wisdom to win

 Wisdom to Win
search bar left
search bar right

Pablo Picasso - Creativity and ArtPablo Picasso - Creativity and Art


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)


Spanish artist ,born in Málaga (pictured right)

Highly prolific (with 43,000 works)


His most famous painting is... 

Guernica (1937), showing the bombing of the town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.


Why was he so creative?


1. Revolutionary

Everything he did (painting, ceramics, pottery and sculpture) was incredibly inventive and original.

“Each time I had something to say, I said it in the way I felt was right”, he said.

He was a natural rebel, who:Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art

  • rejected old ways of thinking.
  • continually experimented with new painting techniques (as shown by the different stages or periods in his career, e.g. the Blue Period, and Cubist Period).

 An example of his Blue Period is pictured right - The Greedy Child (Le Gourmet), 1901.


2. Support and learning

Picasso learned from:

 Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art

a) his parents

His father (also a painter, pictured right)

  • gave him his own studio aged 15
  • spent all his money to send his son to train in Paris in 1900.

He also adored his mother.

 Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art

b) other great artists


  • Goya (pictured right). 
  • Paul Cézanne.

“Bad artists copy. Great artists steal”, he said.

 Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art


3. Concentration

He had the self-discipline to concentrate totally on his painting.

Guernica, like all his great paintings, was a result of weeks of intense work.

Thinking was very important to his art.

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them”, he said.


4. Observation and experience

He had a wonderful ability to remember things and people.

He used this observation and his experiences to great effect in his paintings.

For example, his Blue Period was sparked off by his best friend's suicide in Paris.

“The quality of a painter depends on the amount of past he carries with him”, he said.


5. Customer satisfaction

His art touched people’s hearts by making them understand their fears and emotions.

So Guernica horrifically portrays the death and destruction of war.

His 1907 painting of five prostitutes (Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, pictured below) menacingly conveys female sexuality.

 Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art


6. Spirituality and sense of beauty


  • believed that great painting was touched by the hand of God (although he rejected the Roman Catholic Church).
  • was deeply influenced by his spiritual pursuit of beauty (which he never sacrificed for money, even though wealth was extremely important to him).
  • believed that art only exists in the present.

“When I’ve found something to express, I’ve done it without thinking of the past or of the future”, he said.


7. Love of art

He loved the creative thrill of artistic achievement.

“How do I suppose I could paint without enjoyment?”, he once asked.


8. Solitude and creative tension

He had to be alone to:

  • get inside his paintings.
  • find their beauty through the tension of different ideas and emotions.

“I have to live my work, and that is impossible without solitude”, he said.


9. Order within chaos

Although his paintings may sometimes seem like a chaotic jigsaw, all their parts fit brilliantly together to achieve their purpose.

For example, Guernica’s horrific images, see below (all distorted except for a dead baby) powerfully convey the evils of war in its huge frame (7 m across and 4 m high).

Pablo Picasso - Creativity and Art


10. Relaxation

Taking breaks during painting made him think more clearly and effectively.


Key quotes on creativity

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees but what he feels.

I do not seek, I find.


Key quote on innovation

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.


Key quote on happiness

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.


Key quote on change and business success

Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.


Key quotes on careers

Genius is personality with two pennies of talent.

 Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.


Key quote on planning and strategy

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe and upon which we must vigorously act.


Free Newsletter
Enter your name and e-mail address to receive our free newsletter with analysis of business issues and new business books