Illustrations by Casey Webb
Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer and Poet who was born in 1854. Curating this article and wading through so many great quotes by him, it was hard to pick just a few, so I mainly stuck to the ones regarding art and loving one’s own unique self, since artists face a lot of criticism (keep on truckin’, you). His words are so beautifully written (obviously more than mine) as well as clever, that I am in complete awe over them.
1. “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”
An artist is so imaginative that by simply thinking, they create and by moving their hands they make thoughts tangible.
2. “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”
Get out there and strategize . You’re an artist, you’ve got this. You can see possibilities others can’t.
3. “To define is to limit.”
Exactly why I, personally, don’t like labeling art with genres. Other than using terms to vaguely describe or search for art, genres are nearly useless in my opinion. Art has personality of its own, and until you experience it, you can only get so much of an idea from words alone.
4. “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
Queue the heart warming videos that go viral throughout the web on a moments notice. Those moments that just seem too magical, sweet, and touching to be real. That’s what I’m talking about.
5. “A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.”
You have to be different to see things differently, and seeing things differently is what makes you different. Now you know why you’re so freaking weird.
6. “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”
So you better paint nice, you two. ;)
7. “It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection.”
Because perfection is completely relative and up to you.
8. “The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.”
There’s just something magical about something so clever that it refuses to be anything but a mystery.
9. “To be great is to be misunderstood.”
If brilliance was so easy to understand, everyone would brilliant and then nobody would be considered it. Maybe we all already are and have just forgotten so. Like I said, perfection is relative.
10. “A poet can survive everything but a misprint.”
To be misrepresented has got to be the worst, especially for an artist, who’s whole life’s work is a representation.
11. “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”
I think this just may be why artists can be so reserved at times, because when they put their art out there, they put themselves out there.
12. “Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”
To be so serious, is perhaps the silliest thing of all.
13. “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
I don’t like to go to bed, and I don’t like to wake up.
14. “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”
For me it would be, art supplies, music, and summer nights.
15. “A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”
This one’s for you, introverts.
16.“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
Remember this before ever taking another person’s criticisms too harshly.
17. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
To be someone else does not only devalue their uniqueness, but your’s as well.
18. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Find happiness from within before you go searching for it from others.
19. “There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.”
I’ve realized I can’t give up. To give up would be to try too painstakingly hard to be and do something my heart just won’t let me.
20. “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
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