Creative unblocking : the Artist Date

Wooden_sculpture_elderly_couple_drinking_teaAre you feeling flat and uninspired? Has your well of creative ideas dried up? Then an Artist Date might be just what you need.

In her book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends two main tools for creative unblocking:

  1. Morning pages and
  2. Artist dates.

They can be used by artists, photographers, writers – indeed by anyone who wants to live a more creative life.

I’ve written before about morning pages, which I warmly recommend. If you’d like to read the post, follow the link to Creative unblocking : morning pages.

Today I want to focus on the Artist Date – what it is and how it can get your creative juices flowing again.

As the name suggests, it’s a date – but one that you make with yourself. Julia Cameron has described it as a solo, festive expedition. Why should you go alone? Because company can be distracting. The aim is to woo your imagination and top up your creative well, ideally once a week. I must admit that I struggle to keep regular dates with myself. Sometimes a month will pass before I realise that I’m getting cranky and need to go out and play.

What does an Artist Date look like? Well, it doesn’t have to be high art. One of my favourite dates last year was a trip to Aladdin’s Cave in Lewisham, south east London. Piled high with second hand furniture, antiques and bric-a-brac, the emporium stretches back as far as the local railway line. I spent well over an hour there, happily browsing.

Not surprisingly, as a photographer I’m strongly drawn to photo exhibitions. But the most effective Artist Dates are the ones that take you out of your comfort zone. During a recent trip to Leicester, I found a gallery at the New Walk Museum, full of Picasso ceramics. They were superb – sometimes a bit rough, but always creative and daring.

So if you’re in a rut with your art or photography, get your diary out and make some dates with yourself. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

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2 Responses to “Creative unblocking : the Artist Date”
  1. Eliot Taylor says:
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