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On Staying Inspired

June 15, 2013

An Artist Date is an idea that has taken off in the years since Julia Cameron published her book The Artist’s Way. The basic idea behind an Artist Date is that you intentionally take time to feed your creative soul. There is a large community of folks engaging in these artist dates, and you can find many ideas online.

In an older episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Kimberly Wilson, issued an Artist Date Challenge. Always up for a little competition, I’ve been reaching down deep to make my Artist Dates both regular and interesting. What has surprised me is how helpful they are, and how short they can be. When dedicating yourself to a weekly Artist Date, suddenly you free yourself from making it SO VERY IMPORTANT!!! Suddenly, it is just a little alone time wherein you answer the question, “What do I want to do?”

A recent Artist Date was particularly helpful because I had begun to lose sight of the bigger picture. I decided I needed to stop, step back, and remind myself of why I do what I do, to connect to that bigger picture.

As most of my Artist Dates begin, so, too, did this one. I lit the candles in my meditation corner, a little retreat in my office,MeditationCorner some favorite music, and collected the necessary supplies for building a vision board. (A visual representation of what you hope to manifest in the coming months. Many people do these as a collage.) I sat down at my desk with a cup of hot chai and began to dream. VisionBoardSupplies

Flipping through magazines, I clipped images that spoke to me about my aspirations. I drew my attention to where I want to be this time next year, and I meditated on images and words that inspired that sense of fulfillment. But when I had exhausted the options in my magazines, I had few images to show for it. I set about making a collage incorporating those images and my own drawings and words. It soon became evident that this was an exercise in futility. I pitched all the clippings and rough starts, cleared off my desk and started again.

With colored pencils, watercolor (borrowed from my son’s art room), and glitter glue in hand, I began to create. When I was finished, I was filled with a feeling of confidence, calm, and hope.
TreeWoman
She sits on my desk, now, watching over the goings on.

I invite you to unleash your inner creative and go on an Artist Date this week. Taking some time out from the “have to-dos” for the “want to-dos” can do amazing and surprising things, recharging you for those “have to-dos.” An Artist Date does not have to be time-consuming, something that used to keep me from doing them, and they can be absolutely free-of-charge. I also guarantee that when done with the right intention, and not just as another “have to-do,” your creative well will be replenished and you will return to your pursuits re-inspired. Just like yoga and writing, it is just in the showing up that you are faithful to yourself.

Below are some suggestions and Artist Dates I have documented recently. Have fun!

1. Feeling stuck or flustered? Stop, put on your jacket and walk around the block. Listen to music or listen to the birds, but get out and move your bones a little.
2. Go to a used book store and browse. WARNING: Can result in a more expensive outing that you’d planned.
3. Read a book for -shock! horror!- f.u.n. I am terrible about reading ONLY industry books and periodicals. All work and no play…you know what they say.
4. Play a game of sudoku or work a crossword puzzle.
5. Pour an extra cup of coffee and watch the world go by your window, preferably with a dog or cat in your lap.

A late afternoon date with myself, just in time for the start of Happy Hour at a favorite micro-brew pub here in Louisville.
BeerandNachos

A little break from a hard day’s work with a luxurious Legs Up the Wall pose.

LegsUptheWall

ClaraHarris.EnterprisingActor.Signature

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    June 15, 2013 10:32 pm

    The Artist’s Way just shot up my “must-read” list. I LOVE the idea of an Artist Date.

  2. The Growing Artist permalink
    June 25, 2013 11:28 am

    I agree! I will definitely be putting The Artist’s Way on my reading list as well- sounds really interesting! I love your meditation corner! Great Artist Date ideas as well. I am an avid bridge walker. I am determined to walk all of the New York bridges that have pedestrian walkways. It’s very relaxing and a great way to clear my head.

Trackbacks

  1. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” | The Green Room

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