An Artist Date

Today I enjoyed my first Artist Date of the year. I’ve been reading Julia Cameron’s iconic book The Artist’s Way, and this week took the plunge to start my daily Morning Pages and weekly Artist Dates.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and you’re interested in connecting with your inner artist, I highly recommend picking up the book or checking it out of your local library.

The short version is this:

Morning Pages: Every morning, as soon as you wake up, write three pages long-hand. You can write about absolutely anything. I think of it as a “brain dump.” No one will ever see these pages except you, and you don’t ever have to go back and read them unless you want to. (Cameron recommends not looking back at them for the first two months, so you don’t censor yourself!) You do these pages before anything else during the day — ideally, even before you make your morning coffee. (But I usually write them while I’m waiting for the coffee to brew and/or sipping my first sips.)

Artist Date: Once a week, take your inner artist on a date. That means nobody else attends — just you, solo. You can do anything you want that is not meant to be productive, really. It can be playful, and it’s supposed to be fun. Something frivolous that you wouldn’t normally take time to do? That’s perfect. If you don’t know where to start, you can scour the web; there are tons of ideas out there (like here).

Today, I’ve been a little under the weather, so I decided to stay in for my Artist Date. I happened to flip through Better Homes & Gardens at lunch and saw a recipe for cream puffs that piqued my interest. Seeing that the ingredients were simple — pretty much just flour, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs — I decided to whip them up. Why not? I have some ice cream in the freezer and berries in the fridge that would make delicious fillings.

While I made the simple recipe, I turned on a playlist I found on Spotify of old French songs. Some I knew — like the original French “La Mer” (which is “Under the Sea”) — and some I didn’t. All sounded decades old and transported me to another time and place for a while.

It was a simple Artist Date that took less than an hour, but it was something spontaneous that I wouldn’t normally do. Listening to different music sparked my imagination, and making a new recipe was just fun. I can’t wait to try the cream puffs tonight.


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