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Creative quotes and quotations
On Constraints...


Constraints work both ways with creativity. When you constrain thought, you automatically prevent ideas from being found outside of the defined territory. However, the constraint also causes creative tension that can result in better ideas being found within the defined prison walls.

See also

challenge, doubt, resistance, science, tension*, thinking


‘We trifle when we assign limits to our desires, since nature hath set none.’

Christian Bovee

‘Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.’

Albert Camus

Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘New roads: new ruts.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.’

Arthur C. Clarke

‘You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.’

Bill Clinton

‘There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something.’

Thomas Alva Edison

‘Our firmest convictions are apt to be the most suspect, they mark our limitations and our bounds. Life is a petty thing unless it is moved by the indomitable urge to extend its boundaries.’

Josť Ortega Y Gasset

‘If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.’

Katherine Hepburn

‘The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.’

Eric Hoffer

‘A man’s worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.’

Thomas Huxley

‘Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.’


‘What is not constrained is not creative.’

Philip Johnson-Laird

‘The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.’

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

‘In art, truth and reality begin when one no longer understands what one is doing or what one knows, and when there remains an energy that is all the stronger for being constrained, controlled and compressed.’

Henri Matisse

‘Give yourself the freedom to explore the possibility of life without limits. Goals are dreams with deadlines, a means to an end but not the ultimate purpose of life.’

Glynis Nunn

‘Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.’

Norman Vincent Peale

‘The reason for you complaint lies, it seems to me, in the constraint which your intellect imposes upon your imagination. Here I will make an observation, and illustrate it by an allegory. Apparently, it is not good–and indeed it hinders the creative work of the mind–if the if the intellect examines too closely the ideas pouring in, as it were, at the gates.’

Friedrich von Schiller

‘Every man takes the limits of his field of vision for the limits of the world.’

Arthur Schopenhauer

‘Know your limits. Also know how to break them.’

Geraint Straker

‘Man built most nobly when limitations were at their greatest.’

Frank Lloyd Wright



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