The Artist's Creed

The Artist’s Creed

“I believe I am worth the time it takes to create

whatever I feel called to create.

I believe that my work is worthy of its own space,

which is worthy of the name Sacred.

I believe that, when I enter this space, I have the right

to work in silence, uninterrupted, for as long as I choose.

I believe that the moment I open myself to the gifts of the Muse,

I open myself to the Source of All Creation

and become One with the Mother of Life Itself.

I believe that my work is joyful, useful, and constantly changing,

flowing through me like a river with no beginning and no end.

I believe that what it is I am called to do

will make itself known when I have made myself ready.

I believe that the time I spend creating my art

is as precious as the time I spend giving to others.

I believe that what truly matters in the making or art is

not what the final piece looks like or sounds like,

not what it is worth or not worth, but what newness gets added

to the universe in the process of the piece itself becoming.

I believe that I am not alone in my attempts to create,

and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness,

the words will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.

I believe that as the Muse gives to me,

so does she deserve from me:

faith, mindfulness, and enduring commitment.”

The Artist’s Creed, From Marry Your Muse by Jan Phillips 

Write your own artist’s creed.


  1. Fran Stekoll says

    I believe I have something to add to the universe. I’ve shared much of my muse with many . All those I’ve shared with like what I’ve written
    The problem I face is how to promote what I’ve created.
    My personality is such that there are too many distractions which pull me in directions away from finishing what I’ve begun.
    I admit I need support and guidance to complete myself.
    I am open to suggestions
    It is written and ready to make its debut.

    • Hazel Muller says

      Wow, I do so hear what you are saying. I have written 5 books but I need so much help with promoting them that I have nearly given up. But I still keep writing, to what end I do not know. It is easy to get distracted, and to know which is the more important thing to do.

    • says

      You already have added much to the Universe, Fran. In terms of finishing a creative project, it does take the inner strength and commitment to take your focus off other things, to focus on one thing until it’s done. Everything else in your life will suffer, but the one thing you want to bring to fruition will blossom beyond your wildest dreams–it will come together when you commit your whole self to it. I always find its worth the trade-off, but my family members might feel differently!

  2. Barbara Keller says

    My artist’s creed seems much more down to earth and every day than the one from Jan Phillip’s book, Marry Your Muse. I think people were created to be artists, to make beautiful and sometimes useful things for their own homes, for the people they love and sometimes for God. And some people are driven to create.

    I am saner, happier, more at peace with myself and this life when I’m writing or sewing or gardening or making something out of wood. If I skip it in order to be more productive at what my intellect tells me I’m supposed to be doing, pretty soon I’m not productive at all.

    So my artist’s creed is this: I believe I better find some time to write or sew or paint a picture or plant some flowers and trees or build or paint something. There is no excuse, even though at the begining of a project I’m a little scared – thinking it won’t turn out well, people will laugh, maybe I can’t do it – I better make the leap before I’m crying all the time or yelling at people. Sometimes I think I really don’t have the time, and sometimes I pretend I don’t have the time because it’s hard to put my psyche out there, but I better make the time.

    Not everyone is as driven as I am, but for those who are, it is as necessary to good health as eating decently and getting outside to move and breath. My grandson plays the guitar with the passion and drive of a man swimming for shore lest he drown. Without it he would be unhappy and hard to live with.

    It makes no more sense to fight it than it does to struggle daily to keep the sun from going down. I think it is not so much about validating one’s art as sacred, as it is about just letting it happen. Take a breath, take a class, take a minute, and see what happens.

    • says

      Barbara, it sounds like you really know yourself and my guess is the world is much better for it. The fact that your honor your creativity and your process means that you are bringing beauty and insight and your own perspective out into the world. Bravo!

    • Hazel Muller says

      You have addressed very well a feeling I have and have always had to be creative. I have done some pretty fair oil painting, but my creativity/art takes all kinds of twists and turns. Always I must be creating something or I feel a void within myself. My husband has become aware of this also and tells me to “make something before you go crazy.”

      Thank you for sharing, I don’t feel quite so crazy after reading your post.

    • Debbie says

      Barbara – I enjoyed your post and how you put the creative process at the same level as other key activities we are taught will keep us “healthy”. And I especially loved this line –
      “My grandson plays the guitar with the passion and drive of a man swimming for shore lest he drown.”
      Thank you!

  3. Vicki says

    Each day I will listen to the little whisper in my ear that tells me I am SO MUCH more than just OK.

    When I think I can’t take one more minute of life, I will wait until that feeling passes.

    I will allow myself to bloom. And not care how anyone else sees me.

    Just because others do not see it, does not mean it isn’t real.

    Every time I honor myself, it is a sign of self respect.

    • says

      Amen, Vicki, you’re right–“just because others do not see it, does not mean it isn’t real.” And that’s so true. We will always support your blooming here. You deserve it and the world needs your gifts.

      • Hazel Muller says

        “When I think I can’t take one more minute of life, I will wait until that feeling passes.

        I will allow myself to bloom.”

        Thank you for those lines! Many times I have seriously been on the brink of checking out of life but then I wait . . . and I create something beautiful and I hang on for a while longer.

        • Vicki says

          All your responses are very much appreciated. I’ve been moving through a difficult time in my life. Occasionally, now, I see things with crystal clarity. As a researcher and budding historian, I’ve been learning to organize my research as well as my thoughts. At the same time I’m clearing out unwanted stuff. It feels great. Thank you all for your inspiration and support!

    • Debbie says

      Vicki – there is so much courage in your post! There are a couple of lines that are especially powerful –
      “I will allow myself to bloom. And not care how anyone else sees me.

      Just because others do not see it, does not mean it isn’t real”

      Please bloom! We will be enriched for it!

  4. Liz F. says

    What a great prompt this week, and it rings so true. The art that has come from my writing has definitely come from having been inspired. A source of creation that is not of me, but flows through me. It makes itself known as I write and its newness gets added with every word, in every sentence. And I am definitely not alone in this. There are so many writers imparting so much inspiration– I just want to say “wow!”

  5. Ana says

    I believe the first language of my senses is art.
    I believe art triples the oxygen in my lungs and heart.
    Do I not deserve to breathe this much?
    I believe when I create, I choose to give my suffering space too.
    I believe when I make art in a field, nature and my-self breaks all bondage.
    I believe the strength of my artistic rainbow, can be a rainbow in someone else’s life.
    I believe as a child-less woman, I have to give birth to art.
    I believe my hours are my gift to art.

      • Hazel Muller says

        I am fortunate that I can spend the better part of my days just doing what I choose to do and am always creating several things at the same time. I write for a while, sew, bead, knit whatever I feel like doing that day, take pictures, work in my flowers. It is all good, and I am getting lots of oxygen.

      • Debbie says

        i definitely agree with Laura’s comment – “Do I not deserve to breathe this much?” Yes! You do! Take great gulps of oxygen rich artistic air!

  6. Hazel Muller says

    I believe creating is what keeps me sane;
    I believe sharing what I create makes me happy.

    And, I believe that covers it all.

      • Hazel Muller says

        I believe that in sharing with others it makes them happy also. I am very open and help others if they need help, I smile with them as they enjoy what I have created and I share my creative knowledge as they share back with me. It is a total give and take process. Sharing to me means a two way street.

  7. Jan says

    This is the first time I am posting something here so I want to say Hi to everyone. My creed is something I need to post in my writing room so I remember and live by it–easier said than done, I’m afraid. But this just may be the answer! Here is my creed.

    My Artist’s Creed
    I believe Spirit has given me a talent to be used.
    I believe that by taking the time to use this talent to its fullest, I am living the life I was meant to live.
    I believe that I have a right to spend the time and energy it takes to create whatever wants to be born through my creative self.
    I believe that it is necessary to create the space daily to develop my writing and photography.
    I believe that time and money spent learning my craft is vital to my creative self’s growth.
    I believe that in order to create fully, I also need to read daily, to learn something new in my craft, and to bring that to each project I choose.
    I believe that my work is worthy of the doing even when it does not bring in money to our family.
    I believe that others will understand when I choose to spend time alone with my art rather than socialize, or keep the house spotless, or give my time to political causes.
    I believe that what I write and what I photograph will speak to whoever needs or desires to hear it.
    I believe that when I am allowing my creative spirit to soar that I am fully who I am meant to be.
    I believe that when I open myself up to Spirit, that Spirit will touch me, lead me, and speak to and through me.
    I believe that making a commitment to my art will allow the muse to flow freely.

    • says

      Jan, welcome to the Roadmap blog….and I LOVE your creed. It’s passionate, committed, honest and inspiring. I hope lots of people come by this week and get to read it. And please make this one of your stops for sharing your creative outpourings again. I hope I get to read your writing again and again.

    • Terry Gibson says

      Please let me welcome you here as well. Your creed is well worth putting on your wall! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Debbie says

      Jan – Welcome! What an auspicious start! I revisited this line over and over – “I believe that when I am allowing my creative spirit to soar that I am fully who I am meant to be.” I love how just reading that makes me feel. I am so glad you shared your creed with us. I can’t wait for more!

  8. says

    In thinking about this prompt this week, I’m brought back to Bali. One of the most amazing things I learned about Balinese culture last spring was that in Bali, every single child is expected to be an artist. Every single one! And the only question isn’t, “Is this child going to be an artist?” It’s “What kind of artist is this child going to be–a painter, a calligrapher, a mask carver, a sacred dancer, a musician?” What would it mean for all of us to have grown up in a culture like that?

    • Vicki says

      It’s very sad that our culture does not encourage the artist in each of us. How wonderful that it is alive and well SOMEWHERE! I’m inspired to hear about this. Thank you, Laura!

  9. Leslie says

    I believe that deep inside a treasure waits to be discovered.
    I believe this to be a deeper deep than what I have known up to now.
    I believe that circumstances invite the movement down into these depths.
    I believe I know the way.
    I believe this downward dive precedes the upward flow.
    I believe I stand in a creative abyss where infinite possibility exists.
    I believe I am poised for this creative departure into new inner territory.

    • Debbie says

      Leslie – You had me with the first line
      “I believe that deep inside a treasure waits to be discovered.”
      I kept thinking of those explorers who would leave everything thing they had ever known to go in search of something others thought was mere myth. Reading your post gave me that same feeling. I can’t wait to see where your “creative departure” takes you. I can only hope you will share some of it with us!

    • Jan says

      I love the line, “I believe this to be a deeper deep….and the one that says, “I believe I know the way”. They really speak to me. The rest is also beautifully expressed!

  10. Dianne Brown says

    Astrum Ingredior Creed (The Starwalker Creed)

    I believe in the freedom to create–spinning gold from straw, creating a personal universe where time and space is donned like a jacket–atmosphere permitting–and hung up again when it’s not expedient.

    I believe in my heritage to spill my heart and soul like a bag of dried lentils into the cosmic soup that will nourish those of us with huge appetites.

    I believe that every memory is a nugget of gold when dis-encrusted from the view point of unbelief–we are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year-old carbon–Joni said it best!

    I believe in the proposition that a typo is not indicative of the story’s value and worth.

    I believe in the individual ability to design a more perfect world through the mystical use of imagination and the alchemy of love.

    I believe in star-travel through the mighty portals of thought–fueled by imagination.

    I believe that it is best for me to hold all things possible rather than having a stance of non-belief, for I am a Starwalker, and growth is my personal GNP.

    • Debbie says

      Dianne – What a great line
      “I believe in star-travel through the mighty portals of thought–fueled by imagination.” It is full of motion, possibility and – I think – optimism! Thank you for sharing your unique voice with us on the blog

  11. Terry Gibson says

    Before I begin to write, I will take a few moments to clear my mind and breathe deeply.

    During this time—even if I am unsure about how I feel about myself and my life at that moment—I will sit and mindfully summon my deep respect for all life.

    As a living person, I will extend that respect to myself, even if only for the duration of that time.

    I am a growing and evolving person and, therefore, the effort I give to this act of being and exploring, will grow proportionately. It will become my new normal.

    As my writing teacher advises–something I was already familiar with from decades of therapy—when I ‘show up’ to write (or engage in any kind of therapeutic process), I will allow myself to experience whatever emotions arise.

    They will flow in me and over me and I will give that process my time and attention. As memories and emotions fuel my need to write, I choose to co-exist with them experientially and as an observer of my process.

    I am seriously imperfect but aspire to and practise being a non-judgmental person who keeps confidentiality. This value is very important to me; I give what I need and expect in return.

    Once again, as I extend that wholeheartedly to my friends, other loved ones, and people generally, when I invite my muse, I will allow myself the same thing, with no exceptions.

    I will not judge myself, whatever comes up, or lands on the page.

    I vow also to respect my own confidentiality. If words flow to the page which I am not ready to share with others, I will stay strong in the realization that I have rights. I will allow myself to take the time I need and will remove the pressure of publishing; my work is enough even without societal exposure, approval, and/or validation.

    I will inevitably slip up on taking care of myself in these ways. Knowing this, upon the start of my next writing session, and the same adherance to this guideline, hopefully, I will become aware of it quickly.

    I will then recommit myself to this creed, my understanding of how my brain and emotions work–tweaking as I grow and heal–and my need for the wording here to be just so.

    Finally, I will return to the start of this circular creed. Because I value all of life and its need to communicate with others, I will learn to cherish my soul’s innate need to share through writing.

    • says

      Terry, I LOVE your heartfelt creed. I can feel how much you put your whole self into it, taking the prompt very seriously. I hope it helps serve you and keeps your creative life on track.

      • Terry Gibson says

        Thanks SO much Laura. I loved this exercise! I was surprised I let myself dig; I’ve been trying to avoid intensity lately.

        I need to add one thing to this creed. Haven’t figured out where it would go yet.

        When I scoff at what I do, trivializing, ridiculing and hating it, I will invite and feel the reverence I hold for other writers and artists. I honour how regular people (like myself, hopefully) produce works that massage the weary soul and reignite one’s desire to stand firm, get muddy, and fight for our divine right to live and breathe, and all because, we are the kiss of life. I will nurture and extend this positive regard to myself too, as is my right as a fellow human being.

        Thanks for reading!

        • Debbie says

          Wow – Terry. This addendum was my favorite part of an impressive creed. Thanks for adding this in. I think, at times, we all trivialize what we do and somehow think that others work is special.

        • Debbie says

          Just had to highlight this line because I kept coming back to revisit again and again ” works that massage the weary soul and reignite one’s desire to stand firm, ”
          Great imagery!

    • Ilana says

      Terry- Beautifully written. This inspired so much hope for me. You’ve set out a lot of wonderful goals for yourself. I hope you will be patient with yourself, acknowledge your successes and congratulate yourself for valiant attempts that may fall short at first. Wishing you well, IM

      • Terry Gibson says

        Thanks Ilana. So much. This prompt was great for me. I yearn for the day when my creed would not have to be so heavily laden in my ambivalent feelings about life, being a survivor (ie, allowing rights to myself only as a logical extension of the first premise). For now, however, I wrote from an acceptance of All feelings and just finding a ‘working model.’ It serves me well and I will have it printed up and put on the wall of my office. See ya really soon now! :)

  12. Ilana says

    Living my Life as a Form of Art

    The world will be my canvas, my actions and words, the paint brushes. My heart and soul will be my paints. How I affect and change this world in the years that I have here will become my masterpiece.

    Each smile, each moment of joy that I inspire will be a beautiful piece of my painting.

    Anytime I cause someone pain that will be a darker, less beautiful part of my creation. I realize there are times I will make mistakes, act selfishly. This will be unavoidable but I will do my best to make these times as few as possible. I will learn from every one of them, to find a way to avoid that hurt in the future.

    My own joy, too, will paint the world more beautiful for I do not exist in a vacuum. Joy itself, relief, the easing even of my own pain makes its mark on the world. Those around me may feel the air lighten, the simple sharing of positive energy, the power of a simple ‘thank you’ I, myself, may utter. All of it makes the world a better place. And I intend to share it with anyone who wants to join me.

    I’ve already filled this canvas with so much. Two lives I have saved; one by stopping a suicide and one by helping her plan her escape from an abusive spouse. How many people I have helped with my biweekly blood platelet donations, I do not know. Three feet of my hair, so far, have also been donated to give to little girls who have lost theirs to disease. These are the big things, the easy things. Opportunities present themselves and it is clear what action I must take, easy decisions to make. Those, perhaps are bigger shapes, bigger spaces on my canvas.

    The smaller ones, the harder ones, of course, are the day to day interactions. What is the best way to respond? What can I give? How much can I afford to give? How much must I take, demand of others and what color will it leave on my canvass?

