Quotes

Look at Matisse

Do what I do whenever I have a color problem. Look at Matisse.

– David Hockney
The Snail 1953 Henri Matisse

Nature

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

– Lao Tzu

Happiness

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

– William Morris

No matter

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

– Samuel Beckett

Creative work

Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish somebody had told this to me — is that all of us who do creative work… we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap, that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has the ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?

A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point quit. And the thing I would just like to say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be — they knew it fell short, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have.

And the thing I would say to you is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase — you gotta know it’s totally normal.

And the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week, or every month, you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It takes a while, it’s gonna take you a while — it’s normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that, okay?

– Ira Glass. Via The Good Ship Illustration. A few weeks later, I read the same quote in Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.

– Aristotle

Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

– Albert Camus

I really believed that I could do anything that I wished. And because I believed it… I did anything I wished.

– Milton Glaser

If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris