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Quotes about Originality

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151 art quotes about Originality found | Share this page of quotes about Originality on Facebook

Don't be a blueprint. Be an original. (Roy Acuff)

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon. (Konrad Adenauer)

No bird has ever uttered note / That was not in some first bird's throat; / Since Eden's freshness and man's fall / No rose has been original (Thomas Bailey Aldrich)

Often the most unique, compelling work comes not from a concept or an idea but from a deep, wordless place inside the artist. (Juliette Aristides)

Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time when people finally realize you were right, they'll say it was obvious all along. (Alan Ashley-Pitt)

Originality is way overrated. To make, you need to take. All great artists do. (Darby Bannard)

Many years ago, Clement Greenberg said, 'All profoundly original work looks ugly at first.' This should be updated now to 'All profoundly ugly work looks original at first.' (Darby Bannard)

Trying to be original is futile. If you have no place to go, stay home and cook. (Darby Bannard)

If you want to be one of the first into a new territory, you cannot wait for large amounts of evidence. (Joel Barker)

Nearly all our originality comes from the stamp that time impresses upon our sensibility. (Charles Baudelaire)

Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But... the artist with vision... by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences... molds something distinctly personal. (Romare Bearden)

All has not been said and never will be. (Samuel Beckett)

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. (Henry Ward Beecher)

I think one of the reasons I'm popular again is because I'm wearing a tie. You have to be different. (Tony Bennett)

Be yourself. The world worships the original. (Ingrid Bergman)

Every individual has the potential to be original. (Yogi Bhajan)

There is no one just like you, and there never will be anyone just like you, so there's no reason not to be original. (Sergei Bongart)

U2 is an original species... there are colours and feelings and emotional terrain that we occupy that is ours and ours alone. (Bono)

'Authentic' is derived from the Greek authentikos, which means 'original.' And unfortunately, there's no recipe for originality. Each brand must build its own primary source code for the authentic. (Bill Breen)

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. (Robert Bresson)

- The Life of an Artist: An Autobiography...
There is nothing new under the sun, not even Manet. (Jules Breton)

Nowadays, all a man can do to be original is to cite the earliest known quote on that subject. Women, though, have no problem being original. In fact, women are always being original. I constantly have to tell my wife to stop talking so much nonsense. (Benson Bruno)

-photographer, 1874...
I believe that... my first successes in my out-of-focus pictures were a fluke. That is to say, that when focusing and coming to something which, to my eye, was very beautiful, I stopped there instead of screwing on the lens to the more definite focus which all other photographers insist upon... (Julia Margaret Cameron)

When we refuse to conform and use all our strength, we can express opinions that others will have never been able to conceive and surprise the constipated minds that take everything for granted. (Vittorio Canta)

Originality is a thing we constantly clamor for, and constantly quarrel with. (Thomas Carlyle)

The transposition that a painter makes with an original vision gives to the representation of nature a new interest. (Paul Cezanne)

Whoever the master is whom you prefer, this must only be a directive for you. Otherwise you will never be anything but an imitator. (Paul Cezanne)

Only those with no memory insist on their originality. (Coco Chanel)

Give your mind as long as possible to come up with something original. (John Cleese)

An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original. (Jean Cocteau)

What is most original in a man's nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. (Leonard Cohen)

Originality comes from just being true to ourselves and what we value about what we see. (Melinda Collins)

Knowing how to paint and to use one's colors rightly has not any connection with originality. This originality consists in properly expressing your own impressions. (Thomas Couture)

There's a certain subtle pressure – even when you think you've put it behind you – toward the original, the unique, the novel and the new. It's easy to confuse this with authentic creativity. (Warren Criswell)

The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot. (Salvador Dali)

All art is derivative. There is no form of art that is totally original... 'originality' is a modern art construct... a silly concession to marketing concerns. (Paul deMarrais)

The man who follows a crowd will never be followed by a crowd. (R. S. Donnell)

I would like to make something that is real in itself, that does not remind anyone of any other things, and that does not have to be explained like the letter A, for instance. (Arthur Dove)

Let me not follow in the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path... (Max Ehrmann)

Adhere to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant, and broken the monotony of a decorous age. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I don't believe too much in originality... you learn art from other art and then looking into somebody's face or landscape is the point of departure to do your work of art. (Paterson Ewen)

Minorities are the stars of the firmament; majorities, the darkness in which they float. (Martin Fischer)

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work. (Gustave Flaubert)

Originality is something that is easily exaggerated, especially by authors contemplating their own work. (John Kenneth Galbraith)

Originality - it can only be found when the studio door is closed behind you and you are the only artist in the room. (Don Gardi)

If you are like most people, then, like most people, you don't know you're like most people. (Daniel T. Gilbert)

Anyhow, the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I'm far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me. (Elizabeth Gilbert)

The most original authors are not so because they advance what is new, but because they put what they have to say as if it had never been said before. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Everything clever has been thought of before. We must try to think again. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

To be the authentic is to be detached and stand aside from oneself and the work so that the working process can take on an untrammeled life of its own. Labored self-involvement, contrivance, ulterior motives, even the extraordinary facility that one may have, must be let go. (Josh Goldberg)

What nerve. Not even a modicum of originality. (Samuel Goldwyn)

You must study the Masters but guard the original style that beats within your soul and put to sword those who would try to steal it. (El Greco)

All profoundly original work looks ugly at first. (Clement Greenberg)

Art is about presenting the possibility of a different way of thinking. (Josephine Le Grice)

We come up with what seems like a genuinely original thought... But then we discover that someone else beat us to the punch... years, even centuries, before... It's a little deflating at first, but ultimately pretty satisfying to discover that we have briefly been on the same wavelength with some of the world's finest thinkers. (Dr. Mardy Grothe)

It would be as natural for a full-grown tiger to mew as for a man released from the slavery of imitations ever to go back to his neighbor again with 'What do you think of this? What do you advise about that?' (Henry S. Haskins)

It is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better. (Friedrich August von Hayek)

Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick with you and show up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do. (Robert Henri)

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes. (Thomas Wentworth Higginson)

In art, new ways of seeing mean new ways of feeling; you can't divorce the two, as, we are now aware, you cannot have time without space and space without time. (David Hockney)

Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest. (Eric Hoffer)

Perhaps our originality manifests itself most strikingly in what we do with that which we did not originate. To discover something wholly new can be a matter of chance, of idle tinkering, or even of the chronic dissatisfaction of the untalented. (Eric Hoffer)

If you want to create an original piece of art, your paintings should suit your temperament and be true to you. (Amanda Hyatt)

What is originality? Undetected plagiarism. (William Ralph Inge)

The most important thing an artist can do is confront society with something it has never seen before, something in a sense improper. (Arata Isozaki)

I have a theory that the only original things we ever do are mistakes. (Billy Joel)

Originality is the art of concealing your source. (Franklin P. Jones)

Anything really new is repulsive, because it is abnormal and unreasonable. (Asger Jorn)

- Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935-46...
Did I come into this world thru the womb of my mother the earth just so I could talk and write like everybody else? (Jack Kerouac)

What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original. (Austin Kleon)

-on upcoming show, The Digital Artistry of Don Lambert, 2012...
It's certainly going to be different from what people have seen before. (Don Lambert)

There is no such thing as a completely original technique or subject. (Don Lambert)

No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth, without caring twopence how often it has been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. (C. S. Lewis)

But the idea of taking things and mixing them together is what I do in my music. I take hip-hop, R&B, pop, dance, funk and soul and mix it all together to get my own sound. (Jennifer Lopez)

Human nature has a much greater genius for sameness than for originality. (James Russell Lowell)

It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. (Archibald MacLeish)

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also, you will have betrayed your community in failing to make your contribution. (Rollo May)

A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable. The pressure of ideas would simply drive it frantic. (H. L. Mencken)

All good things which exist are the fruits of originality. (John Stuart Mill)

I admire anyone who can come up with something original. But not originality alone, because there can be originality in stupidity, with no musical description of any emotion or any beauty the man has seen, or any kind of life he has lived. (Charles Mingus)

It does not matter how badly you paint, just so long as you don't paint badly like other people. (George Edward Moore)

I really do not aim at any originality. (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

The glass I drink from is not large, but at least it is my own. (Alfred de Musset)

Originality really means... the ability to mix up various elements and come up with something new. When you take it apart you realize none of the elements are really new, but the end product is. (Margarete Nagarkar)

The businessman says, 'If I don't do it first, somebody else will.' The artist says, 'If I don't do it first, nobody else will.' (LeRoy Neiman)

The actual breakthrough in the privacy of the studio, when one dares to apply paint in a new manner, is a solitary thrill, dependent upon no one else. (Mary Carroll Nelson)

Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

It is the subject matter that must be treated in an, if not striking then, original manner. Don't be pigeonholed by your own format. (Alex Nodopaka)

I've done really well so far in my career by trusting the audience to be as dissatisfied with convention as I am, as a film-goer. You want to go see a film that surprises you in some way. (Christopher Nolan)

I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me... shapes and ideas so near to me... so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down... (Georgia O'Keeffe)

Knowledge and skills, once acquired, practiced and mastered, have to be laid aside and stored in the unconscious. Then the informed artist can be free to create truly original paintings. (Hilary Page)

The more originality you have in yourself, the more you see in others. (Blaise Pascal)

A certain strangeness, something of the blossoming of the aloe, is indeed an element in all true works of art: that they shall excite or surprise us is indispensable. (Walter Pater)

To be original one needs to learn the ideas of other painters in order to be different from them. (Edgar A. Payne)

Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it. (Laurence J. Peter)

What I have to do is utilize as best I can the ideas which objects suggest to me, connect, fuse, and color in my way the shadows they cast within me, illumine them from the inside. And since of necessity my vision is quite different from that of the next man, my painting will interpret things in an entirely different manner even though it makes use of the same elements. (Pablo Picasso)

