The militant introduces a faith, a big belief that will change the world, and the artist introduces a product that has no place in the world. It’s useless. The artist, the serious writer, introduces into the world something that wasn’t there even at the start. When God made all this stuff in seven days, the birds, the rivers, the human beings, he didn’t have ten minutes for literature. ‘And then there will be literature. Some people will like it, some people will be obsessed by it, want to do it…’ No. No. He did not say that. If you asked God then, ‘There will be plumbers?’ ‘Yes there will be. Because they will have houses, they will need plumbers.’ ‘There will be doctors?’ ‘Yes. Because they will get sick, they will need doctors to give them some pills.’ ‘And literature?’ ‘Literature? What are you talking about? What use does it have? Where does it fit in? Please, I am creating a universe, not a university. No literature.’
I Married a Communist, by Philip Roth. Holy smokes.
If you’re lucky, at the right time you come across music that is not only “great,” or interesting, or “incredible,” or fun, but actually sustaining. Through some elusive but tangible process, a piece of music cuts through all defenses and makes sense of every fear and desire you bring to it. As it does so, it exposes all you’ve held back, and then makes sense of that, too. Though someone else is doing the talking, the experience is like a confession. Your emotions shoot out to crazy extremes; you feel both ennobled and unworthy, saved and damned. You hear that this is what life is all about, that this is what it is for. Yet it is this recognition itself that makes you understand that life can never be this good, this whole. With a clarity life denies for its own good reasons, you see places to which you can never get.
Greil Marcus.  This quote was on the front page of the syllabus from one of my history classes in college.  Replace music with man-made creation and you come closest to what I consider my artistic credo.