Quotes about Artists

The worst thing that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly. J D Salinger

If it is the mark of the artist to love art before everything, to renounce everything for its sake, to think all the sweet human things of life well lost if only he may attain something, do some good, great work – then I was never an artist. Ellen Terry

An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along. Evelyn Waugh

The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you. James Michener

An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done. William Faulkner

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize. Robert Hughes

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

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

Everyone loathes his own country and countrymen if he is any sort of artist. Lawrence Durrell

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

Whatever an artist’s personal feelings are, as soon as an artist fills a certain area on the canvas or circumscribes it, he becomes historical. He acts from or upon other artists. Willem De Kooning

The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves. Willem De Kooning

A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist. Louis Nizer

A fine artist is one who makes familiar things new and new things familiar. Louis Nizer

Just as the creative artist is not allowed to choose, neither is he permitted to turn his back on anything: a single refusal, and he is cast out of the state of grace and becomes sinful all the way through. Rainer Maria Rilke

An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s. J D Salinger

Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it. Paul Valery

The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. H L Mencken

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

The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs. G K Chesterton

The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails. James Joyce

An artist carries on throughout his life a mysterious, uninterrupted conversation with his public. Maurice Chevalier

There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman. Emile Zola

A good artist should be isolated. If he isn’t isolated, something is wrong. Orson Welles

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. William S Burroughs