Photo of Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin // "To be true to myself, to be the person that was on the inside of me, and not play games. That’s what I’m trying to do mostly in the whole world, is to not bullshit myself and not bullshit anybody else."

Photo of Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne // "Nature isn’t at the surface; it’s in the depth."

Photo of Anais Nin

Anais Nin // "As I passed I saw a cafe, a cafe on the street, with an open door, and one small round table outside, just big enough for two persons, two glasses of wine, two small iron chairs, a diminutive cafe…shabby, with a faded sign, a dull window, lopsided walls, uneven roof. The smallness of it, the intimacy of it, the humanity of its proportion… A human being feels one can sit in such a cafe even if one’s hair is not perfectly in place and one’s shoes are not shined... One could sit there and feel unique, feel in tune with the world, or out of tune, feel human and open to human emotion... One could sit there if one felt the world too big and too barbaric, and feel once more in a human setting, a proper setting for a human being… Why did I feel warmed by imperfections, discomfort, and patina? Because intense living leaves scars…inner scars, softened, human wear and tear."

Photo of Claude Monet

Claude Monet // "Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it."

Photo of David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz // "When I write...I rarely do second drafts. I’ll do a second draft just to clean up typos and maybe a little shift in the structure, but I’ve always been attracted to the way that people who don’t know how to draw, draw. Their energy is so direct between the pencil and the paper and it’s not cluttered with bullshit style. I feel the more drafts you put writing through, the more you repainted the same painting, all the blood was taken out. It no longer had life in it. Anyway, I wrote this thing really fast."

Photo of Byung-Chul Han

Byung-Chul Han // "We owe the cultural achievements of humanity…to deep, contemplative attention. Culture presumes an environment in which deep attention is possible. Increasingly, such immersive reflection is being displaced by an entirely different form of attention: hyperattention. A rash change of focus between different tasks, sources of information, and processes characterizes this scattered mode of awareness. Since it also has a low tolerance of boredom, it does not admit the profound idleness that benefits the creative process… A purely hectic rush produces nothing new. It reproduces and accelerates what is already available."

Photo of Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson // "Every man is the sum total of his reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man, and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on... So it would seem foolish, would it not, to adjust our lives to the demands of a goal we see from a different angle every day? How could we ever hope to accomplish anything... The answer, then, must not deal with goals at all... We do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES. But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors...but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal... Beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life."

Photo of Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa // "I hear the wind blow, and I feel that it was worth being born just to hear the wind blow."

Photo of Simone Weil

Simone Weil // "We do not become detached, we change our attachment. We must attach ourselves to the all. We have to feel the universe through each sensation."

Photo of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway // "When people talk, listen completely. Don't be thinking what you're going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out, know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice."

Photo of Henry Miller

Henry Miller // "Show me a man who over-elaborates and I will show you a great man… What is called their 'over-elaboration' is my meat: it is the sign of struggle, it is struggle itself with all the fibers clinging to it, the very aura and ambiance of the discordant spirit. And when you show me a man who expresses himself perfectly I will not say that he is not great, but I will say that I am unattracted… When I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears."

Photo of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou // "When I’m writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for what it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and the delicacies of our existence."