The Artist’s Date was termed by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way”, and refers to a playful outing, where one becomes open and receptive to inspiration. At the end of an artist’s date, you come away with a new sense of well-being and connection, and sometimes even a new sense of creative direction. They often reveal our inner desires. The only “rule” to an artist’s date is that it must be undertaken alone with your own creative consciousness only. This allows us to focus inward on our inner child, rather than outward on another person. Artist’s dates increase productivity by decreasing our tendency to stall because we feel sorry for ourselves. In other words, by practicing regular, fun self-care and taking time to be alone with our thoughts and connect to your inner child, your creative productivity will increase because it is free of self sabotage and personal drama.
Ideally, an artist date is planned ahead of time, according to Julia…but I would like to oppose this idea. You see, I believe that by being mindful in our actions and daily activities, we can experience a spontaneous artist’s date, if we are able to connect with our inner child and play for a moment, shutting out the world around us, and really experiencing a fun moment in time.
For example, I went to Home Depot with my family to find a sheet of plywood…not very colourful or exciting adventure…or so I thought.
As we walked through the painting section, I glanced at the beautiful paint colour swatches, when a vision of pure joy jumped off the shelf at me and stopped me in my tracks. My jaw dropped and I gasped. It was a swatch with an example or suggestion of colours to put together when you’re decorating. Brilliant! And such wonderful colours! A plum, a periwinkle, and a soft pumpkin orange, happily coexisting on the same swatch, and playfully highlighting each others beauty.
I was giddy with excitement! And for a moment, nothing else existed but these colours and a swirl of inspiration. “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS” I thought, because I have got to paint something with this colour scheme. It will be AMAZING…I don’t know what yet, but I absolutely have to. I cannot forget these colours playing off each other. It was an impulse I couldn’t shake…but I also didn’t want to shake it because it was really fun and felt so important.
So…I picked it up, the one that spoke to me, and stared at it for a moment…I think it was only a moment. I glanced over the other swatches, and ooo’d and ahhh’d a little more, but I really only wanted this one. And then I went happily on my way, with the intention of creating something magical with it. What will it be? An abstract flower? A whimsical pet portrait? A dancing tree figure in a magical land? Ooo! Maybe a unicorn?! I don’t know…but I will share it when I find out!