Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on Simplicity.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau
“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” ― John Maeda
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ― E.F. Schumacher
“Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information.” – Edward Tuft
“Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.” – Alan Perlis
“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” – Martin H. Fischer
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
“Simplicity is the outcome of technical subtlety. It is the goal, not the starting point.” – Maurice Saatchi
“The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
“The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.” – Edward Teller
“The simplest things are often the truest.” – Richard Bach
“A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life.” – Winston Churchill
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” ― Isaac Newton
“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” ― Isaac Newton
“As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.” – Albrecht Durer
“I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.” ― Albert Einstein
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.” ― William Golding
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ― Leo Tolstoy
“Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.” – Bruce Lee
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” – Plato
“Simplicity is the glory of expression.” – Walt Whitman
“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.” – William of Occam
“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.” – Frederic Chopin
“Simplicity is not an objective in art, but one achieves simplicity despite one’s self by entering into the real sense of things.” – Constantin Brancusi
“The more simple we are, the more complete we become.” ― August Rodin
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac
View The Essential Collection of Creativity Quotes here.
Discover more quotes daily in my Twitter and Facebook streams.
“Issue 8 proudly showcases portfolios from Ami Vitale (storyteller and National Geographic photographer), Charles Adams (fine art landscape photographer), Jon McCormack (documentary humanitarian photographer), and Tom McLaughlan (abstract photographer).
This issue includes articles by our columnists John Paul Caponigro, Bruce Percy, Guy Tal, Chris Orwig, Martin Bailey, Piet Van den Eynde, Adam Blasberg, and David duChemin.”
In my column Creative Composition I discuss the uses of and relationships between Simplicity & Complexity.
I’m delighted to see that included is the work of Charles Adams, who has been my assistant for the last five years.
Preview PHOTOGRAPH 8 here.
It helps you to both better understand and to more effectively communicate the nature of your influences if you take the time to state it simply. Usually, this doesn’t just happen instantly. First, it takes identifying who or what the influence is. Next, it takes a series of thoughts and associations. Then, it takes a little organization. Finally, it takes a little editing; cutting the words that aren’t quite right and searching for the ones that are.
Very often the connections between ideas and feelings and their progressions aren’t clear until you start organizing them. Finding these insights is the biggest benefit of taking time to reflect on your influences. (To do this, nothing helps me more than writing. Often, it’s not the kind of writing that I might share publicly; sometimes notes, outlines, and unfinished sentences are more effective. The goal of this kind of writing is discovery and clarity not publication.)
When you’re exploring your influences ask yourself questions. Questions guide explorations away from unprofitable areas and into useful territories. Questions reenergize and sustain processes of discovery. Ask yourself a few of these questions. What is the root of the influence? Is it physical? Is it intellectual? Is it emotional? If it’s many things at once, what is and what is the relative weight of each of those things? Does one influence share elements or qualities with other influences?
Try to state the nature of an influence in one sentence.
And try to state the nature of an influence in one phrase or one word.
Simplicity has many advantages. For instance, simple things are easier to remember and easier to share. Never confuse simple-mindedness with simplicity. Simplicity often represents the height of sophistication, arrived at only after some if not considerable effort and practice. If you can present a complex subject in a simple way without sacrificing essential content, you truly understand it. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why simple solutions are so elegant.
At first it might seem strange to generate a lot of information only to boil it down to a little but if you try it you’ll find that the insights you’re left with will be extremely concentrated. Writers, musicians, and photographers all do this at one or more points in their creative process. Try it when you consider your influences. You’ll understand them better – and your own works too.
Here’s a simple distillation of one of my influences stated in one sentence and one word.
Joel Peter Witkin explores taboo, which sensationally gives a rise that quickly fades, and darkness (not necessarily evil), which disturbs and awakens indefinitely.
Read Why Tracking Your Influences Is So Important here.
Read Ranking Your Influences here.
Find out more about my influences here.