Quotes about creativity from women to spark brilliance in the workplace

The Brew in London

For those of us who work in sectors less obviously linked to the arts – it can be easy to overlook the benefits that quotes about creativity could have on your daily outputs. Say for instance your business or industry holds its niche in finance, or e-commerce, or in technology solutions – you might wonder how thinking creatively could have a positive impact. And instead, you opt for a logical or more strategic approach to your working day.

However, you don’t have to be in a creative industry to benefit from a more inspired and inventive way of thinking. In fact, we believe that reading different quotes about creativity can go a long way to sparking brilliance in the workplace, irrespective of job role, industry or sector.

And because many of these lists tend to focus on men, those who occupy top jobs in global companies – we thought we ought to give credence to women on the subject. It’s our hope that these 12 quotes about creativity from inspirational women will spark a new way of thinking, a new way to approach a challenge – or even your next big idea…

1. Take any challenge as a creative opportunity.

— Alexandra Watkins, writer, copywriter, founder of EatMyWords.com

Founder and Chief Executive of Eat My Words, Alexandra Watkins created her branding firm to help businesses discover powerful brand names that could connect with people and inspire them to buy. Her breakthrough creativity book, ‘Hello, My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick’, is considered ‘the brand name Bible’ and was named a Top 10 Marketing Book by Inc. Magazine.

2. The things we fear most in organisations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity.

– Margaret J. Wheatley (writer and management consultant)

Since 1966, Margaret Wheatley has worked in many different roles globally: a speaker, teacher, community worker, consultant, adviser, formal leader. From her varied experience, Margaret is a believer that business leaders must learn how to evoke people’s generosity, creativity, and need for a community to be successful. On more than quotes about creativity, she says, ‘as this world tears us apart, sane leadership on behalf of the human spirit is the only way forward’.

3. There is no recipe, there is no one way to do things — there is only your way. And if you can recognise that in yourself and accept and appreciate that in others, you can make magic.

— Ara Katz, chief marketing officer, Spring

Ara Katz is the co-founder and former CMO of Spring, the mobile marketplace that allows customers to shop directly from a global community of brands. Before her career in fashion and technology, Ara was an independent film producer – making her quotes about creativity incredibly well informed!

4. Be prepared to sacrifice, and work harder than you’ve ever thought possible.

Be prepared to work around the clock, to be laughed at, called a dreamer, and to be told several times that your ideas will not work.

Nkemdilim Begho, managing director, Future Software Resources Limited

As Managing Director of Future Software Resources Nigeria Ltd, Nkemdilim Begho has successfully re-branded the company since 2008, changing its focus from stand-alone solutions to web-based educational, enterprise and business solutions. Nkemdilim Begho is also an active board member of the World Summit Youth Award, a global online e-content contest focused on the implementation of the MDGs, as well as being the co-founder of The Bake for Change Development Foundation, an NGO focused on empowering street children that are being rehabilitated in seven Lagos State-run homes.

5. It’s up to us to all challenge our own boundaries, our own comfort zones, and get out and see what else is out there in the world and what else is possible, and give ourselves a shot to go a little bit deeper, a little bit further.

— Jennifer Kushell, founder, Your Success Now

Jennifer Kushell, CEO and founder of EYP Ventures has been on a mission to impact the lives and futures of young people globally for the past two decades.  As the creator of Exploring Your Potential (EYP) the revolutionary career planning online platform, Kushell aims to dramatically change how we prepare the next generation for the world of work.

6. By having the courage to take the first step into rooms, circles, and conversations where you may feel like you don’t belong, you also open the door for others to contribute their diverse perspectives, creating more meaningful, collaborative solutions for today and beyond.

— Kim Vu, vice president, Local Market Delivery, Bank of America 

In her role at Bank of America, Kim Vu was selected as one of twelve women leaders to complete an inaugural multicultural women’s leadership program, aimed at investing in the advancement of high potential women leaders from different ethnic backgrounds. Kim has worked with community organisations and social venture start-ups for over 20 years, and she’s been recognised as a 100 Women of Influence, and as a Woman of Distinction in Banking & Finance by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for her contributions to the community and promoting diversity in business.

7. Creativity is born of the desperate, immutable, hopeless and untenable need to understand humanity, the world, and its machinations.

— Naomi Ladizinsky, co-founder, Nix Hydra

Yale graduates Naomi Ladizinsky and her co-founder friend Lina Chan shared a vision. They wanted to make video games for teenage girls and young women not just because it is an under-served market, but because those are the games they love to play. Fast forward 9 years and following a hugely successful first release, the duo are growing and creating more projects to entertain and delight people around the world. Their quotes about creativity have helped to change an industry – what could they do for you?

8. I am guided each day by these three questions: ‘What are you fixing?’ ‘What are you making?’ and ‘Who are you helping?

Juliana Rotich, co-founder, Ushahidi

Juliana Rotich is co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi, a nonprofit tech company, born in Africa, that develops free and open-source software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation. Ushahidi builds tools for democratising information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. Rotich is also a founder of iHub, a Nairobi tech space described as “part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.” She is a TED Senior Fellow and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Information Communications Technology.

9. Everyone has creativity within them. It’s just a matter of unlocking that creativity

— Christina Canters, founder and CEO, The C Method

As a former architect, Christina Canters knows how challenging it can be in the corporate world. During that time, Christina saw many of her peers lacked the confidence and the skills stand out and speak up. As a result, they were overlooked for new opportunities and didn’t receive the recognition they deserved. The C Method was founded from here, to provide guidance and communication skills training that was fun, practical and accessible — without being boring or stuffy.

10. I was once told by one of my respected mentors that, in order to be successful, one day I would have to choose: to choose between being an artist, and educator, and a scientist. I’m glad I thought that idea was nonsense.

In today’s world of complexities, it is this creative, interdisciplinary experience that we need more of: people who are able to shift between fields, help communicate ideas between sectors, and to look at problem-solving from diverse angles.

— Tara DePorte, activist, teacher, environmentalist, Human Impacts Institute

How’s that for a quote on creativity? Tara DePorte founded the Human Impacts Institute in 2010, seeing a need for creative approaches to sustainability and global coalition-building. Before starting the Human Impacts Institute, Tara worked for 9 years as Director of Environmental Education and as Program Director for an NYC community-based organization — developing opportunities for inner-city youth to learn about, and develop responsibility for, their local environment.

11. I’ve learnt that if you face challenges with positive energy, you are most likely to get better results.

 Adenike ‘Nike’ Ogunlesi, founder, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble

Adenike Ogunlesi is a Nigerian fashion entrepreneur, a leading designer, manufacturer, and retailer of designer children’s clothing. As the proud founder and creative director of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, one of the best manufacturers of children’s clothing in Nigeria, Adenike is a force to be reckoned with in the children’s fashion industry in West Africa.

12. True success is about a passion to create a better world– live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of.

— Dr. Ola Orekunrin, founder, Flying Doctors

Born, raised and trained in the UK, Ola graduated as one of the youngest medical doctors in England. She is also a trainee helicopter pilot. Determined to improve the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria, she set up Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first and only full air ambulance service. Since then, she has successfully steered the company upwards in achieving its corporate goals and ensuring sustained growth.


So there you have it, creativity is a core part of not only professional success, but professional fulfilment too. Being able to look at a situation creatively will help you to decipher solutions outside of the obvious, and ultimately – that could be what sets you and your business apart from the competition.

Try adding one of these quotes about creativity to your thought processes this week, and if you need a space to think creatively – check out our coworking spaces across London, shared offices designed to foster that imaginative energy.