Welcome to A.R.T.S.!
Are you looking for an artist support group?
Is your creativity blocked?
Is your art invisible?
Do you avoid doing your art?
This is A.R.T.S. Anonymous
We come to A.R.T.S. seeking a new promise, hoping to find a way to escape our blocks and compulsive patterns of avoidance. Creating is what A.R.T.S members do. They want to become the artist they are dreaming that they could be. Each new member has a small insistent creative voice that is demanding the right to be expressed and causing a racket in the soul.
In A.R.T.S. meetings, members have an opportunity to affirm actions they are taking to realize their dreams. The fellowship provides unconditional support for each person’s creative process. Members share experiences, witness each other’s traumatic memories, and experience empathetic relationships. It is a privilege to watch each other grow.
The fellowship of A.R.T.S. Anonymous brings hope, support, solidarity, goodness, trust and faith — and great strength. Recovering artists in action are strong enough to bring about a rewarding and new creative lifestyle for each individual.
The Tools of ARTS Anonymous
There are many tools in A.R.T.S. Anonymous, each with its own healing strengths. (Link ARTS Tools.)
In A.R.T.S. our creative process is always respected. It does not matter what stage of development our art is in: conception, beginning, middle, or completion. The A.R.T.S. Attitudes and Meeting Etiquette (link Attitudes and Etiquette)insures a safe atmosphere for sharing about our feelings, our past, our hopes, and our dreams — but most of all our art. Every tool in the A.R.T.S. program requires us to take an action to break our isolation and reach out for community.
Every action we take is an act of Faith, Trust, and Hope. Every A.R.T.S. tool offers us “a power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity.” To be restored to sanity, all we have to do is use the A.R.T.S. tools that bring us to our art.
Avoidance and the Creative Block
Some blocked artists can do no work. While others work sporadically. They are risk adverse.
The creative block can strike the career artist whose work was criticized and feels insecure of their talent. An artist can also shut down when faced with poverty which prevents them from trying. With the blocked artist the need to “feel safe” has taken control of their life. The result is creative work is started but not finished. Completed work is abandoned. Work once exhibited is now withheld from the public. Commissions offered are not follow-up. A part-time job that pays the bills is “not enough”, and we give ourselves over to a full- time job. The blocked artist walks out on their dreams and shuts down their destiny. Their art gathers dust — sadness, anger, regrets.
The Five-Alive Tool
A.R.T.S. helps members understand how their societal fears keep them invisible. How their phobic fears paralyze their thinking. Daily actions triumph over wishful thinking.
Every Twelve Step Program has a bottom line sobriety where an addictive substance or compulsive disorder is not picked up “one day at a time.” In A.R.T.S., bottom line sobriety begins with a humble daily action to pick up one’s creativity, 5 minutes at a time, one day at a time. Members are supported in doing no less than five minutes of art every day.
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.
A.R.T.S. Closing Prayer
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.
Please feel free to contact us with questions and comments. We will work to answer as soon as possible.
- A.R.T.S. Worldwide Fellowship Liaison: Trustee Don T., firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Contact the A.R.T.S. Office about A.R.T.S literature, status of literature orders or other matters of concern:email@example.com.
- A.R.T.S. Anonymous mailing address: A.R.T.S. Anonymous, Inc, P.O. Box 230175,
New York, NY 10023.