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8 Artist Quotes to Inspire & Lift Your Mood

I don’t know about you – but when I’m feeling a little down I love nothing more than seeking comfort and inspiration from those a lot wiser than I am.

For me, quotes offer a look into the inner believe systems of not just leaders and philosophers, but the everyday person who is right there with you on the front line of life. Which, let us face it, has been a bit of a roller-coaster throughout 2020.

Art is a massive part of my life, not only in my day job as Artist Liaison at Pangolin London sculpture gallery, but as a curator, art historian and writer. I find some quotes I come across, particularly from artist, can not only speak to me in way no one else could, but they also have the ability to totally floor me, shinning a light on an issue and feeling I have like never before.

They provide comfort and food for the soul.

They are tools for learning and growth.

Which, no matter who you are, you should always look to continue doing.

So – for your enjoyment, I have put together a little collection of quotes from some of the greatest artists from within the history of art which I hope will inspire and fill your soul and inspire - in the way looking at a great work of art has the ability to do.

1. Vincent Van Gogh

It’s true you know – silence your inner critic. You are good enough. Just do it.

2. Andy Warhol

I find this quote by Warhol to particularly sit with me as it’s the reason I created Jo’s Art History. No one was listening to the Scottish art historian, so I’m working on something that will change that. Watch this space.

3. Wassily Kandinsky


It has the ability to equally lift and crash your mood. I always surround myself in colour. In my work. In what I wear and in my home. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

4. Claude Monet

Not much more to say on this really other than a walk-in nature can make the impossible seem possible.

5. Constantin Brancusi

It’s true though. How many times have you really noticed the art of architecture? The building you live in. Your office/school/university/gym/cinema?

The next time you are walking in your nearest town or city – look up!

It changes and shines a new light on the streets you know all too well.

6. Frida Kahlo

Wise words coming from a woman who had her fair share of tough hands dealt to her in her life.

Kahlo was an artist I always found over rated until I visited an exhibition at the V&A a few years ago on her life and work, safe to say – I get it now.

The woman was near enough bed ridden most of her life after a traffic accident left her with serious internal damage. This, mixed in with struggling to walk, to conceive a child and mental health battles – she is a shining example of how tough us humans are.

How tough you are.

7. Leonardo da Vinci

Only you control you. So, be kind and remember, you are in the diving seat.

You have got this!

8. Henri Matisse

It really does.

So, have the courage to follow through on what you want to create. You never know – it could change the world!

Jo McLaughlin July 2020


For more artist quotes, art history and fun facts, follow my Instagram account: @josarthistory a page where I celebrate art history daily!

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