Even though artists may require isolation in order to immerse, it is the presence of certain types of relationships that gives them the courage and strength to take the dive. The mere presence of other people in the artist's life does not necessarily provide the kind of support he or she needs (one can feel alone in a crowd). The kind of support an artist feels contributes to his or her internal sense of being special, safe, and understandable. (In fact, this applies to everyone. For any person to be at his best emotionally, cognitively, behaviorally, and physically, these kinds of interpersonal experiences are fundamental):
Mirrors: Those who see us as special. The artist who feels special is likely to create. At the same time, artists create with the hope of being seen and recognized. These are healthy human strivings and are the basis for solid, resilient self-esteem. We need others to see our specialness and to reflect it back to us. "Mirrors" are those who validate our strengths, our talents, and our uniqueness.
Heroes: Those we look up to, admire, and aspire to please. When our heroes (in reality or fantasy) recognize us and take us under their wing, we feel solidly supported and energized. We want to be like them and to make them proud of us. Having a hero is a strong psychological motivator from the moment of birth until the time of death. Heroes inspire us and help us to feel safe.
Twins: Those people we feel as "like-kind". Here we find the experience of being with others who are in the same boat. Relationships with "twins" help us feel understood and understandable; our feelings and experiences make sense and we find comfort in the awareness that we are all alike. Our fantasies, fears, and dreams are acceptable. Our blocks, resistances, and failures do not mean we are inadequate to the task; we can go on in spite of our fears because we are not alone.
Causes Anne Paris Supports
Savethechimps.org, Bonobokids.org, Elevate Hope Foundation