Keeping Your Creative Juices Flowing with Artist Dates

Keeping Your Creative Juices Flowing with Artist Dates

We’re going in to week four of the Daily Dose of Fiber challenge. How’s it going? Have you been having fun with your “5 minutes a day of creative time”? I am happy with my progress, I’ve almost got my homework completed for stitch class and I don’t go back until the end of February. I should have some extra time just to play soon. If you haven’t been able to work in some creative time, what have been your obstacles? Some times people feel that they can’t think of any ideas or get stuck. I usually have too many ideas and not enough time but that’s a different subject. Here are a few ideas to help get that creativity flowing.

If you haven’t read this book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and you are feeling “stuck” or “blocked”, this is an excellent resource. I read this book years ago and I go back to it occasionally to try some of the exercises again. The most helpful things I got from this book are “Morning Pages” and “Artist’s Dates”. The morning pages exercise is to write three pages every morning in a journal that you will not show to anyone else ever. It is stream of consciousness writing where you just keep continuously writing until three pages are filled out. It gets the extraneous thoughts from the day before out of your brain and allows you to move on. I don’t do this anymore but it was really helpful at the time when I was dealing with work issues that were overtaking my creativity.

The “Artist’s Dates” are a tool for giving yourself time once a week to “play”. These are scheduled so that you take an hour or two and do something to refill the creative well. It might be just going for a walk with no other agenda than to see what there is to see, visiting a gallery or museum, going to a book store and looking at inspiring books, going to the playground and swinging on the swings or going to play with an artist friend and trying out a new technique. The date can be anything you want it to be.

Over at the “Sketchbook Challenge” blog this month, their theme is “Artist’s Dates”. Go check out the blog and see what all those wonderful artists over there are doing. They have a lot of suggestions for different types of activities to try. You might also want to check out their Flickr group because there’s tons of eye candy there and hundreds of people participating in the challenge. If you join in, they have great prizes each month too!

Another idea that I heard recently was from a podcast by Rice over at Notes from the Voodoo Cafe where she spoke with Tammy Garcia about bringing more creativity into your life. I really enjoy these podcasts, I usually listen to them while I’m stitching. Anyways, Tammy suggested that you go to the bookstore and pick out several different books from sections that you wouldn’t normally visit. Then take a look at the books while you’re in the store and just page through them and read parts as it interests you. Have your notebook handy to take notes of ideas that come up when you’re reading. This will give you ideas that you wouldn’t normally think of as you are reading from books in subject areas that are unfamiliar to you. For example, if you were reading a book about psychology, you might have an idea of how you could incorporate how your brain works and felting.

I hope you take the time and schedule an “Artist Date”. Do let us know how it goes, what you did and how it affected your creativity. Don’t forget to join us over on the forum for some great discussions and to see what everyone else is creating.

7 thoughts on “Keeping Your Creative Juices Flowing with Artist Dates

  1. Great advice Ruth. I don’t think I could do the writing part. I like the idea of a journal but don’t seem to to be able to actually do one. I have lots of nice note books I don’t use because I don’t want to ruin them. It’s silly but there you go.

    1. Ann – you just have to think “it’s just paper”. You won’t ruin them, just go for it! For the morning pages, I just used a school type notebook that wasn’t at all special. The writing seems tough but if you just keep going, even if you only write “this is so stupid, I’m not sure why I’m writing but I am.” or whatever. As long as you keep going, that’s when all the stuff starts pouring out that has been bothering you. Then once it’s on the paper, you’ll feel much more free.

  2. I used to write down my thoughts everyday, but my mind never stops and it ended up being hard to write and not get angry lol I felt like i was just re-hashing all the stuff i didnt want to know about lol for me its easier to try to just start the day fresh and try not to think to much about what happened, if anything, the day before ha, hard one 🙂
    My daily dose of fiber started again today although it turned into about 4 hrs so far and i’m still having fun so i’ll keep going, Thanks Ruth 🙂

    1. I did the same with the writing Kaz but found it helpful to get it all out there and then just forget it. Instead of pushing it to the back of the brain, I wrote it out on paper and let it go. But whatever works for you! 🙂

  3. I thought the same as Ann and Kaz 🙂
    I have the time, but my difficulty is finding enough time when I feel up to it to do the things I really want to. It is frustrating when I have plans to do something-laying out or felting etc, then wake up and feel awful and know it’ll be put off for another day or two, which pushes everything else back. I said in my plans for 2013 that I’d like to be more organised, and hopefully the 5 minutes of writing things down in the diary will help me find other things I can do and feel like something is getting accomplished.

    1. Zed – It is hard when you are dealing with health issues, you just do what you can and when you can’t, that’s OK too. I think writing things down, making lists and planning is really important to being organized. Hopefully, it will help!

    2. I’m sure it will, even if it’s just because it’s in one place and not backs of envelopes and bits of paper 🙂

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