What Artists Need

Creative people, or we could say artists, have some needs to be able to fully access their creativity.

They need to love and to be loved. We, as creative people, need intimate relationships, emotional and intellectual friendships. Creative people need wide-ranging relationships. They also need human warmth, the occasional handshake. They need people who respect their work and who respect and care about them.


They need love, intimacy, and friendship more than they need gallery shows or tenure. The flow of love through our human lives is what we need and what we must attain.


Relating needs to be more than a nice idea. Creative people need to relate well to others. Van Gogh loved the idea of complement as an essential life accomplishment. He looked at human relationships and color relationships to be essential. He loved to use blue and yellow in his paintings and he felt that men and women need to and can support one another in life. The inability to accomplish this is one of the thousands of reasons for depression.


Creative people can be great composers, painters, writers, a great intellectual or a great soul. We need to climb down off of our high horses, tear our enemies lists to shreds. We need to stop criticizing and blaming others for our own failures. We are special but not completely unique.


Therapists suggest that artists consciously make a point of caring for others. Give without taking.

Feel, rather than steel yourself to the actions and comments of others. Count to ten and perhaps count more than once.


Manage your ego. Someone else’s success is not a personal affront to you. Moderate selfishness. Share credit when it is earned. We have hungers and desires but so does every living human being. Reduce your sense of injury. Let the old hurts which continue to haunt you go. Open up and let them drift away. They are heavy baggage.

Buddha told a story about an angry man. He had been injured emotionally by someone. He held that anger like a charcoal briquette just out of the fire. He held on to it day after day and in the end, he was the only one injured. He had a terribly bad burn and the other person was just fine and went on with their life as always. The angry man was scarred for life.


We live in a harsh world and it needs every bit of beauty we can add to it. It also needs our kindness, gentleness, compassion and love. These can change the world. Not completely, but it can and will make a difference. It can start with all of us.


 Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

                               Black Mountain, NC


15 thoughts on “What Artists Need

  1. Mr. Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  2. Angie Mc says:

    “Creative people can be great composers, painters, writers, a great intellectual or a great soul” <- this. While I'm not an obviously creative people, obviously creative people have helped me to tap into and value what is create within me. A great soul, I like that.

  3. omtatjuan3 says:

    What a nice post!

  4. Rajagopal says:

    Creativity, like everything else, is nurtured by love, and thrives in a climate of fulfilling and rewarding relationships…best wishes.

  5. Juli says:

    Wonderful post, thank you

  6. Truth and more truth! Thank you!

  7. This is one of the most beautiful essays about creativity I have ever read. Thank you Barbara for blessing my world the way you do.

  8. Joanne Corey says:

    I especially like the sentence, “Someone else’s success is not a personal affront to you.”

  9. D.G.Kaye says:

    Beautiful words and concept Barb. We need to spread these messages around amongst us all, until we are heard. 🙂

  10. The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Nat king Cole. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing there’s just too little of…… No, not just for some but for every one. Released in 1965.
    I960s, it was all happening for a rebel or Hippie, a rejection of government policies. The Vietnam war, woman’s rights, and showing uninhibited freedom of love to all. Love where colour creed or sex was not a big deal. So where have all the flowers gone, Peter Paul and Mary.
    I think commerce and media hijacked them when Bob Dylan went electric.
    I got a pleasant surprise when I visited your young guitar player video.
    Not Robert Johnson but a real Stevie Ray Vaughn. Thanks for these posts.

    • You touch my heart. I am an old hippie and our old songs sing what we wanted to accomplish in our lives. I look back and I see some success and a lot of failure, but we tried. Our generation tried to change everything. I am proud to have been part of that. Hugs, Barbara

      • The 60s was the penicil of the battle between the establishments greedy system and the peace movement, women’s liberation, equality love and freedom.
        Bob Dillon went electric and commerce won making the hippie dress into high fashion. The women gained the right to enter the rat race and the crèche looked after the children. Nothing was learned from Vietnam not even that agent orange was chemical warfare.
        We learn nothing all we know we are told by the media.
        Weapons of mass destruction were in Iraqi the master of mas deception warned and away the young marched again singing Blown in the
        Wind. _/\_ .

      • It is true but we did make some changes and women’s rights was one of them. Choice for women was important. Not everybody listens to the media. We can all think for ourselves. Bush gave us a huge lie about the WMD but many of us knew that. At least the ones who marched away we ones who chose to go. In Vietnam they were drafted. Life is not perfect but we just keep on telling our truth. There are people who listen. Hugs, Barbara

      • For me the 60 were the greatest and being young to enjoy it wonderful.
        I was among the fortunate and still am getting hugs from the girls, thanks, Barbara. _/\_. .

      • I hope you will return. Hugs, Barbara

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