Art As A Gateway Drug

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: April 16, 2013

Our True Job As Artists

Oh my, so much has been written on the creative process and how to nurture it. Creativity can be daunting. “The voices” in our heads can stop us from finishing a project or even starting. “Too old”, “too hard”, “not good enough”, “it will never happen.” Do I need to go on? We all have some version of why we should not or can not work today and everyday.

As someone who has been an artist her whole life, making art on a regular basis for decades was just a gentle practice, like yoga, or working out, or meditation. Something I just did, imperfectly but regularly. I was never good with the slave driving do it, do it, do it everyday thing. I struggle with resistance but I manage to show up in my own way and time because I need to and want to.

I had to set my practice aside for a bit when I became a new mom and by stopping, like when we stop anything, an inertia set in. That inertia was so strong, it infiltrated everything, I started writing again, much less than before, but on a regular basis. My practice was slow and steady and that counted for something. I was doing it but something was missing.

Slowly as I worked, created, practiced, I was reminded of all the things I forgot, all the things that my inertia took away, all the things that are necessary for an artist to remember: That I am being of service, that I am creating to use the gifts given to me and to hopefully touch one person, remind one person, bring one person closer to the truth. 

Art is a gateway drug. It is not the answer, but a means to the answer. Art opens us to feelings, awareness, humanity, god, compassion, and more. All of those things help us move in the right direction. 

Every blade of grass has an angel leaning over it whispering “Grow! Grow!” Art is that angel whispering to its audience, “Remember your beauty, your power, your strength, your purpose, your magnificence. Remember what ever it is you forgot. Shine. Shine.

As artists we are just the messengers so it does not matter if we are good enough, or too old, or too late. We just have to be of service and use our gifts. Fame is fun and money is useful but they can hinder the work if they are the point. The point has to be bigger than the sum of the parts, the purpose has to be universal. Once we take off the pressure form external validation, we are free to be channels of the creative force and that is our true job as artists. Go create, my friends.

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