Why every artist needs a sanctuary

Making art is an excellent way to discover who we really are. If we allow the paint to flow and the lines to dance freely from beneath our hands, it isn’t long before we discover a great deal about ourselves if we are willing to really take a look at what we are doing. We need to protect this. This is why we need to have a sanctuary.

The problems with creativity

One of the biggest problems with creativity is that there always seems to be someone looking over our shoulders and telling us what they think about what we are doing. this causes many creative people to focus outwards instead of focusing inwards. We all become as others see us instead of simply being ourselves.

Your own space

Every artist needs a sanctuary. It’s important to have your own space, a studio or a place that you can retreat to in times of trouble. In my opinion, we all need a place to go to to try and figure things out for ourselves when the “noise” around us gives us conflicting messages or becomes deafening in our ears.

Creativity as a spiritual practice

Creativity has become a spiritual practice for me. I am grateful to have discovered it.  I think I feel a lot more deeply than a lot of other people or at least from the inside looking out it appears to be so. World events, personal trauma, and events in my life impact me more than most of you realize. To help rid me of these deep feelings I know that I must stand at the easel and do the work. This is another reason why every artist needs a sanctuary.

Creating your sanctuary

Your sanctuary can be clean or messy. It isn’t important what it looks like or where it is. It just needs to bring you comfort and shelter from the storms. Picasso’s spaces were notoriously messy and filled with objects, books, papers, and trinkets of all types. His spaces supported his insatiable creative energy. Thousands of visitors come through his spaces. There was always a great deal of joy on behalf of those managing to get into see him. His spaces were filled with fun and laughter. A good time was had by all.

Protecting your sanctuary

Not everyone wants their sacred space to be invaded by those we are trying to escape from. In his later years, Picasso’s wife Jacqueline found it necessary to restrict most access to the artist because they needed a quiet and stress-free environment to be able to keep his creativity going.  Other people’s problems and issues affected Picasso deeply and it would appear it prevented him from working. Perhaps the bad news outweighed the good news at some point.

Maintaining your joy

Picasso in his studio

Photo credit : David Douglas Duncan

Joy is an important part of creativity. If one doesn’t have joy in one’s life then one can always find it in creativity. Often artists who are struggling with problems outside their studios also start struggling with issues inside the studio as well. Ironically artists stop doing what they love because they have outside issues when in fact creating will help solve the problems they are facing inside and outside the studio. It’s a double-edged sword.

Create and feel better. Don’t create and feel worse. Once we feel worse it’s hard to envision ourselves feeling better so we don’t create to help get ourselves on the road of recovery.

Finding a tribe

You probably won’t want to let just anyone into your sanctuary. This means that you need to find people who are supportive and who will not disrupt your creativity.  If you have to share your space, you must make sure that the person is compatible, or at the very least ejectable if it doesn’t work out.  You must protect your creativity at all costs!

Today’s Inspirational quote:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backward: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”

~ Margaret Young ~