Why I'm Making Time For Artist's Dates This Year

“The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you...Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.”
 

*Article from a guest post I submitted to Create Lounge March 2017. Read the full post here >>>


I first heard the term “artist date” from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

She writes, “The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you...Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.”

SIMPLY PUT, AN ARTIST DATE IS ROUGHLY AN HOUR SPENT TO DEVOTE TIME TO YOURSELF AND YOUR ART.

Think of artist dates as self-care for your passions because yes, they need to be looked after too.

Cameron’s description of filling up our inner wells is spot on. All day, all week, we tap into this inner or creative well, drawing gallon-sized buckets of inspiration and ideas. We write, blog, edit photos, engage on social media, plan launches—no wonder we feel “drained” or “burned out.” It’s a lot to ask our creativity to show up 24/7.

Taking time each week for an artist date can help you:

  • Allow that inner artist, which Cameron personifies as a child, to play.
  • Experiment with new mediums and styles.
  • Ask questions.
  • Get yourself in a place where you're willing to take risks.
  • Give yourself permission to create for the sake of creation (instead of creating for work).
  • Explore passion projects.
  • Learn new skills.
  • Make mistakes without the social media world watching.
  • One of the most exciting and creative breakthroughs I’ve experienced happened last year when I went on a hike for the first time in years. Within a few hours of returning home, I had purchased canvases, brushes, and paint. I had never been a painter, and wouldn't have considered myself an artist, but just a month after that hike, I had more paintings in my house than I knew what to do with.

At first, it felt strange to be pulled to this medium (I’m a writer, not an artist, after all), but painting has allowed me to express myself in a way words can’t, and is now one of my favorite things to do.

And what still manages to stun me is that I never would have considered painting if I hadn’t gone on that hike—if I hadn’t taken the time for an artist date. 

THIS YEAR, I WANT TO MAKE MORE TIME FOR ARTIST DATES.

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