Photo of Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac // "Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind."

Photo of Björk

Björk // "I find workaholism really anti-fertile. For example, in my work with Scandinavian schools with biophilia, it is very apparent that short schooldays and a lot of free time inspires the imagination most and not only makes the kids happier but also they make more original things in the end. I’ve seen how the working until midnight in the biggest cities is really destructive...and you aren’t coming up with any new ideas but just repeating old stuff on a loop."

Photo of Lina Kostenko

Lina Kostenko // "The main thing is to look into the eyes of the beast and simply to remain human."

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 Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams // "The fact that we continue to fall in love with people and ideas and places is not evidence of our cupidity or our dumbness, but our strength. When we love…really love…in any way, we are announcing to the world that we intend to survive."

Photo of David Lynch

David Lynch // "Ideas are the number one best thing going… Ideas come to us, we don’t really create an idea, we just catch them, like fish. No chef ever takes credit for making the fish, it’s just preparing the fish. So you get an idea and it is like a seed…and in your mind the idea is seen and felt and it explodes, like it’s got electricity and light connected to it, and it has all the images and the feeling. And it’s like in an instant you know the idea… Then the thing is translating that to some medium. It could be a film idea, or a painting idea, or a furniture idea. It doesn’t matter. It wants to be something. It’s a seed for something. So the whole thing is translating that idea to a medium... And in the case of film…it takes a long time, and you always need to go back and stay true to that idea. Keep checking that idea. And what you realize is the idea is more than you realize. And if you’re true to it, when the work is finished and some years go by, you can get even more out of it if you’ve been true to the idea in the first place."

Photo of James Baldwin

James Baldwin // "Most people live in almost total darkness…people, millions of people whom you will never see, who don’t know you, never will know you, people who may try to kill you in the morning, live in a darkness which...if you have that funny terrible thing which every artist can recognize and no artist can are responsible to those people to lighten, and it does not matter what happens to you. You are being used in the way a crab is useful, the way sand certainly has some function. It is impersonal. This force which you didn’t ask for, and this destiny which you must accept, is also your responsibility. And if you survive it, if you don’t cheat, if you don’t lie, it is not only, you know, your glory, your achievement, it is almost our only hope... Because only an artist can tell, and only artists have told since we have heard of man, what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it. What it is like to die, or to have somebody die; what it is like to be glad... The trouble is that although the artist can do it, the price that he has to pay himself and that you, the audience, must also pay, is a willingness to give up everything, to realize that although you spent twenty-seven years acquiring this house, this furniture, this position, although you spent forty years raising this child, these children, nothing, none of it belongs to you. You can only have it by letting it go. You can only take if you are prepared to give... It is a total risk of everything, of you and who you think you are, who you think you’d like to be, where you think you’d like to go...everything, and this forever, forever."

Photo of Albert Camus

Albert Camus // "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."

Photo of Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny // "Everything will be all right. And, even if it won’t be, we’ll have the consolation of having lived honest lives."

Photo of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway // "Don’t ever kid yourself about loving someone. It is just that most people are not lucky enough ever to have it. What you have...whether it lasts just through today and a part of tomorrow, or whether it lasts for a long life is the most important thing that can happen to a human being. There will always be people who say it does not exist because they cannot have it. But I tell you it is true and that you have it and that you are lucky even if you die tomorrow."

Photo of Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman // "The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the put things down without deliberation...without worrying about their style...without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote, wrote, wrote… By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught."

Photo of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo // "I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of 'madness.' Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love, and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like…they would all say: 'Poor thing, she’s crazy!' …I would build my own world, which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds… My madness would not be an escape from 'reality.'"