the artist date

I was fortunate enough this Fall to take part in an "Artist's Way" group. The Artist's Way is a seminal book on creativity and the spiritual quest of artistry written by Julia Cameron and originally published in 1992. A workbook of sorts, it asks its readers above all to engage in two practices: The Morning Pages, and the Artist Date. Getting up and writing 3 pages every morning for the past several months (ok, most mornings anyway) pushed Bombilore into reality.

But I am most grateful for the Artist Date... Once a week (or as much as I could), I ventured out on my own- just me and my "artist-child"- to relish some artistic experience I craved. As Cameron calls it, "filling the well; stocking the pond." It doesn't have to be grand or cost anything, though it could. Most importantly, it should be just you and the world and some artful experience that enchants and inspires. It's time "especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist ... an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers." 

Some Artist Dates done by me and friends in our group included reading poetry alone in the park, checking out a new gallery installation, spending hours at Powell's City of Books just exploring, taking walks in the woods without music or company, going to Multnomah Falls alone, getting a massage, buying a new journal, taking a dance lesson, going for a drive on a new-found backroad....

It's so easy to forget to nurture our own creative self, our inner innocence and deepest curiosities. It's even easier to pretend that we are too busy, that it's too selfish, that it's unimportant and secondary. I was amazed at how hard it was to take time for Artist Dates, but was enchanted by the synchronicity, the people I met, the flashes of insight that emerged from this creative solo time. 

why not go on an artist date? Come back to Bombilore and comment below on your experience...

or submit a longer piece about your experience for possible publication in The Artful Life column. Put "Artist Date Submission" in the subject line of your email. 

header image: Naufal