A young artist must forget painting when he paints. That's the only way he will do original work. (Pablo Picasso)

No idea is completely original, but if it is too divergent the artist has the bigger job of educating his audience to enjoying the works of true originality. (Sally Pollard)

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality. (Beatrix Potter)

Utter originality is, of course, out of the question. (Ezra Pound)

Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists. (Marcel Proust)

- interview with Shirley Kaneda, 1994...
If one achieves something new it's always tested against something already known - this is how recognition works - therefore opening up new possibilities naturally entails finding the limits of what has gone before. (Fiona Rae)

Having to be different is the same trap as having to be the same. (Robert Rauschenberg)

My originality consists in putting the logic of the visible to the service of the invisible. (Odilon Redon)

A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike. (Al Ries)

If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original. (Sir Ken Robinson)

If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with something original. (Sir Ken Robinson)

Whatever you do, be different - that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can't think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you're different, you will stand out. (Anita Roddick)

I invent nothing. I rediscover. (Auguste Rodin)

It is better to be good than to be original. (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe)

Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly. (Don Miguel Ruiz)

The artist has only to remain true to his dream and it will possess his work in such a manner that it will resemble the work of no other man. (Albert Pinkham Ryder)

The only thing worth doing is what's never been done before. (David Salle)

The task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees. (Erwin Schrodinger)

Originality depends on the character of the drawing and the vision peculiar to each artist. (Georges Seurat)

All art is based on non-conformity. (Ben Shahn)

What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it. (George Bernard Shaw)

Originality in art puts charm where it wasn't. (Eli Siegel)

Originality is not seen in single words or even sentences. Originality is the sum total of a man's thinking or his writing. (Isaac Bashevis Singer)

Assimilate all you can from tradition and then say things in your own way. (John Sloan)

Originality is a quality that cannot be imitated. The technique of the language, on the other hand, is something that belongs to all who can understand it. (John Sloan)

Love art, love yourself, do what you have to do and what only you can do. Utter honesty is the only path to originality. (Roberta Smith)

Since there are only a few original people in the world, there is more uniformity than one might expect, in view of the large number who think they have something to say. (Leo Stein)

Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself. (James Stephens, author)

It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur. (Wallace Stevens)

Originality implies being bold enough to go beyond accepted norms. (Anthony Storr)

All original art is self-regulated; and no original art can be regulated from without. It carries its own counterpoise and does not receive it from elsewhere - lives on its own blood. (Hippolyte Taine)

Nothing is said that has not been said before. (Publius Terentius Afer, Terence)

When we say there is nothing new under the sun, we do not count forgotten things. (Thierry)

Real art, like the wife of an affectionate husband, needs no ornaments. But counterfeit art, like a prostitute, must always be decked out. The cause of production of real art is the artist's inner need to express a feeling that has accumulated...The cause of counterfeit art, as of prostitution, is gain. The consequence of true art is the introduction of a new feeling into the intercourse of life... The consequences of counterfeit art are the perversion of man, pleasure which never satisfies, and the weakening of man's spiritual strength. (Leo Tolstoy)

Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. (Brian Tracy)

What a good thing Adam had – when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before. (Mark Twain)

In the visual arts, originality can be a very ambiguous word. (Chris Tyrell)

The existence of originality, it seems, is as threatened as many plants and animals. Originality is becoming an endangered achievement. (Chris Tyrell)

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another. (Voltaire)

Original art is the World's Most Powerful Currency. (Milos Vujasinovic)

It is essential for each of us to strive to retain originality and to maintain our identity as human beings. (Thomas J. Watson, Jr.)

The world doesn't necessarily need another pretty picture. But what the world sorely needs is a sense of how things might be put together, that hither to have not been put together. (Frank Webb)

Original art that is created is like a flower, every Spring new and every time a little different. (Kevin Weckbach)

True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision. (Edith Wharton)

Every really new idea looks crazy at first. (Alfred North Whitehead)

Abstract and conceptual painters face different demons than representational painters, but neither group has a monopoly on either authenticity or originality. (Steve Whitney)

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. (Oscar Wilde)

...worked so far out beyond the frontiers of conventional studio art that they have no names themselves for the forms they create. (Tom Wolfe)

It is the triumph of the individual over art - the zenith of an original voice. (Miles Patrick Yohnke)

Be your own act. (Miles Patrick Yohnke)

We are all born originals – why is it so many of us die copies? (Edward Young)

There is a case for saying that the creation of new aesthetic forms has been the most fundamentally productive of all forms of human activity. Whoever creates new artistic conventions has found methods of interchange between people about matters which were incommunicable before. The capacity to do this has been the basis of the whole of human history. (J. Z. Young)

Sometimes, if you really want to try something original, you step a little too far out of bounds. I mean, there's a market force that kind of unconsciously keeps you in line a little bit. (David Zucker)