A book that I consider foundational in helping to nurture my creative side is Julia Cameron‘s classic, The Artist’s Way. I remember reading it back in college and feeling like I had permission not only to be as creative as I wanted to be, but to thrive as an artist and as an adult.
One of her tips that has stuck with me all these years is to take an “artist date” with yourself. An artist date is a weekly, solo excursion doing something that will nurture, encourage, inspire, and replenish your creative self.
An artist date does not have to be “artistic”! It doesn’t mean you have to visit a museum if you don’t feel like it. All it means is to take a couple of hours to explore something that truly interests you. Some great ideas include:
- Check out (yes) a museum or art gallery
- See an independent film or theater performance
- Go see some live, local music
- Browse a bookstore or craft store
- Visit an arboretum or botanic garden
- Surround yourself with a pile of photography books at the library
- Bring a sketchbook to a park
- Write a letter to a friend
- Choose a theme and Instagram it like crazy (the color blue; circles; smiles; etc. )
- Discover cool street art in your neighborhood
- Go on a lazy, slow bike ride
- Take $10 to the dollar store or a hardware store. Create something with whatever you buy there.
I still have my dog-eared, underlined, well-worn copy of The Artist’s Way from college and I flip through it every once in a while for inspiration. If you have never read it, I do highly recommend checking it out. It’s a classic read that will never go out of style, and is a wonderful dedication to yourself as a well-rounded human.
Do you ever take an artist date?
What’s your favorite way to encourage your creative side?