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The Road Less Travelled: Artist Date Suggestion

The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. 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.

For those in need of a suggestion for an Artist Date:

Explore your city: Take a walk, and at every turn, choose the less familiar route. What do you learn about the place you thought you knew?


15 Comments on "The Road Less Travelled: Artist Date Suggestion"

  1. Something I love to do as an artist’s date is to take the camera out on a walk, pick a subject of focus, and then see how many shots of that I can find. Sometimes it’s very easy to get lost in that, but it does provide exhilaration and inspiration.

    • This is a great idea, Yvonne. I sell photos to my local newspaper and I can combine your’s and Julia’s ideas–thanks!

  2. Profile photo of Violet Singleton

    As my latest mode of transport is a wheelchair, a solo outing is rarely possible. I am challenging myself to be creative with secret moments here and there and revisiting old passions I can access at home.

  3. Profile photo of Ceil Strakna

    I’m a newbie. I had my first “artist’s date” today. I spent a couple of hours thumbing through the first seed catalog for next spring, and checking my seed packets to see what I already had. I dislike this time of year, and yearn for spring and gardening and resurrection. I realized I have no hollyhocks! Must by hollyhocks! And swiss chard!

  4. Profile photo of phaniraj

    I bought the artists way book and started on 12 week course. But since i am pretty much by myself and have very few interactions in a day or days i wonder what an artists date would mean. Artist’s date is basically spending solo time doing things that one likes or contemplating listening to oneself; isn’t it?. Well I mostly spend time solo. I do burn some hours watching TV …so what could be an artist date for me be?
    Every week when it comes to check-in i have nothing to write 🙁
    Any suggestions please?
    Thank you.

    • I wonder if the artist’s date for you could be the opposite. Spending time with groups of people, trying out group activities, sports, dance, cooking class, anything really that is in an organized group. Or an open mic of some kind! Wouldn’t that spark inspiration for you since it is not something you are accustomed to? You could get ideas from being around other people!
      (I know where you’re coming from. I’ve spent much time alone [i’m only 19 though hahah] and group activities provide fun and a source of situations that can be turned into song lyrics 🙂 )
      Good luck!! 🙂

  5. dear phaniraj and dear everyone,
    i read your post and my situation is similiar to yours. at the moment i spend a lot of time by myself. i am in week ten now and in the beginning i hated the artist dates because my inner critique immediately bashed on my when i wasn’t filling my time with other things or people. but that went away, and now i realize how often i can follow my inner child and making myself happy by it.
    (your expression “burn time” actually sounds familiar also 🙂
    maybe i can share a few suggestions with you:
    buy a colored lightbulb, put it into a lamp and look what it changes in your room.
    make music with glasses of water and a pair of sticks
    make a drawing of the view from your window
    color your nails
    get on a bus and ride from one end to the other
    buy a pair of earrings
    drink a new kind of tea
    write a letter instead of an e-mail
    go to a movie
    make pancakes and try to swirl them

    okay, hope you can take something from it. maybe you’d like to share your experiences and where your way has lead you meanwhile.

    • Profile photo of phaniraj

      Thanks Denis. I am glad you replied. I opened this website expecting no replies!
      Yes, I can implement some of your suggestions. Writing a letter instead of e-mail has been on my mind too for a long time. Meanwhile, I went bungee jumping!
      The jump lasts moments but I felt good.
      Thanks and Best Wishes,

  6. thank you both!!! i have recently moved to a new town with my husband…and have not really meet anybody yet…like a sister friend…i am not employed yet so that is hard for me having to rely on my husband for my needs…i have been out on interviews…nothing yet…i am hopeful!…so when you speak of being alone and burning up some time i totally get it!!! i am so grateful that i was lead to julia cameron and to this website.

    • Sally, I love the look and the message of your new site. I took a rendaig and digital sabbatical for one week over the holidays, based on Julia Cameron’s advice. It made me realize how often I use rendaig as a way to escape. I’m not sure I had any great creative epiphanies, but I did start remembering my dreams more often and more vividly.. Very interesting.Kimb4s last [type] ..[] Reply:February 20th, 2012 at 8:23 pmThank you Kim. More and more I’m aware how truly connected we all are and I read a quote once that really struck me: Those who know, don’t speak. Those who speak, don’t know. I’m in a place right now where I think we all talk too much. And the words get in the way of us living from our true natures and being who we really are. We tend to get lost in the words, experiences and wisdom of others, and then we compare ourselves to them, feel less than, decide to read and search some more and it’s a never ending cycle.I started The Artist’s Way a few weeks ago. I’m in Week 4 right now The Artist’s Integrity. I’ve been ebbing and flowing with social media for awhile anyway so breaking away isn’t that big of a deal to me. And to your point my dreams have become very different than they used to be and I really do feel myself stepping more and more into my Artist Self than I ever have in my life before.We find what we need when we need it most. Thank you for being here with me and for noticing the site change. I’m hoping to promote Feeling and Experience more than anything else and have removed the more me’ aspects as I feel lighting others up is more my mission than showing how I light myself up. One day at a time, right?[]

  7. Artist dates I’ve had
    – going to the dollar store and buying a few things that made me laugh and smile
    – going to a thrift store and enjoying all the funky odd things
    – going to a nursery or local public garden and soaking up all the colors and shapes
    – going to an art gallery, museum, craft show
    – going to a toy store (not a chain store but a little old fashioned kind)
    – going to an ethnic food store/market seeing all the things for sale that I don’t usually see
    – going to a bookstore, buying tea and reading tons of magazines (I always keep them neat so they can sell them 🙂 )
    – going to a playground and swinging on the swings
    – going to a foreign film
    – going to a free concert in a public park
    – some towns have a recycle area at the local landfill/dump and that can be fun & good place for free or inexpensive art materials for assemblage
    – habitat restore
    – llama farms
    – little known odd local attractions (a guy in my town makes outsider art animals out of metal, his whole yard is full of them)
    Anything that fills me with fun, different, colorful images is time well spent.

  8. Profile photo of Leena Taylor

    I love these ideas. I am begining to see that an Artist Date is spending time purposefully whimserly – if that could be a word! I think I can do one now 🙂

  9. I have had trouble getting in my artist dates (self-gift block–I’m working on it :-)) so I got a years pass to the local mission. It’s full of artifacts, local history, stunning photo and art ops. Plus, when it’s quiet I can go to the sanctuary for some meditation time. I know there are other opportunities at local monasteries and temples but when I’ve only got an hour this is around the corner.

  10. Seventeen years ago, a dear friend put me onto the Artist’s Way, and so much has stuck with me from doing the course that summer. The artist date popped into my head when I began to work on next month’s newsletter article for my local fitness center. I try to fit in with the main article, which is written by the owner or the newsletter editor. This time, that article is about nutrition; mine is about feeding one’s spirit. The suggestions and ideas posted above will be helpful. Thank you.

  11. Profile photo of Jeanne Jacob

    Hello, I’m new to this site, but I read the Artist’s Way years ago and am now re-reading The Vein of Gold. I’ve been ill off and on since the fall, and am just getting my health back. Today is Day 2 of my morning pages, but I didn’t go for my daily walk until today. I walked to the botanical garden which is downhill from my house, and was truly delighted to see that the crocuses are out! They are the palest purple. So are a few snowdrops and golden eranthis and several bushes of Rhododendron mucronulatum (?) with almost shocking pinky-mauve flowers. I had not seen such an early blooming rhododendron before and the blaze of color in the midst of leafless trees was truly striking. It was truly uplifting to be able to be out of the house after being ill for several weeks. I am still thinking about an artist date.

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