Have you ever been burnt out to the point where you can’t even think about anything creative? Working at your job, spending time with family and friends, fitting in self-care when you can, remembering to drink your water…and repeat. Being burnt out sucks. But this is where artist dates can prevent that.
Artist dates are important because they help not only with sparking creativity but giving you space to be creative and get inspired by something outside of your creative work. They can also help you come back from burnout. Artist dates are for all creatives no matter what your industry or medium is. In this post, I’ll cover what an artist date is, why they are essential, and why you should go on them frequently.
What is an Artist Date?
The idea for artist dates comes from the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It gives you a 12-week guide to help you recover your inner artist and boost your creativity on a regular basis. According to Julia Cameron, an Artist Date is a “once-weekly festive solo expedition to explore something that interests you.” It doesn’t have to be something directly related to your medium of choice unless you want it to be. An example of an artist date includes but is definitely not limited to:
- Going to a museum
- Taking an art class
- Going to the art supply store
- Going on a hike
- Watching your favorite movie with your favorite glass of wine and popcorn
- Eating at your favorite restaurant and people watching
- Exploring your city and town
- And so so more!
An artist date can be anything that you want it to be. The trick here is to not get so caught up on what you are doing but to be intentional about making time for yourself weekly to go out on a solo adventure by yourself. Artist dates are all about taking time for you to be intentional about refueling your creativity.
Why are Artist Dates Important?
Artist dates are important because they give you space to recharge mentally and creatively. Intentionally taking space from your work and routine to do something you’re interested in that is separate from your work gives you space to dream and create.
Having these experiences helps to refill your creative tank and allows you to pull from new experiences and images.
“The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic’ — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.” –Julia Cameron
5 reasons you should go on an artist date
- It allows you to be inspired by something outside of your work
If you don’t have experiences to pull from, it may be harder at times to be creative, especially when you hit a slump.
- It breaks up your weekly routine and gives you something to look forward to
Breaking up our routines allows us to spark creativity and add inspiration to what would normally be your day-to-day. A lot of the time we get stuck in our everyday routine which can sometimes have us living in a rut.
- Creativity breeds from personal experiences
Creativity is sparked from experiencing life and you draw from your personal experiences a lot of the time.
- Work can be draining and it helps to recharge you creatively.
Not taking the time to replenish your creative tank can oftentimes lead to burnout, and we definitely don’t want that.
- You are prioritizing yourself
You are important. You matter. Taking care of yourself is important. I don’t think I need to say anymore.
5 Tips and Reminders for planning your next artist date
- Go by yourself.
This is not a time to bring your significant other, children, or nieces and nephews with you on this adventure. Going by yourself allows you to move and try things without having to get approval or permission from other people.
- Try to go once a week
Going frequently helps with building up your creativity and consistently
- It doesn’t always have to be “art based”
Eat at your favorite restaurant. Go for a bike ride. Watch your favorite movie. Whatever you do just have fun
- Make a list of things you want to do and places you want to go
I have a list in my notes on my phone and in a notebook. Jot down your ideas as they come to you. Save them when you see them on Instagram or start a Pinterest board. Keep a running list so that when you can’t think of what to do, you have somewhere to pull from.
- Schedule your artist dates on your calendar like you would for an appointment.
This is non-negotiable. They need to be on your calendar and honored in the same way that you would honor a doctor’s appointment. (And if you don’t use a calendar…that’s a whole different post lol)
Tips for planning your Artist dates
- Make and keep a running list of artist date ideas
- Every month, go through your list and choose a few ideas that sound fun or doable
- Schedule artist dates on your calendar like you would an appointment and stick to it
- Communicate with the people in your life that you have these dates planned
- After you go on your artist date, journal about your experience
- Find an accountability buddy or share your artist dates online to keep you accountable and to document your adventures.
Taking the time to refill your cup and gain new inspiration is incredibly important as a creative. Artist dates help you to rediscover your creativity. There are no rules to the artist date, just go on them frequently and prioritize revitalizing your creative side.
And don’t forget to stay creative!
- The Artist Way by Julia Cameron
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon