Art, the Muse and a Room

by innowen

Welcome to the Perch Studio. When I moved into my home, I gave my house a name: The Perch. It’s my sanctuary. And I converted this room over to my artistic studio. As you can see, my computer desk sits in one corner; Smudge, my Apple powerbook rests on top of it along with a few candles. Don’t let Smudge’s 12” size fool you. That little computer contains my life’s writings and designs. My workbench is on the opposite wall, where the closet used to be. It’s pretty chaotic at the moment. Bottles of Luminere paints and paper and stamps and pens litter the surface. I’m an artist and writer and when I want to be creative, I head into this room. However, I’m also pagan. A witch. For me, there is no separation between my daily activities and my spiritual life. The two intertwine. And that holds especially true when applied to my art.

My studio is a reflection of my inner self and of my spiritual beliefs. Whereas many pagans and witches dedicate themselves to a particular deity or pantheon, I do not. I am eclectic. I don’t believe in worshipping one particular deity or spirit. Instead my stories and art displays the facets of my muses and goddesses. When I’m not writing or crafting I get grumpy and depressed. Indulging in my creativity keeps me happy and sane. Making art renews my body, mind and spirit while allowing me to share my passions with others. When I wander into the Studio I am no longer just an artist. I become a goddess, going into my circle to give life and form from the blank pages and nothingness. The magick happens here in this room. It’s the place I go when I need to get the ideas out of my head and into this world and to recharge my passion and let my imagination run rampant. Creating art renews me, gives me a sense of belonging and gets me involved in what I love doing in my life.

Because I see a connection between making art and spirituality, this room transforms from just an ordinary room to something special. It’s my altar where my pens and brushes and ideas in my mind mix and merge to form something tangible. The Studio is my sacred space. I define sacred space as a physical or mental place reserved exclusively for a specific purpose. The purpose of The Studio is to give me a special place where I can write, make art and express myself. Defining a special space for my art achieves two things. First, it helps me to organize my art. Before I defined the room’s purpose and what things I wanted in the room to help my creative endeavors, my art felt disjointed and rushed. I didn’t want to ruin the kitchen counter or desk with paint or stamp ink and Exacto knife scratches. Once I converted that room from just another room in my home into a special place that represents my perception of my art I felt free to make the messes that comes with creating art. The closet got ripped out and converted into a dual bookcase and workbench. Inspiring books and magazines now line its shelves. The workbench is a whirlwind mess of half-finished projects, brushes, pens and glue sticks.

Secondly, it prepares my mind to play and be creative. The world, all my worries and the noise inside my head get pushed away. The space brings my focus to the here and now and grants me the right to make mistakes and be childish. The moment I walk into the room my mind enters design mode. Ideas creep out of its corners and my energy levels rise. I light candles and stream music from my iPod. But, once I enter this room, nothing else matters. I give myself permission to create, to make mistakes and to have fun. Schedules and restraints do not exist in the Studio. It’s the one place I am free to express and create things for me rather than for others. I may work on a new project for a few minutes only to switch to something else; or I may work on one project for the rest of the night only to have my husband drag me out of the room kicking and screaming.

Every artist needs space to create his or her works. Some artists have a small table tucked away in a corner of their apartment while others are fortunate enough to have an entire room rented for devoted for their work. No matter how big or small that space is, artists agree that their space is personal and sometimes an extension of their art and their selves.

Anyone can create his or her own creative sacred studio space. You do not need to be particularly spiritual, per say. Identify what space you have at home or access to. Look at your creative projects, usually they determine exactly how much room you need to effectively create art. Make a list of qualities and items you identify with creativity. Sketch your ideal space in your journal. You do not need to go out to the store (unless you want to) and buy anything new. Look around you and see what things from the list you already own. I may not need a whole room to stamp and create altered books, but the things I want to surround myself with take up space as well. When you are done planning your space, take the plunge and turn those ideas and sketches into practice. Take time to admire your new space, but make sure you’ve created a usable space. You WANT to use this space to get dirty.

Creating a sacred artist’s space is fun to do and you don’t need to spend money to make your space. The following is a list of items that you may find helpful when you put together a room of your own. I find adding books and inspiring posters or other items near me helps to focus my mind and get me generating energy and ideas for creating art.

  • Books
  • Pens or other artsy things (stamps, paint, brushes, etc)
  • Music
  • Smudge (my computer, handy for writing and graphic design)
  • Tarot deck
  • Journals
  • Candles and incense
  • Chairs, beds or other comfy seating
  • Light (or lack of!)
  • Funky or inspiring posters
  • Colorful fabrics or drapes that reflect your favorite colors and style

I believe that every artist needs to have some space, whether it’s a corner table in their apartment or the whole warehouse luxury. Having predefined spaces allows us to focus our minds and energies we put into the tasks we’re doing and pushes us to get more out of our art. It expands our traditional perceptions of creativity and helps to turn it into something deeper and more spiritually fulfilling. Any room or space can be defined as sacred if you want it to be. Even the kitchen. Of course you don’t have to limit your ideas of sacred space to just art. The Perch also has a funky L-shaped room that I turned into my spiritual center. I go to this room to meditate, think about my life or journal. So let your imagination run wild! Go build sacred spaces of your own. Strengthen your connection to your art and your soul.