Sunday, December 02, 2007

Picasso and creativity

This illustration is my imaginary portrait of Picasso.

Picasso and creativity. Both words are almost synonymous. These last days I am engaged in a printmaking workshop (you can see some examples in my blog Acuarela), and browsing some of the catalogues of Picasso's prints I've found some great quotes and anecdotes by the master. One of them has become one of my all time favorites. In its apparent triviality, you see the spark of creativity at its purest.

When Picasso made his first etching, of a horse-riding man with a spear, he realised that the image was inverted in the print and he said "Damn it, he holds the spear with his left hand!". When asked for the title of the print, he promptly said: "El zurdo" (the left-handed.)

Some years later, when he painted his portrait of Gertrude Stein, the model said: "But Pablo, dear, I don't look that way at all". Picasso replied, "You will, with time. You will."

These are other of my preferred quotes by Picasso (or attributed to him):
  • Action is the foundational key to all success.
  • All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
  • An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.
  • Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?
  • Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.
  • Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
  • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
  • Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
  • God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephantand the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.
  • I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
  • I do not seek. I find.
  • Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.
  • It takes a long time to become young.
  • It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
  • My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.
  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
  • Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.
  • The chief enemy of creativity is "good" sense.
  • The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
  • The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?
  • To copy others is necessary, but to copy oneself is pathetic.

1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

My artwork at Flickr

Inspiring books for the creative type

My GTD (Getting things done) illustrations

I conceived this blog basically to share my visual side notes of the Getting things done process. My most recent posts about GTD software and related topics have “masked” the original posts.

You can access most GTDrawings in the archive of december 2005 and january 2006.

Here's a miniature with most of my sketches: this is what you will find, commented and in larger sizes, in those previous posts.

See also the article about GTD drawings.

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