Those who have lived and grown at least to some degree in the spirit of freedom are our creative artists. They have a wonderful time. They keep the world going. They must leave their trace in some way, paint, stone, machinery, whatever. The importance of what they do is greater than anyone estimates at the time. In fact in a commercial world there are thousands of lives wasted doing things not worth doing. Human spirit is sacrificed. More and more things are produced without a will in the creation, and are consumed or ‘used’ without a will in the consumption or the using. These things are dead. They pass, masquerading as important while they are before us, but they pass utterly. There is nothing so important as art in the world, nothing so constructive, so life-sustaining. I would like you to go to your work with a consciousness that it is more important than any other thing that you might do. It may have no great commercial value, but it has an inestimable and lasting life value.
-Robert Henri, The Art Spirit