    Each smile, each moment of joy that I inspire will be a beautiful piece of my painting.

    If it only lasts a second. If you forget the moment after, what I did, then I managed to paint that one beautiful moment for this world.

    Some people will remember me long after I’m gone. My daughters and my son will forever be affected by the actions I take today. I pray that the choices I make leave more beauty in their piece of the painting than ugliness.

    Some people will never know I was the person who committed the act that deepened their joy or eased their pain. I do not need them to know. I only need them to know that someone cared.

    Perhaps I don’t even need them to know. When I stoop to pick up a piece of litter someone is freed from having to see that garbage on their sidewalk. They never knew it was there but because of me the world they see is more beautiful.

    My writing; is it just for me? If so then it feeds me, gives me energy to do the other things that make this world a more beautiful place. The beauty is still there, written in invisible ink. If I do share it and someone’s life is enriched for having read it then another layer is added to my masterpiece.

    A smile, a kind word, a moment of making this world a better place; every tiny drop of beauty is precious to my painting.

    For a loved one, for a stranger, for a person who will never even know I existed. If I can make this world more beautiful by having lived my life here, then that is my true masterpiece.

    No one can take that away from me by saying that it’s wrong, that it wasn’t enough or they don’t believe me. No one can discredit, discount or defile the beauty I create. If one person, one creature, finds his or her life enriched by my actions then I have succeeded.

    This is my masterpiece. This is my creed. This is my muse. I love this world and I want to make it a better place for my having been here.

    • says

      Ilana…so beautiful. I love how you broadened your creed into the artistry of living life–not just on the page as a writer, but as a living, breathing, empathetic human being who cares. I’m really looking forward to meeting you next week at the Memoir Retreat.

      • Ilana says

        Thank you Laura- I am looking so forward to meeting you as well. Although I have gained so much from writing about the ugly things it was exhilarating to share something positive this week. Thank you for inspiring both, equally healing, kinds of writing from me. IM

      • Debbie says

        I agree with Laura’s comment. What struck me so much about this piece was your interpretation of life as living art. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on this prompt! I’m sure, as I drift off to sleep tonight, I shall be thinking of your post and wondering what sort of art I created today…

  13. Debbie says

    Write only your truth
    Whenever it bursts forth from your soul
    Share those bits of wisdom that are ripe
    And age those feelings yet too raw for the spoken word
    Until they are covered with a fine patina of perspective

    Trust your inner muse
    Be guided by your intuition
    Savor dark characters on a bright page
    Coalescing into thoughts, images, feelings
    That can bring a tear, take your breath away

    Be courageous
    Look under every rock that clutters your history
    To find insight, inspiration
    Never compromise your uniqueness for praise
    Nor silence your voice in the face of criticism

    Breathe in life
    Use your special grasp of language
    To exhale challenge, hope and connection
    Into the community that surrounds you

    Peel away the layers of your self-deception
    In the intimate setting of the written word
    Intensely private yet only reaching
    Fullness when shared with others

    • says

      Debbie, I wanted to quote back to you some of my favorite lines in your artist creed, but it was so full of truth, wisdom, and beauty, line after line, that I’d have to recite back the whole thing! I’m do glad you add your voice each week to this online community, and am moved by your generosity of spirit in taking the time to respond what each writer has to say. I love this virtual tie between us and hope you are finding your way in your new life.

      • Debbie says

        Thank you so much for the kind words. I so adore reading each post and seeing how differently we can interpret the same prompt. It is so inspiring to enjoy how others use words and imagery. I remain grateful that you sponsor this space for us to share. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of months. I know your upcoming retreat will be awesome, as always!

    • Ilana says

      Wow Debbie! You really challenge me here. I’m going to have to keep this one and see if I can meet that challenge. Not to “silence my voice in the face of criticism” tall order! Then in the last line you simultaneously honor how intensely private writing is and urge me to share it because it “reaches fullness only when shared with others.” You’ve got me sitting up and listening. Well done! And thank you for the lessons you teach. IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      I love the depth of each piece you offer us, Debbie. It’s like a Balinese offering to me. Words or images so deftly chosen, positioned and timed, I am left startled, speechless. Little prezzies for us smart enough to clamor to be in your wake. Thanks Debbie. I didn’t get to the tree first but found sustenance and joy just the same.

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