Julia Cameron calls them Artist’s Dates. Sarah Ban Breathnach calls them Creative Excursions. Whatever you call them, they are worth making a regular event in your life.
“The Artist Date need not be overtly artistic,” says Cameron, “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.”
The purpose of such solo events is to take time every week to make a visit to a new place to gather ideas or just feed your imagination. Although it’s easy to find new destinations, it’s equally easy to find excuses not to do so.
When people tell me they have no idea what they want to do with their life, I’m pretty certain that creative excursions have not been on their agenda.
With that in mind, here are a few idea starters to get you thinking about potential excursions of your own.
° Visit a Japanese garden or arboretum. You don’t have to be a gardner yourself in order to find pleasure in beautiful landscapes.
° Spend a couple of hours browsing at a flea market or community festival and imagine yourself as a vendor. What kind of booth would you have? How would you welcome visitors?
° Go to your public library and explore an area that you don’t normally browse in. Read a couple of unfamiliar magazines while you’re there. See what resources are housed in the reference section.
° Explore the scrap booking aisles at a craft store. Start a scrapbook of favorite cartoons so you’ll always know where to go when you need a laugh.
° Slip off to the movies on a midweek afternoon.
° Gather travel brochures and pictures of destinations still to be visited. Make a collage for your office.
° Make or buy a card of congratulations and send it to yourself. Then send another to someone in need of encouragement.
° Take a nature hike. Gather seashells, if you are near an ocean or wildflowers or weeds for a bouquet if there’s a woods nearby.
° Visit a place like Home Depot and investigate gadgets you’ve never seen before.
° If you haven’t visited your local museum or art gallery, it’s time you paid a call.
° A great junk store or antique mall is a perfect place to stroll.
° Pretend you’re an investigative reporter and visit stores secretly making notes on their customer service…or lack thereof.
° Start a new collection and begin a treasure hunt.
Get going and find all the treasures hidden in your own neighborhood.
And if you have a favorite creative excursion that’s not on this list, feel free to share it in the comment section below.