|Last Thursday at the Rockford Art Museum on a date with me|
In her well know book the Artist's Way, Julia Cameron introduces us to the idea of the artist date. She describes it this way,
An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. you creative child. That means no lovers, friends, spouses, children --no taggers-on of any stripe...Yes your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to...This is a practice that I have participated in on and off for years, not always calling it by name. But now I believe it is time for commitment. No matter your present calling, life demands so much. And it seems all too often it is ourselves that slide to the bottom of our massive to-do lists.
So tonight I am sitting down on my couch, dishes in the sink, laundry to do, unfinished creative projects calling to me, to commit to this relationship with myself called the artist date. And to make it a little more interesting for me, and hopefully for you, I am going to write about them here. So tonight is also introducing the start of my first series on the blog Artist Date Night Tuesday. I would love for you to join me on your own artist dates; or athlete/engineer/naturalist/reader/writer/lover-of-life dates, and share them with us here. Whatever it is that moves your heart, let your heart be moved.
So with that introduction made, here is a little about my first artist date last Thursday evening. I must say first that I did not set out last week to start a project. With my husband out of town for work, I decided I would take myself out to an artist lecture at a near by art museum. Walking into the building was like a breath of clean air and an emergence into me. The space was reflective and inspiring and made me think. The talk, with photographer Juan Fernandez, was interesting, informative and made me think.
Afterwards I took myself out to a simple dinner where I sat and thought some more and then I began to write. There were ideas about what art is or should be and how being an artist fits into those ideas; who I am as an artist and what I want that to mean. And then came the vary basic idea that I was just so pleased to be having this experience, to be considering these ideas, to be having this mental conversation with myself and my notebook. And from that I knew how vital it is for me to do this. It is the food. The oxygen. The peace.
Whenever I question the validity of self-nourishment I settle on ideas such as these; is through being inspired ourselves that we inspire each other. Of course we matter just as much as those people and places and projects that top our to-do lists but it doesn't seem to be in our nature to believe it. So we have to carve out time, and take dates with ourselves, just like we do with those we love, so that we can begin to believe it and live it. To live that we matter just as much, not selfishly but honestly.