NITCH

Photo of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou // "I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being."

Photo of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen // "May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude."

Photo of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac // "Remember above all things, Kid, that to write is not difficult, not painful, that it comes out of you with ease, that you can whip up a little tale in no time, that when you are sincere about it, that when you want to impress a truth, it is not difficult, not painful, but easy, graceful, full of smooth power, as if you were a writing machine with a store of literature that is boundless, enormous, endless, and rich. For it is true; this is so. Do not forget it in your gloomier moments. Make your stuff warm, drive it home...don't mind critics, don't mind the stuffy academic theses of scholars, they don't know what they're taking about, they're way off the track, they're cold; you're warm, you're red hot, you can write all day, you know what you know...you remember that, Kid, and when you feel as if you cannot write, as if it is no use, as if life is no good, read this over and realize that you can do a lot of good in this world by turning out truths like these, by spreading warmth, by trying to preach living for life's sake, not the intellectual way, but the warm way, the way of love, the way which says: Brothers, I greet you with open arms, I accept your frailties, I offer you my frailties, let us gather and run the gamut of rich human existence. Remember, Kid, the ease, the grace, the glory, the greatness of your art; remember it, never forget. Remember passion. Do not forget, do not forsake, do not forget. It is there, the order and the purpose; there is chaos, but not in you, not way down deep in your heart, no chaos, only ease, grace, beauty, love, greatness... Do not forget it, Kid, do not forget it; please, please Kid, do not forget yourself; save that, save that, preserve yourself; turn out those mean little old tales by the dozens, it is easy, it is grace...drive it home, sell truth, for it needs to be sold. Remember, Kid, what I say to you tonight; never forget it, read this over in your gloomier moments and never, never forget...never, never, never forget...please, please, Kid please…"

Photo of Teresita Fernandez

Teresita Fernandez // "When people say your work is good do two things. First, don’t believe them. Second, ask them, 'Why'? If they can convince you of why they think your work is good, accept the compliment. If they can’t convince you (and most people can’t) dismiss it as superficial and recognize that most bad consensus is made by people simply repeating that they 'like' something."

Photo of Patti Smith

Patti Smith // "We go through life. We shed our skins. We become ourselves."

Photo of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan // "I had broken myself of the habit of thinking in short song cycles and began reading longer and longer poems to see if I could remember anything I read about in the beginning. I trained my mind to do this, had cast off gloomy habits and learned to settle myself down... I began cramming my brain with all kinds of deep poems. It seemed like I'd been pulling an empty wagon for a long time and now I was beginning to fill it up and would have to pull harder. I felt like I was coming out of the back pasture. I was changing in other ways, too. Things that used to affect me, didn't affect me anymore. I wasn’t too concerned about people, their motives. I didn’t feel the need to examine every stranger that approached."

Photo of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs // "Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them... If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, 'Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.' And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently."

Photo of Nina Simone

Nina Simone // "My thing...what I hope to do all the time, is to be so completely myself...that my audiences, people who meet me, are confronted. They’re confronted with what I am, inside and out, as honest as I can be. And this way they have to see things about themselves, immediately."

Photo of Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky // "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness."

Photo of Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman // "I don't want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically... I want to give them a blow in the small of the back, to scorch their indifference, to startle them out of their complacency."

Photo of Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin // "I gave up painting, I gave up art, I gave up believing, I gave up faith. I had what I called my emotional suicide, I gave up a lot of friendships with people, I just gave up believing in life really and it’s taken me years to actually start loving and believing again. I realized that there was a greater idea of creativity. Greater than anything I could make just with my mind or with my hands, I realized there was something…the essence of creativity, that moment of conception, the whole importance, the whole being of everything and I realized that if I was going to make art it couldn’t be about…it couldn’t be about a fucking picture. It couldn’t be about something visual. It had to be about where it was really coming from."

Photo of John Coltrane

John Coltrane // "There is never any end. There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we've discovered in its pure state. So that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror."