„He Robert Rauschenberg was a kind of enfant terrible at the time [around 1960] and I thought of him as an accomplished professional. He’d already had a number of shows, knew everybody, had been to Black Mountain College in South Carolina, working with all those avant-garde people.... Rauschenberg focused very much on working. I was prepared to do that, too. He was also involved with Merce Cunningham dance group and totally unconcerned with his success, in the cliché term. All of the activity had a lively quality, quite separate from any commercial situation.... [Rauschenberg moved into a loft in Jaser John's building and they very closely worked together for a couple of years]. You get a lot by doing. It's very important for a young artist to see how things are done. The kind of exchange we had was stronger than talking. If you do something then I do something then you do something, it means more than what you say.“
„I think all these new sculptors [after World War 2. ] – he Anthony Caro is not all that young though – are taking stand against abominable architecture since the war and I think rightly so. But again I feel it's not enough to be against something. You have to do something that will damn well replace it. Where do you put these sculptures?... I like to think that time is timeless and I wouldn't want to make a work which wouldn't last for more than ten years – nor a work that wouldn't go anywhere. It would make me terrible mad. Mind you, I have to wait to find for my work. It doesn't happen all that easily, but it does happen. It slips in somewhere. Before the war the architects were very much one with the sculptors, painters, everybody. We thought alike. Then the war was over.... the architects gave up coming to look at sculpture and painting.“
— Barbara Hepworth English sculptor 1903 - 1975
„You will soon find that it is not his clothes but his political sense and energy that control. You will find that if you expect to do anything there will be mighty little temptation to try to treat the men with whom you are working on any basis save the fundamental democratic basis of what they amount to, and what you can show you amount to as compared to them. So that if you go into life to do anything, it is perfectly useless for me to tell you to get rid of snobbery, because you will have to. It is just as true in every other field as in politics. Every man who works in philanthropy and he can do nothing in philanthropy unless he combines a very earnest desire to accomplish what is decent with the determination to accomplish it in practical fashion [... ] if he goes into philanthropy and tries to do something in a college settlement, tries to do his part in working to disentangle the tangled knot of our social and civic life, he will find just as soon as he gets interested in his work he wont care and won't know who the people are who are with him except as he judges them by their fruits. The interest that you take in him is, can a given man accomplish something? If he can not, then let him give place to the man who can.“
— Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
„I haven't found it difficult because I find this very enjoyable. It's really challenging. And I'm really proud of the record because it's a really good record. There's nothing harder than to write a pop record with meaning. I think it's much easier to be alternative. It's much easier to be different and take a different path outside of a commercial context. To try and write a pop song that is not cliché, to try and write a pop song that has meaning and fits in under three minutes and five seconds and has a hook that people want to listen to is the most difficult thing in the world to do. So in lieu of that you have to write what you know and what you like, what you're feeling. That's all I can basically do. I don't begrudge the other people that don't write their songs. And I don't judge them. I'd like to see more people writing their own songs, because that's just personally what I like. Just for me, as an artist, so many people only care about being popular right now. Whatever happened to trying to write a song that means something? When I was growing up, artists meant something. They had opinions, they looked different than the person working at the store on your street. They opened your eyes and taught you something about life. And I would like to aspire to be that kind of artist.“
— Colleen Fitzpatrick American singer and actress 1972
When asked about writing her own music
„What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me... is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.“
— Ira Glass American radio personality 1959
The Taste Gap: Ira Glass on the Secret of Creative Success, Animated in Living Typography http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/ira-glass-success-daniel-sax/ at brainpickings.org
„I'm very happy as I am. I realise that I made sacrifices early in my career and that it was hard on my relationships because, when I am working, I am very focused and it isn't easy, when you have been in the studio all day, to say to someone, 'I'll meet up with you later on.' I learned that it was necessary to be dedicated and put work first. But, at the same time, it was a wonderful feeling to be successful at doing something I loved.“
— Enya Irish singer, songwriter, and musician 1961
„When I was working a man asked me "Why does a fellow like you, with an education, and who has been all over the country, end up in this out-of-the-way place working for very little on a farm?" I explained that all people who had good jobs in factories, etc. had a withholding tax for war taken from their pay, and that people who worked on farms had no tax taken from their pay. I told him that I refused to pay taxes. He was a returned soldier and said that he did not like war either, but what could a fellow do about it? I replied that we each did what we really wanted to.“
— Ammon Hennacy American Christian radical 1893 - 1970
The Book of Ammon
„… if my ideology is a hand, then that's just two fingers. I incorporate a lot of Christian morality into what I do and in fact a lot of my beliefs are very conservative – like my desire for the world to be a better place where people use more intelligence. If you had to condense all that I believe in, it's that responsible, intelligent people should be allowed to do what they want. That artists and performers and architects, people who contribute something to the world, that actually have something to say as opposed to a business man or a politician, say, people who actually contribute to society, the power should be traded. The creators are always suppressed – other than the placebo "fame" that they're always given. I don't really suggest any solution – that we could all kick them out of their positions of power and take over. It's just the idea that if you enjoy what you do, that's why you should do it.“
— Marilyn Manson American rock musician and actor 1969
As quoted in NME (30 August 1997).
