A true list of all the great female artists who inspire us is endless. Throughout the centuries, the range of dancers, painters, writers, activists, and performers that have forged a path for others is inspiring in itself, especially given that many were also mothers, wives, and workers fighting for equal rights. Without them, we would not have the freedom we have today. Without their expression, and their fight to use this expression freely, we would not exist as we do today.
Here is a list of 15 exceptional females who have done exceptional work in their fields. The timespan of these quotes ranges over the last century. Some of these women were the wives and partners of famous men, but all are powerful, fabulous, and utterly individual. These women made no excuses for themselves or their work. They proceeded with courage, determination, and pride, often in the face of obstruction. Let their wise words inspire your day.
15 Quotes From 15 Inspiring Female Artists
- “Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.” — Writer and performer Patti Smith, from her novel Just Kids.
- “It is the mainspring of life, courage. And courage has many faces.” – Italian writer and reporter, Oriana Fallaci.
- “I’ve had 72 absolutely flaming years. It (the illness) doesn’t bother me at all because, you know, love, when you’ve lived like I have, you’ve done it all. I put all my effort into living.” — Artist Vali Myers, The Witch of Positano.
- “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Author Anais Nin.
- “Happiness comes from the full understanding of your own being.” — Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic.
- “I felt very vulnerable singing, ‘I’m through hanging around all of the boys in town.’ It was difficult for me. I couldn’t stand there and sing the words. I felt I wasn’t being interesting. I wanted to also perform and entertain or transport people. I wanted other levels. So I went out and got a school uniform and probably Vince got suspenders and stockings. That freed me, and then everything changed.” – Singer Chrissy Amphlett, on finding strength in her first performance as lead singer of the Australian rock band The Divinyls.
- “Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle, and the dance is a celebration of that miracle.” — American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham.
- “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” — Writer, dancer, and queen of the jazz era, Zelda Fitzgerald.
- “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” — Pioneer of modern dance, Isadora Duncan.
- “Find something you really love doing and mix it with something you really care about. That’s why I’ve had such longevity as an artist. I really, really care about ending violence against women, and I really, really love playing music. It’s super enjoyable!” — Punk singer and activist Kathleen Hanna.
- “I want to be a living work of art.” — Italian heiress, artist, and muse, the Marchesa Luisa Casati.
- “Early in life I came to understand that I was the only person who could protect my own interests, and that, being alone, I must cultivate survivor skills and turn weaknesses into strengths.” — Australian author, foreign correspondent, and refugee activist Jill Jolliffe.
- “Use your faults, use your defects; then you’re going to be a star.” — The great singer Edith Piaf.
- “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” — Writer Dorothy Parker.
- “Time heals, after all — although the clock that marks that kind of time has no hands.” — American author and artist Suze Rotolo.
Featured photo credit: Morguefile via mrg.bz