Creativity is powerful. But sometimes we forget just how significant it is. Sometimes we’re too focused on shoulds. I should wash the dishes right now. I should do the laundry. I should be doing something “productive.” I should …. [insert anything you’ve ever said to yourself about self-expression, play, creating being a complete waste].

When you forget why creativity is so powerful, remind yourself. Below are some of my favorite quotes from others—artists, art therapists, authors, psychologists—on why creativity is important to them. Jot down your personal favorites, and return to them as needed. And consider exploring what creativity really means to you.

“I believe that creativity is the source of our vitality. I feel more me, more engaged in life and more vibrant when I am making things. In order to be a fulfilled, happy person, I have to be engaged in a creative project or two. Or three.” ~ Cynthia Morris

“Creating art is a major way I process my experiences and discover meaning. When it comes to emotion and experience, there is only so far we can go while thinking in a left-brained, linear way. When I’ve thought myself in circles but still haven’t found a place for my heart to land, I turn to imagination and the act of creation.” ~ Joy Malek

“I don’t distinguish between magic and art.” ~ Alan Moore

“Creating allows me to see my creativity when I potentially forget. It delights parts of my brain and spirit that dance when I see vibrant color or rich texture. It reminds me I am fully alive when I am connected to my creative self and the world around me. This flow state takes me out of my head and aligns my heart and gut, so that I am more awake and coherent.” ~ Lanie Smith

“Creating is important to me because it’s the life force that connects me to every person who’s gone before and all who will come after. It’s both my inheritance and my legacy.” ~ Helen McLaughlin 

“Creativity is not only important to me, it defines me — it is the way I do life.” ~ Julie Hanks

“Creating has always been an essential part of my life. It’s how I make sense of my experiences. My family and friends are essential supports, but the play, meaning making and transformation I experience in art are irreplaceable. I love looking at the world through an artist’s lens. Colors, patterns, rhythms and movements are all inspiration for my art. I cultivate a mindful attention to the world, and when I do it well, it feeds my art and gives me a sense of peace and meaning.” ~ Amy Maricle

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” ~ Edward de Bono

“When you’re not creative, you’re just going through the motions and life loses most of its meaning and all of its wonder. As soon as you bring creativity into the picture, it comes alive—you come alive. You don’t just strive and produce, you add true value to whatever you do. To the people around you. To the world. Also, being creative is the most joyful experience I know. To enter a flow state in my work is pure bliss.” ~ Anna Lovind

“Why write? Because you’re alive and breathing and the natural world is a miraculous place that needs to be loved and celebrated and remembered.” ~ Barbara Abercrombie

“[Creativity] meets my need for self-expression. As humans, one of the most profound experiences we can have is to be seen and accepted for who we truly are. For me, creativity is one of the ways I show myself and become more visible.” ~ Hannah Braime

“It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.” ~ D.W. Winnicott

Why is creativity important to you? 

Photo by Honey Fangs.