The act of creating art is no easy feat. From finding the motivation to work, to developing new ideas, to maintaining confidence and openness, the various aspects of the creative process can be taxing. And the artist’s original intentions—for the work itself or for their career more broadly—can easily get lost along the way. For some artists, crystals have proven to be helpful for setting those intentions and optimizing creativity.
“Our art is an extension of our passion, purpose, and drive that represents pieces of ourselves,” explained Vanessa B. Miller
, a jewelry designer and gemologist. “Therefore, it’s imperative that we take care of our hearts, minds, spirit, and energy at all times.” As an artist herself, Miller frequently incorporates crystals into her artistic practice and daily life; she wears crystals as jewelry, carries them in her pockets, meditates with them, and keeps them in her workspace.
The various gems, rocks, and precious or semi-precious stones considered crystals are each believed to have a unique set of properties: They work with specific chakras, act as holding chambers for energies, or work to protect you from negative energy. Those who use crystals believe that to bring out such properties, one must activate the crystal. And while crystals have differing methods of activation, this could mean regularly leaving it out during a full moon or in a bowl of salt water, or smudging it with sage.
Once a crystal is activated, the glittering or smooth stones may be used to set intentions, meaning a person might direct their thoughts and goals into the object. Then, they can be placed around the home or studio, or close to the body. “As artists, the spaces that we create, the spaces that we work in, our energy, and stressors in our environment impact our work,” Miller noted.
Even skeptics of crystals may agree that the stones can serve as reminders to harness or relinquish certain feelings and emotions in order to be creative and productive. For artists looking for new ways to enhance their practice and invigorate their studio, we’ve outlined eight of the best crystals for doing just that.
Given crystals’ varying properties and purposes, some are easier to work with than others. For those who are completely new to crystals, Miller recommends working with a clear quartz crystal first.
Clear quartz is one of the most popular crystals due to its ease of use, but also because it is believed to readily absorb energy and resonate with all of the chakras, thus bringing clarity and balance to various aspects of the body and mind. Miller added that it can “amplify positive energy and clear negative energy.”
Making art can be a great opportunity for expression, but it can also lead us to doubt ourselves and our ideas. For those looking to overcome such feelings and develop a stronger connection with wisdom and intuition, amethyst may be worth a try.
“I love amethyst because whenever I’m feeling doubtful about my creative process, I take a moment to work with it and establish a deeper sense of trust within myself,” Miller explained.
Aquamarine is a calming crystal. This green-and-blue precious gem connects with the throat chakra and promotes a peaceful state of being. For Miller, aquamarine is a go-to crystal during stressful moments that require confidence. “I wear a large chunk daily as a two-finger ring, and it has helped me to speak clearly about my work, have courage when pricing my work, and definitely gives me inspiration to create,” she said.
For artists wishing to tap into a more passionate frame of mind, crystal specialist Sadie Kadlec of Brooklyn’s Maha Rose Wellness Center
recommends working with carnelian. This amber crystal is connected to the sacral chakra, which motivates creative passion, sexuality, and bravery. “This stone imparts courage in producing work and the stamina necessary to finish projects,” Kadlec explained. “It also connects us to our passion, which supports creation that has a lot of emotion behind it.”
If you find yourself zoning out in the studio, or sinking into melancholy or laziness, citrine may be a good option. This transparent yellow crystal removes negative energy and promotes a strong personal will. “Citrine helps to instill concentration and focus, which are key in getting projects underway,” noted Kadlec. Believed to encourage a refreshed and focused state of mind, it may be helpful for staying dedicated during the process of making.
Creatives looking for new direction––be that new inspiration, a new community, or a new medium––may want to try malachite. This stone is known for its ties to coincidence and synchronicity, and may guide you toward new paths and important transformations. “It imparts confidence and clarity in one’s craft, and helps connect one to the people and places that will support the growth of their work,” Kadlec said.
Pyrite is also one of Miller’s favorite crystals to keep in her workspace. This silver, glimmering crystal is said to help encourage manifestation, protection, and abundance. “I keep a large cluster in my work area to keep me inspired and to hone in on these properties,” Miller said. “Creating art is not all about selling, but manifesting visions for your practice, calling in abundance for your hard work, and protection from spiritual attacks go a long way.”
With its energetic orange hue, this crystal is believed to generate childish wonder that results in learning and growth. “I love tangerine quartz because of its ability to stimulate creative energy,” said Kadlec. “It is a playful stone that encourages us to respond to our world with curiosity, humor, and expansion beyond limitations.” If you’re lacking inspiration or the strength to acknowledge your shortcomings, look to this radiant crystal for a boost of energy.