The Artist’s Way : The Artist’s Date

I’m reading through {and eventually working through} Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way for the first time since Sam was born.


I will most likely be referencing it a lot for the remainder of the year. It claims to be a game changer for artists if the artist is willing to do the work. And the way I work through things is most generally talking and writing about them.


I’m really excited to go through this process and document it here.


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One of the “pillars” of The Artist’s Way is the artist date. In short, this is a weekly date that you set with yourself to keep your creative well filled.


A few weeks ago I unexpectedly made this happen. While making dinner I scrolled through Instagram and saw that a muralist was teaching a botanical class that evening at Crystal Bridges. I immediately called to see if there was a spot available in the class. When I was told it was full I was terribly disappointed.


It was only later that I realized that this disappointment was less about the particular class itself and more about needing a creative booster shot. Regardless, I mentioned the disappointment at dinner and threw out the suggestion that I go explore the museum by myself anyway. My husband was on board with making toddler bedtime happen so I put up the dishes and drove the 30 minutes to the museum. This gave me almost two hours at the museum to see the “Georgia O’Keefe and The Beyond” exhibit.


Color and flowers? I loved it. 


But the thing that really struck me as I pulled into our driveway later that night was that it felt like spring had bloomed in my mind after a winter of cold and brown.


The synapsids in my brain were working with an ease that felt like levels above my normal. I was making connections that were fluid and poetic.


Poetry.


That’s where my brain goes when it’s at its most free. Colors and words, music and memories : all colliding in a way that make me cry at the joy of life.


Joy, freedom, poetry.


I don’t expect all my artist dates to get me to that level. But, for me, those experiences are worth chasing {and making time for} again and again and again.