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, courage and faith. Recovering artists in action are strong enough to bring about a rewarding and new creative lifestyle for each individual.
There are many tools in A.R.T.S. Anonymous, each with its own healing strengths. 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 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.
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.