I think, in a way, that all art making is sacred, just by the fact that it is the creation of a completely new object or image made by an individual who is unique. That same object or image would never exist otherwise, and can never be replicated exactly. It is as unique as its maker.
Then there are objects and images that are created specifically for those who do spiritual work, to be used in their work. I have painted drums and worked on wooden staffs that I use, but I have yet to make from scratch an object like a drum, rattle or other instrument or costume object for use in my spiritual work. I have recently been asked (told, really) by Spirit to make a particular object for my own use that will require feathers. Since I was told in a journey to make this object, feathers have come to me often and I trust the reason. I smile.
Above is one of the drums I painted for a friend on a spiritual path. I was asked to paint a dragon. When I paint a canvas on my easel, I usually don't pray first, but working on a sacred object like this requires a special sort of preparation. For this particular drum, I created sacred space, called in the Spirits from the directions and then my compassionate Helping Spirits. I said some prayers asking Spirit to guide my hand and then I filled myself up with Love as I worked. It's all guided, even my other works of art which are not done for the purpose of being used in spiritual practice. It's all done with the help of Spirit. Without that, the work is empty.
I didn't plan for the dragon to look like this. I just began painting and this is what emerged as I painted while almost in a trance. I didn't know the dragon would hold the world in its belly. That seems to give it a more special meaning.
At some point my plan is to make objects to use in my spiritual work, as I am called to. The one that requires feathers will begin as soon as I have the right amount of feathers I was told to have. I smile, and trust.
Two books give me a great deal of inspiration and joy as the authors share their wisdom, images and journey suggestions: Evelyn Rysdyk's "A Spirit Walker's Guide to Shamanic Tools" and Nicholas Breeze Wood's "Voices From the Earth: A Handbook for the Modern Shaman". I want to dive in, but will go as Spirit intends, with the time I have balancing the different things I do. I am very grateful to those who have walked this path a long time and have shared their wisdom with us. I smile, and give thanks.
Peace and Blessings,