Creative Block. Artist Support Group. Avoidance. Can’t Work at My Art. Artistic Endeavor. Perfectionism. Multi-Talented. Invisible. Not Good Enough. Afraid of Criticism. Rejection. Fear of Failure. Artistic Temperament. Fear of Success. Manic Depressive. Avoidant Phobic Syndrome. 


Artists Recovering through the Twelve Steps

The goal in ARTS is to achieve an active, abundant and robust life focused on our creativity. A.R.T.S. is a fellowship of artists who are taking daily actions to achieve their goals.  When newcomers see others in recovery, they take comfort in discovering they are not alone.

A.R.T.S. helps dreams come true.  No creative gift is too small.  It does not matter if you were not trained.  And, you are not too old!  It doesn’t matter how long ago it’s been since you picked up your art.  Others feel the same way when they come into ARTS.

We, who are recovering in A.R.T.S,. remember when our lives were unmanageable.  We were living lives we did not want.  We felt trapped and hopeless.  We felt soul dead, we were grieving.  Our desire to express our gifts never went away.  Our desire to be an artist never left us.  The life we wanted to live seemed to be waiting, eternally waiting for us.Our need to create is in every artist’s genes.

A.R.T.S. members know a successful life does not block out one’s gifts.  Blocking is an unhealthy act.  Why?  Because no one should be deprived of great joy.  Old-timers in A.R.T.S. will affirm: “Our gifts are our birthright — block our gifts and we block our life.”

When we embrace our gifts, opportunities come to us.  All we have to do is pick up our gifts and follow our inspiration.  Creativity works best when inspired.  Inspiration knows how to get us to where we want to go.  All we have to do is trust our creative process. The 12 Steps and  fellowship of A.R.T.S. will support us. What’s in our heart stays in our heart – forever.  The word “art” is nestled inside the word “heart” and it belongs there!  We welcome you to A.R.T.S. Anonymous.

May A.R.T.S. Anonymous teach us that our art, celebrated, will benefit and feed our own souls first, and the world’s second, for the world hungers as much for this beauty as for food. We meet here to feed this deeper hunger.


Avoidance and the Creative Block

Some blocked artists can do no work, while others work sporadically. The creative block can strike the career artist whose work was criticized and feels insecure about their talent. When the blocked artist needs to “feel safe” fear has taken control of their life. The result is that creative work is started but not finished. Completed work is abandoned. Work once exhibited is now withheld from the public. Commissions offered are not followed up.  The blocked artist walks out on their dreams and shuts down their destiny. Their art gathers dust — sadness, anger, regrets.

●  A.R.T.S. Twelve Traits of the Avoidant Artist
●  Facing Avoidance
●  Anorexia of Avoidance
●  Avoidant Phobic Syndrome
●  Symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
●  A.R.T.S. Twelve Talents for Good Life

●  A.R.T.S. Twelve Steps and Traditions


The Tools of ARTS Anonymous  

There are 12 tools in A.R.T.S.  Each has it’s own healing strengths. Every tool requires us to take an action to break our isolation and reach out for community. In A.R.T.S., bottom line sobriety begins with a humble daily action to pick up one’s creativity, 5 minutes every day. 5-Alive can leads hours of work.

Twelve Tools of A.R.T.S. 


The A.R.T.S. Twelve Steps

Most A.R.T.S. members are in other Twelve Step programs. They are familiar with the recovery path of the 12 Steps. In A.R.T.S., the framework of the Twelve Step recovery path releases the artist from their traumatic past and brings about a lifestyle that supports their creative gifts. 

Every artist wants to see their work valued by society. The gifts we were born with were meant to give our life meaning and purpose. Becoming a visible working artist is the promise of the A.R.T.S. Step process.

The First Step in A.R.T.S. acknowledging we will always be powerless over our creativity. What is unmanageable is our life, which is not in sync with our creative process.

The Twelve Steps teach us that nothing about the past can change, but we can change — thereby changing our future. The process is spiritual,for it is the spirit that must heal — separate from the past — and be given a new life.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us with questions and comments. We will work to answer as soon as possible. 

  • A.R.T.S. Anonymous mailing address: A.R.T.S. Anonymous, Inc, P.O. Box 230175, New York, NY 10023.