Thursday, April 4, 2013

Artist Date: Wooing my inner creative child.

In her book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron encourages "artist dates" and defines them:
An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.  In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers.  You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.  That means no lovers, friends, spouses, children--no taggers-on of any stripe.
I've attempted numerous artist dates, but felt stuck when it came time to plan. Similar to a bored couple whose go-to date is dinner and a movie, I kept falling back on the same outing...go to the library. One time I was daring and stayed home to read a book about writing.

Determined to snap out of my rut, I made a list of artist date ideas. I came up with 159 dates by using brain power and an Internet search. I printed out the list and cut it into strips--one idea per strip--then folded each one and put them in a decorated box.

At the beginning of the week, I pull one out and then schedule the activity for later in the week so I have time to plan or prepare.

By randomly selecting an idea from my box, it saves time and brain cells from trying to decide what to do, plus it prods me to do something different. If I just looked down the list each week, I would probably keep choosing familiar or comfortable dates such as...

#17 - Write a letter - longhand, on pretty paper - to an old friend.

#82 - Drive.  Aimlessly.


#98 - Read jokes or watch a comedy.

Artist dates should broaden my horizons, so now when I pull out a strip of paper, it might suggest a new experience for me...

#21 - Sit in the driveway and make designs with pretty rocks.

#35 - Spend a day naked.


#71 - Create a piece of artwork entirely with things from your recycle bin.

For added encouragement to stay consistent with my dates, I want to post about my adventures, but felt I should explain about artist dates first.

I would love for others to share their artist date experiences too!

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