I am trying to get back into a weekly artist's date habit. Many of you may already be familiar with the brilliant Julia Cameron, but for those of you who aren't, an artist's date is a concept Cameron pioneered in The Artist's Way, her classic book on discovering and recovering the innate creativity that lies within each of us.
So what is an artist's date? To quote Cameron, the artist's date is "a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The artist date need not be overtly 'artistic'-- think mischief more than mastery." Nothing is too silly for an artist's date. It's our silly, childlike qualities that allow us to explore and create without inhibition.
For this week's artist's date, I explored the Anthropologie store in Georgetown, taking in all its delicious visual wonders. In addition to the lovely clothes and household items, the store always has absolutely beautiful displays that really are works of art unto themselves. There was one display near their kitchen items that had a vine of tomatoes made of felt (or some other type of cloth) woven into a piece of iron lattice fence. Another featured a vintage bicycle in a sweet baby blue hue. I struck up a conversation with a sales clerk, who told me that they have some extremely talented visual merchandisers who create the displays at the Georgetown store. I'll say so! It was definitely an inspiring little outing. (To consider: a career in visual merchandising?)
Of course, I fell in love with some of the merchandise as well. I'm particularly digging the Orimono pillow and Deep End dinnerware (above).
Do you go on artist's dates? If not, would you consider it? Remember, it doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are some artist's date ideas to get you started (comment and add your ideas!):
- Wine and dine yourself… go to dinner and a movie.
- Spend some time browsing around Etsy and create a Favorites list – a list of items there that speak to you on a creative level – to refer back to and be creatively inspired by.
- Take yourself on a culinary artist date, and try a new cuisine, recipe, restaurant, fruit, vegetable, etc.
- Take a walk with someone else’s iPod. Expose yourself to new music.
- Move your body. Try Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, bellydancing, etc.
- Write a letter to the person you plan to be in ten years.
- Check out the course offerings at a local community college or community center. See what catches your eye. A course in modern art history? Piano lessons? Cooking classes?
- Visit a farmer's market and talk to one of the farmers about his or her product.
Thanks to The Artist's Way blog for many of these ideas.