The Top 10 Inspiring Quotes for the Art Room

I love using quotes. There is just something about them, the way they are written, the strength of few words so succinctly combined. Quotes make the reader think not only about the words but about the source. They are simple phrases that pack a punch! I love to include them under the signature of my email, scrawled across the board, or branded on the bottom of my parent communications.

This week I thought I would include a list of my Top 10 Inspiring Quotes for the Art Room.

1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

2. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

3. “Creativity takes courage.”  – Henri Matisse

4. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

5. “Art is what you can get away with.” – Andy Warhol

6.  “I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best.” -Frida Kahlo

7. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Ghandi

8. “Be yourself, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” – Dr. Suess

9. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

10. “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” – Michelangelo


I know this is only the tip of the iceberg, so please share:

What quotes do you use to inspire students and how do you implement them into your classroom?

Heather Crockett

Heather is AOE’s Project Manager and an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment. She is a veteran teacher in the art room and at the graduate level.


  • Ronda Sternhagen

    “Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.” ~ Henry Miller

    Found this on a sign on a wall at Barnes & Noble in Rochester, MN, a few years ago. In my opinion, it says it all…

  • Jorena

    My favorites:
    “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

  • Tracymathys

    I have a sign hanging behind my desk that say “I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.” Vincent VanGogh. I like to think it explains why my student always call me the crazy art lady. 

  • I like this one because it shows the things we teach in the art room can really transcend to student’s lives. We teach students to SEE differently in our art rooms.
    “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” – Steve Jobs

  • John

    “Everyone said to Vincent van Gogh, “You can’t be a great painter, you only  have one ear.” And you know what he said? ” I can’t hear you”
    ~Steve Carell

  • Mstaats

    I found a tiny sign years ago that says”Art exists to enrich the soul.” I believe!

  • Lauren Wenk

    Here’s two that I like: 

    “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” 
    – Thomas Merton

    “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? 
    -Vincent Van Gogh

    • Kimberly

      The quote from Merton is one of my all-time favorites.

  • Aaugust

    The “earth” without “art” is just “eh”.

  • @rtlady

    Excellence is based on the ability to be better than good enough…….

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  • Ms. C

    Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.

  • Christianna White

    “Art is a microscope in which the artist fixates on the secrets of his soul and shares with others those secrets which are common to all.” ~Leo Tolstoy.

  • Diana Espina

    I love the second one, I have a website that is basically for artist, it’s a platform that helps them sell their art and honestly is amazing, most of their works are handmade and crafts, just lovely to see how passionate they are and to be able to show it to the world, we usually tend to hide ourselves and live a life according to others opinions but art gets you free from that and makes you learn what real life is… btw if you can to check it out, I would really appreciate it: