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Artist's Way
Artist's Dates

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Recharge Your Creativity!

What is an Artist Date?

A commitment of time spent on yourself once a week.
Time spent solely on you -- no companions allowed.
A date with your inner-artist, or your inner-child.

That's it.

You may think Artist Dates require money, but that is not the case. You could go for a walk along a lake, watch a sunset, go to the zoo, watch a classic movie on television, explore a bowl of decadent ice cream with every one of your senses!

There are two main keys to Artist Dates that allow them to feed your creativity. The first is that these activities must be done solo. If you bring someone along, anyone!, they will shadow the event....even if they remain completely silent! You will act differently, do different things, and not listen to your inner voice if you are with another person.

The second key is listening to your inner voice. If your inner child wants to splash around in a tub of bubbles -- GO FOR IT! Nothing is too silly for an Artist Date. It's our silly, childlike qualities that allow us to explore and create without inhibition. Our inner critics keep us trapped in the "shoulds". "The cow should be brown or white or a combination of the two, but definitely NOT purple!" It is our inner child who does things just because she/he likes what it looks like, or thinks it is fun. So what if the cow is purple. Isn't it a beautiful, vibrant shade of purple!?

Crayons

So you see, imagination needs moodling -- long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.

-- Brenda Ueland

Moodling! I love that word! Creating new words like moodling definitely comes from our inner child. Our inner critic wouldn't let us get away with something like that. "Moodling! That's not a word. No one is going to know what you mean. Besides, real writers don't use words that aren't in the dictionary!"

Pssshaw!

Put that inner critic aside and start making a list of activities your inner child would enjoy. We spend too many hours of the day keeping our inner child "under control." Plan some time to let her/him out to play!

When you make your list, include activities of varying lengths. It can be difficult to make time some weeks, so you'll want some options that require only a little bit of time. But, you really can't expect to fill that well of creativity on 15 minutes a week. So, include some activities that take a bit more time. You might even want to think of a few that may take an entire afternoon or (gasp) a whole day and make plans for doing at least one of them during the 12 weeks you'll be working on this.

Clown with balloons

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

go for a bike ride; include the steep hill you loved to fly down as a child
go to the circus
go to a large bookstore and use it as your own, personal, book museum; gather arm-loads of books and browse soaking up all the images; leave the books for the staff to put away -- that's their job!
take a walk during your lunch break and really notice everything around you
listen to your favorite music while sipping on a cup of hot cocoa or cappucino
take a long soak in a hot bathtub
browse a craft gallery -- the stores that sell what other crafters/artists make
fly a kite
make a snow creature
take a walk while it is snowing and listen for the gentle sound of the flakes coming to rest, make a snow angel before you go inside for a rest by the fireplace or a mug of cocoa or soup
color in a coloring book
watch a Pooh video
read aloud several children's books to yourself; have fun creating different voices for the different characters or adding expression to your reading
watch the sun rise or set
go to an art museum or art fair
meditate to the sound of a water fountain
buy a hellum balloon and play with it as you did when you were a child -- draw faces on it, rub it on your hair to create static electricity and see where you can get it to stick, play volleyball with it, set it free and watch it float up into the air until you can't see it anymore

Inside you there's an artist you don't know about . . .
Say yes quickly, if you know,
if you've known it from before the beginning of the universe.

--Rumi