15 Quotes about the Complexity & Chaos of Creativity

Are chaos and creativity synonyms? Is creativity an emergent property of chaos and complexity? 

We've recently been discussing creativity on our podcast. The concept of creativity has resurfaced often on our show. Complexity and "flow" was one of our first episodes and we continue to explore the different realms of creativity and the creative process, which are very useful in dealing with complex adaptive systems.

We have learned that creativity requires trust and freedom. It also requires stepping outside of established patterns, while embracing uncertainty, vulnerability & chaos. It can help us make unexpected connections and push boundaries into the unknown. 

We can work towards expanding our creative abilities by leaning in to our imaginations. We can let go a little, experiment often, quiet our minds, and seek childlike wonder and curiosity. 

Learn more with some of our favorite quotes, which we believe capture the complexity and chaos of the creative process:


“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” ― Erich Fromm

“Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” — Leo Burnett

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” — Steve Jobs

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” — Edward de Bono

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

“Chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success.” — Jon Kolko

“The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing. ” ― Ernest Hemingway

“It's easy to attack and destroy an act of creation. It's a lot more difficult to perform one.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

"Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature." — Eric Hoffer

"The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances—are the primary sources of creativity." — Margaret J. Wheatley

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” - William Plomer

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” — Brené Brown

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

"Human creativity is part of a vast creative process that has been unfolding through the whole of evolution." — Rupert Sheldrake


You can listen to the HumanCurrent podcast here and don't forget to subscribe in iTunes