso

All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.     

Maya Angelou

An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.     

Langston Hughes

An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have.     

Andy Warhol

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.     

Oscar Wilde

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.     

Henry Ward Beecher

It's good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.     

Tim Burton

Every artist was first an amateur.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are born an artist, you have no choice but to fight to stay an artist.     

Lana Del Rey

To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.     

Jasper Johns

Great artists suffer for the people.     

Marvin Gaye

A great artist can paint a great picture on a small canvas.     

Charles Dudley Warner

No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time; it is just that others are behind the times.     

Martha Graham

As artists, we do the work that we do. Receiving an award or not receiving an award in no way diminishes one's talent or value.     

Phylicia Rashad

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.     

Al Hirschfeld

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.     

Eugene Delacroix

Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.     

Margot Fonteyn

Artists need some kind of stimulating experience a lot of times, which crystallizes when you sing about it or paint it or sculpt it. You literally mold the experience the way you want. It's therapy.     

Erykah Badu

Real artists take the misery and sadness of life and translate it into art.     

Josh Peck

The big artist keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools.     

Thomas Eakins

An artist can be truly evaluated only after he is dead. At the very 11th hour, he might do something that will eclipse everything else.     

Van Cliburn

The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.     

Thomas Aquinas

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.     

George Santayana

True artists are almost the only men who do their work for pleasure.     

Auguste Rodin

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.     

Emile Zola

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.     

Wassily Kandinsky

To be an artist includes much; one must possess many gifts - absolute gifts - which have not been acquired by one's own effort. And, moreover, to succeed, the artist much possess the courageous soul.     

Kate Chopin

You don't know how much artists go through to make it look so easy. It's all in the practice.     

Lauryn Hill

Artists today think of everything they do as a work of art. It is important to forget about what you are doing - then a work of art may happen.     

Andrew Wyeth

In fact, most artists want to make things a bit more difficult for themselves as they go along, to challenge themselves.     

David Hockney

An artist is always alone - if he is an artist. No, what the artist needs is loneliness.     

Henry Miller

To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.     

Auguste Rodin

Every artist picks what they want to put out there, what image they want to portray, and what they want people to know about where they're from.     

Wiz Khalifa

The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.     

Jackson Pollock

There is only one position for an artist anywhere; and that is upright.     

Dylan Thomas

The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.     

Agnes De Mille

An artist is forced by others to paint out of his own free will.     

Willem de Kooning

To me, what makes an artist is a unique personality that they're not afraid to let show.     

Blake Shelton

An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature.     

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A great artist is a great man in a great child.     

Victor Hugo

Every artist preserves deep within him a single source from which, throughout his lifetime, he draws what he is, and what he says. When the source dries up, the work withers and crumbles.     

Albert Camus

Being an artist is dragging your innermost feelings out, giving a piece of yourself, no matter in which art form, in which medium.     

Henry Rollins

The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does.     

William Blake

Even a true artist does not always produce art.     

Carroll O'Connor

The great artist is a slave to his ideals.     

Christian Nestell Bovee

Only an artist can interpret the meaning of life.     

Novalis

Every artist writes his own autobiography.     

Havelock Ellis

In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men.     

Simone De Beauvoir

What gives the artist real prestige is his imitators.     

Igor Stravinsky

The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill.     

W. Somerset Maugham