„Not too many people work in a job where, waiting out there are three or four hundred people who are paid to tear apart what you've done. And often they are brighter than you are, or they know more about the subject than you do, or they wish they had written a book themselves, or done a lot better. Or they just don't like it! And you have to live with it. I have been very well treated by the critics in the long haul.“
— James A. Michener American author 1907 - 1997
„And we all think that we’re very rational and very secular, but we make gods all the time. Everybody went apeshit when Barack Obama got elected. I was delighted. Everybody was thrilled: a sane, rational, intelligent human being in an important office. Great! But his biggest problem is everybody else! Is us! ‘Cause everybody’s in love with him! He stands up there - he’s very convincing and commanding and makes sense - he says: "It’s a difficult time, everyone needs to work together and be realistic about what we need to do..", and all that stuff - and everbody’s looking at him going: "NO! You do it! You’re SUPER JESUS. You’re so handsome when you’re serious. Do you work out?"“
— Dylan Moran Irish actor and comedian 1971
On Barack Obama
„I felt I had I worked hard enough and I felt confident I had done the right kind of work and the right amount of work. But when you talk of preparations, the measure of success is whether it works or not. In that area, I failed completely. I did not stay the course. When you hit the right spot, the sweet spot, it feels great and you feel the preparations have been ideal, but I never got there.“
— Viswanathan Anand Indian chess player 1969
„I suppose he had the good luck to be executed, no? I had an hour's chat with him in Buenos Aires. He struck me as a kind of play actor, no? Living up to a certain role. I mean, being a professional Andalusian... But in the case of Lorca, it was very strange because I lived in Andalusia and the Andalusians aren't a bit like that. His were stage Andalusians. Maybe he thought that in Buenos Aires he had to live up to that character, but in Andalusia, people are not like that. In fact, if you are in Andalusia, if you are talking to a man of letters and you speak to him about bullfights, he'll say, 'Oh well, that sort of this pleases people, I suppose, but really the torero works in no danger whatsoever.' Because they are bored by these things, because every writer is bored by the local color in his own country. Well, when I met Lorca, he was being a professional Andalusian... Besides, Lorca wanted to astonish us. He said to me that he was very troubled about a very important figure in the contemporary world. A character in whom he could see all the tragedy of American life. And then he went on in this way until I asked him who was this character and it turned out this character was Mickey Mouse. I suppose he was trying to be clever. And I thought, 'That's the kind of thing you say when you are very, very young and you want to astonish somebody.' But after all, he was a grown man, he had no need, he could have talked in a different way. But when he started in about Mickey Mouse being a symbol of America, there was a friend of mine there and he looked at me and I looked at him and we both walked away because we were too old for that kind of game, no? Even at that time.“
— Federico García Lorca Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director 1898 - 1936
Richard Burgin, Conversation with Jorge Luis Borges, pages 92–93.
„If your work reflects not only your technical skills, but also who you are and more importantly what you have to say, then it will do the talking in your stead. I agree that networking and meeting people is very important, but a foot in the door doesn’t always stop it closing.“
— John Howe (illustrator) Canadian illustrator 1957
„I was under the impression that in order to be alive and to be able to create what I had in mind I had to become successful. I realised that success and pure creativity are not very compatible. The more successful you become, the more you become a product of something that generates money. Instead of being able to move forward freely and do what you really wish, you find yourself stuck and obliged to repeat yourself and your previous success“
— Vangelis Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music 1943
Context: On music record industry: "I moved into the record industry. I was under the impression that in order to be alive and to be able to create what I had in mind I had to become successful. I realised that success and pure creativity are not very compatible. The more successful you become, the more you become a product of something that generates money. Instead of being able to move forward freely and do what you really wish, you find yourself stuck and obliged to repeat yourself and your previous success".
„These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to.“
— Jackson Browne American singer-songwriter 1948
These Days (ca. 1964-1965), from For Everyman (1973); previously recorded by Nico, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tom Rush, Kenny Loggins, Iain Matthews, and Mates of State