Derive happiness from yourself, from a good day’s work, from the clearing that it makes in the fog that surrounds us. Think that all those who have succeeded,remembering the difficulties of their beginnings, exclaim with conviction; “those were the good old days.” For most of them: Success = Prison. And the artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist must never be a prisoner of [one’s] self, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of a success, etc … Didn’t the Goncourt brothers write that Japanese arts of the great period changed their names several times during their lives? I like that: they wanted to protect their freedoms.
– Henri Matisse in Mattisse On Art: Revised Edition by Jack Flam (University of California Press, 1995)