Many years ago I read Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way”.  It was during a time in my life where I felt like I had dried up creatively.  Julia’s ideas of writing Morning Pages and taking Artist Dates resonated with me.   Morning Pages became a journal of my creative life, and Artist Dates became my lifeline and stress release valve.

What are Morning Pages and Artist Dates?  Morning Pages are simply a journal of your creative life – all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Getting it all out on paper helps you sort through the inner turmoil that blocks your creativity.  It helps you think through things.  I have ideas of all sorts in my Morning Pages, springboards to creative work.

Artist Dates are simply time you take each week to do something out of the ordinary that inspires you.  I add doing something that nurtures me to the list.  We are a one car family in a very cold winter climate here.  It is difficult to get out on Artist Dates in winter.  I find the Internet, magazines, and books to be my best friends.  I also find switching up the type of creative work I do to be a bit of a break.  I normally rug hook or spin, but I might take an Artist Date for myself and spend a day working on visual journaling or something totally different.

Some ideas for Artist Dates that I’ve tried?

  • Spa treatment at home – foot spa, manicure, pedicure, facial, etc.
  • Take time to read an art/craft/creativity related book with a nice cuppa
  • Go to a cafe for tea alone or with others
  • Visit an art gallery
  • Go on an art walk, checking out commercial art galleries or architecture in town.
  • Go to free performance of the symphony…or one that costs money (Buy rush tickets)
  • Go to live theatre (amateur is cheaper)
  • Check out the performances at high schools and universities and attend one.
  • Shop buy something nice or yourself (NOT necessarily expensive!).
  • Go for a walk by the creek looking for inspiration for creative work.
  • Library time just for ME! (Read magazines)
  • Attend art shows or art openings.
  • Meet like minded friends/people.
  • Go to bed early one night with a good book on art/creativity and a cup of tea.
  • Go to a museum for inspiration.
  • Rent/buy artwork for your home.
  • Take a virtual holiday. Plan a vacation to someplace exotic…even if you have no intentions of going there.
  • Watch an art/craft/creativity DVD/video.
  • Listen to music you love.
  • Buy flowers for yourself.
  • Go for a scenic walk.
  • Take time to watch sunrise or sunset.
  • Sleep out under the stars.
  • Go out to a favourite restaurant for breakfast, lunch or coffee.
  • Go to the beach/lake/mountains.
  • Take a scenic drive.
  • Go windowshopping.
  • Go out to see a good movie. Or watch one at home.
  • Go to the park and feed the birds.
  • Go to an author reading at the library or a bookstore.
  • Read poetry.
  • Journal your life, answering those questions kids and grandkids always want to know about you.  Find inspiration in your life.
  • Celebrate a tradition.
  • Break from tradition. Do something different.
  • Play in the rain.
  • Play in the snow.  Throw snowballs at each other…soft snow only!
  • Play for free…take a convertible on a test drive. Take in a summer concert in the park. Volunteer to usher and at festivals to get in free. Look for free lunch time seminars.
  • Have a family fun and games night.
  • Have a winter picnic.  There a picnic books in the library on how to make this a pleasurable experience. 🙂
  • Have a summer picnic!
  • Plan a treasure hunt for yourself and some friends and go on it.
  • Arrange and display some photos.
  • Create theme photo albums/scrapbooks.
  • Invite a friend over for fun/tea/crafting.
  • Plan a special, creative meal and go shopping for supplies.
  • Listen to an inspirational tape.
  • Keep a diary/record of accomplishments.
  • Exercise
  • Visit historic sites.
  • Perform an act of kindness.
  • Surround yourself with things you love: colours, smells, etc.
  • Write in a Creativity Journal.
  • Create a Visual Journal page.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Watch the clouds. Look for shapes in them, like you did as a kid.
  • Name your day and live by. If you name it Carefree, be carefree!
  • Give the gift of your time, self, or money.
  • Journal your dreams in life. What they look like, how you might achieve them, what your next step is.
  • Go out in nature and enjoy it…hiking, birdwatching, etc.
  • Meditate.
  • Create a space of your own…a sanctuary.
  • Create a place where you can ‘play’ in your own home…be it a studio or workshop or whatever.
  • Close your eyes and visualize the perfect vacation. 🙂
  • Plan a mini-vacation.
  • Plan a staycation…staying in your home town and seeing the local sites as a tourist would.
  • Play with your pets…or other people’s.
  • Get inspired by a garden.
  • Create your own outdoor garden room…or indoor one for that matter.
  • Take time to reminisce.
  • Go to a mineral spa and soak. Or soak in a hot tub.
  • Take your camera outdoors and see what you can find.  Take close up shots, and distance shots.  Sky, ground, and in-between shots.  Try shooting all the circles you see, or all the squares, etc.  Play with filters, lenses, and/or settings.

There are really no end to the types of Artist Dates a person could do.  It’s limited by your imagination and your interests.  The key idea in Artist Dates is that they inspire you somehow.  They give you energy or ideas to move forward in your creative journey.  My thanks to Julia Cameron for her insightful look at the artist in “The Artist’s Way”.

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