„A little artist has all the tragic unhappiness and the sorrows of a great artist and he is not a great artist.“
Source: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Source: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit, p. 8
Catching the Big Fish (2006)
Context: When I started meditating, I was filled with anxieties and fears. I felt a sense of depression and anger.
I often took out this anger on my first wife. After I had been meditating for about two weeks, she came to me and said, "What's going on?" I was quiet for a moment. But finally I said, "What do you mean?" And she said, "This anger, where did it go?" And I hadn't even realized that it had lifted.
I call that depression and anger the Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit of Negativity. It's suffocating, and that rubber stinks. But once you start meditating and diving within, the clown suit starts to dissolve. You finally realize how putrid was the stink when it starts to go. Then, when it dissolves, you have freedom.
Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story, but they are like poison to the filmmaker or artist. They are like a vise grip on creativity. If you're in that grip, you can hardly get out of bed, much less experience the flow of creativity and ideas. You must have clarity to create. You have to be able to catch ideas.
— Steve Jobs American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc. 1955 - 2011
This is a favorite phrase of Jobs, but he is (mis)quoting Pablo Picasso. "Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal" is similarly attributed to Igor Stravinsky, but both sayings may well originate in T. S. Eliot's dictum http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Sacred_Wood/Philip_Massinger: "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn."
— Siddharth Katragadda Indian writer 1972
The Other Wife (2003)
— Daisaku Ikeda Japanese writer 1928
Variant: A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.
Source: The Human Revolution
— Brad Bird American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor 1957
"Anton Ego" in Ratatouille (2007)
Context: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook". But I realize — only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
— Emile Zola French writer (1840-1902) 1840 - 1902
— Giacomo Casanova Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice 1725 - 1798
Source: The Outsider (1956), p. 158
— Colin Wilson author 1931 - 2013
Source: The Strength To Dream (1961), p. 197
Context: No artist can develop without increasing his self-knowledge; but self-knowledge supposes a certain preoccupation with the meaning of human life and the destiny of man. A definite set of beliefs — Methodist Christianity, for example — may only be a hindrance to development; but it is not more so than Beckett's refusal to think at all. Shaw says somewhere that all intelligent men must be preoccupied with either religion, politics, or sex. (He seems to attribute T. E. Lawrence's tragedy to his refusal to come to grips with any of them.) It is hard to see how an artist could hope to achieve any degree of self-knowledge without being deeply concerned with at least one of the three.