As an artist, it is so important to have a space in which to create—a sacred space to invoke the muse.
And as a traveling artist, this becomes even more important.
If you’re anything like me, having a plush studio space is a non-option. We make do with what we have, where we happen to have it: a friend’s kitchen floor, a patch of grass in a park, or a small table at your favorite cafe. All of these spaces are perfectly acceptable art studios, but it’s important to actively cultivate the space.
This is the fun part! Creating our sacred studio happens through a little bit of magic and ritual. Artists deserve their own art space at all times in order to create. These are the habits you can perform to create your own sacred art space.
1. Show up to your sacred art space.
How you choose to show up to your sacred art space is important. Your sacred space is a friend, so treat her with respect. You would not show up to a coffee date with a friend in fuzzy pajamas, would you? Show up at least semi-clean and hygienically passable. Change your socks and brush your teeth. How you show up to one aspect of your life is how you show up to all aspects of your life.
2. Mentally and physically create a boundary around your sacred art space.
Creating a set boundary around your sacred art space secures its intention. Having a solid intention is essential to creating good artwork, as it serves as the fuel for your creative force. Creating an intentional boundary around your art space allows this to happen, and it’s simple to do.
It could be a thrifted tablecloth you lay on the floor. A golden energetic bubble you mentally surround yourself with in a public space. A simple mantra you recite before you begin creating. I personally like to visualize drawing a white circle around myself and my chosen studio spot. These are all simple and beautiful examples of creating boundaries for your sacred art space—develop a ritual that feels authentic to you!
When we feel like we are home, we relax. When we are relaxed, energy flows. When energy flows, creativity flows. Good art is all about creative flow.
3. Romance your sacred art space through the five senses.
Indulging our senses within the space helps to bring our intention to the physical plane, which is also where we create our artwork.
What are your authentic preferences when it comes to scent, taste, and sound? Maybe it’s your favorite essential oil, a hot cup of coffee with cinnamon, or just a few wild flowers in your space. Each of these can have an extremely powerful effect on an art space.
(A note on fragrance: Please be mindful of other people in public spaces. As my great-grandmother used to say, “Scent should be the hint of your presence, not the announcement of your arrival.”)
4. Organize your sacred art space into sections.
An organized space allows us to navigate the task at hand with ease and focus. The sections allow us to again shift our point of focus without being overwhelmed and wasting precious time.
I get a perverse pleasure in creating sections and piles. When I set up my sacred art space in a coffee shop, I have a section for my books and journals, a section for my art tools, and a section for distractions (phone and snacks).
An organized space enables us to focus precious energy on what is important: making great art.
5. Breaks and physically leaving the sacred art space.
Knowing when to take a break and physically leave the art space is necessary to the process of creation. I cannot praise the art of Intentional F*ckery enough. Breaks and pauses during creation is part of the artist’s process.
When we start to lose momentum and need time to let something important sink in, we can give ourselves some Intentional F*ckery time. Instagram! Facebook! A short walk! I personally like to read a few pages of a book from my pile of books or journal a bit.
However we choose, mindfully taking pause throughout the day totally transforms the creative process. When we come back to our sacred art space, we are recharged and once again meeting our space with the respect it deserves.
These rituals are just a few of many habits I’ve cultivated and use in order to invoke the power of the muse. The importance is not in the specifics, but in the intention behind our actions. The importance is in the symbolism. The importance is in the care.
Showing up and meeting our creativity with utmost integrity works magic. Your work is worthy of this grandiose show of respect. You are worthy of this respect. And your muse will thank you.
Author: Noël Smith-Sparrow
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis