This article, Artists Share Their Rituals, began as a discussion I started on Facebook on March 30, 2015. Have you ever wondered what artists do as a form of ritual or routine to activate their creativity? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart stated, “When I am … completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.”
Mozart would be pleased to know many artists use music as their muse. Other artists get into “the zone” through quiet meditation or nature walks. And, several others I know use active exercise to get their creative juices flowing.
Melissa Ann Lambert: “I usually exercise in the morning – yoga and then riding my lifecycle. That revs up my brain. While actually doing art, I MUST listen to music. I listen to all kinds of music from jazz to blues to Opera, classical to singer-songwriter to French rap, you name it on random with my two 400 disc Sony changers. Or listen to the radio, but either way, the music heavily influences in ways that cannot be described what I do..”
Terri Lloyd: “I tend to work in silence. I used to listen to music, noisy noisy music. But I’ve noticed over the past 5 or more years that I actually prefer it to be quiet so I can process my process, so to speak. The birds chirping in the yard right now are incredibly calming… I do get up frequently to walk around the garden, or look out the windows. I have a killer view of the San Gabriel mountains. I find that taking regular breaks from the actual work allows me to sort out any types of technical or creative problems.”
Steve Corriveau: Complete quiet….meditate…..warm-up exercises for dexterity…….then on to do the work!!!!
Lisa Freidus: “I use my nighttime insomnia as a time to come up with new ideas, it helps pass the time as I am lying in bed and hopefully I remember it in the morning. LOL!”
Shayema Rahim: “To me music is another form of art and I learnt classical music ( Voice training ). I don’t practice it as much as I should. But love music and it reading a good spiritual book or listening to some good music gives me a different level of inspiration while I paint.”
Jeanette Luchese: “I do have what some might think a strange ritual. As my work is intuitive and a very intimate relationship of trust, I spend time contemplating and getting to know my key collaborator..whether it is the material for a sculpture or a surface for a drawing or painting, I moving my hands over it, I feel its nuances, and if it is large enough, I have found to my surprise, hugging it…although it may sound strange to you … it brings us closer together in a strange way to work as one.”
Adriana Garces: “I like to light candles and thank my lucky stars for everything I have. I’m grateful for each day and having made time to create is a ritual in itself as I clean up & clear out space before I begin. Before any of the cleaning, music gets turned on and so does my energy. I play anything from electronica to tango depending on what comes to mind. Dépêche Mode is a band I usually like to start with.”
Mirjam Spronk-Vos: “I start work in my tiny studio by simply focusing on the ideas I have rolling around and the feeling I hold, then I work work work to get it done. Once I start is difficult to stop for anything including lunch as I’m so completely absorbed in what I’m doing. It gives me a lot of energy. The only ritual I have is putting the materials I might use in front of me so I don’t have to dig for them later.”
Penny Josephides: “Other arts stimulate me to paint, for instance, culinary arts…then I get hungry to paint… Or I clear out my studio for preparation to paint and look at magazines, I have a large swipe file!!!”
Rina Goldhagen: “Music, music and more music! Rock gets me energized and keeps me focused while I’m working on my own paintings but I also use meditative/ relaxation music as background when I am teaching, and my art students love it.”