“I could read all day every day for the rest of my life and still be behind… People are still infinitely more important to me than books, so I will never be an academic scholar. I like to read wildly in art, psychology, philosophy, French, and literature, and to live and see the world and talk deeply with people in it and to write my own poetry and prose, rather than becoming a pedantic expert on some minor writer of 200 years back, simply because he has not been written about yet.”
– Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

“When Philppe Halsman photographed her apartment in 1952, he counted 200 books on her bookshelf. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was on the nightstand by her bed. Sydney Skolsky, who went to bookstores with her, noted that she bought books on self-improvement and psychology, the latest plays, books of poetry, and everything on Abraham Lincoln. In conversation, she referred to the books for hours about philosophers.”
– Lois Banner, Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox

“Everything that can be learned about your craft should be learned. There’s a tremendous amount that you can teach yourself in the practice of any craft—whether it’s poetry, fiction, the making of music, or the making of art of any sort. And so, it is part of your job description to learn about your art and to work in an apprenticeship to make yourself the best artist that you can be.”
-Edward Hirsch, The Tiferet Talk Interviews

“You’re not simply entitled to be an actor – you’re not an actor just because you call yourself one – you earn it. You earn it by working.”
– Larry Moss, Intent to Live

It is necessary to have a point of view about the world which surrounds you, the society in which you live; a point of view as to how your art can reflect your judgment. Portray things the way they are, hold a mirror up to a society.
– Uta Hagen, Respect for Acting

“It takes skill to bring something you’ve imagined into the world: to use words to create believable lives, to select colours and textures of paint to represent a haystack at sunset, to combine ingredients to make a flavourful dish. No one is born with that skill. It is developed through exercise, through repetition, through a blend of learning and reflection that’s both painstaking and rewarding. And it takes time.”
– Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

“People err who think my art comes easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, nobody has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. There is not a famous master whose music I have not industriously studied through many times.”
– Mozart

“Your brain is naturally creative and you need only to provide it with the right environment to unlock its full creative potential. Nurture every opportunity you have to be creative, always try to be flexibly and to get away from the norm – believe that your ideas, like your brain, are truly exceptional”
– Tony Buzan, The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps

“The thing about writing [or any art form] is not to talk, but to do it; no matter how bad or even mediocre it is, the process and production is the thing, not the sitting and theorizing about how one should write ideally, or how well one could write if one really wanted to or if one had the time”
– Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

“I didn’t study acting before I got my first job in Dazed… I went into another picture after that where I really studied all the lines, and after doing that I was like ‘man I felt constrained’ and I came up with this wonderful idea in my head: ‘hey, maybe you’re not the kind of actor who needs to study lines. You just know your man and you just show up and you get up on set and you just do it.’ …
So I go do to this film… [I decide that] I’m not going to look at anything. [I’ll] go down to set, take a look right before, stay fresh and loose. So I go down to look at it, and it’s a page and a half monologue… in Spanish. And I felt this trickle of sweat go down my neck. And for whatever reason I looked down at it and I said, ‘Can you give me 12 minutes.’
You got to know your shit and then let go of it.”
– Matthew McConaughey, The Actors Roundtable, 2014

“Winning is the science of preparation, and preparation can be defined in three words: Leave nothing undone. No detail is too small.”
– Reggie Jackson

“All tedious research is worth one inspired moment.”
– Uta Hagen, Respect for Acting

“When I say I must write, I don’t mean I must publish. There is a great difference. I am dependent on the process of writing, not on the acceptance; and if I have a dry spell, the eyes, ears, and heart open, and when the productive time comes, it is that much richer”
– Sylvia Plath, Letters Home

Quotes About Creativity and the Creative Process
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Christine Bissonnette

I first became interested in acting when I was 13, but I think that I’ve probably been a writer my entire life. I started by writing poetry. I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, but I knew that I loved exploring the rhythms and thought processes that were different from my own.