Updated: Sep 6
While window shopping along Abbott Kinney Boulevard last Winter, I came across a yellow and red book with the words "THE ARTIST'S WAY" stretched in bold across the cover. After a quick flip through it's contents, I knew it was coming home with me that day. But what I did not know was the sacred hold the words of it's author, Julia Cameron, would soon have over me.
I want you to experience this book in your own way. In fact, I want everyone to experience this book - from creatives to non creatives alike. While I will allow the book to speak for itself, there is one particular takeaway I'd love for you to keep for a rainy day.
The Artist Date.
The artist date is time you thoughtfully set aside each week to take your inner artist, or inner child if you will, out into the world to explore. No friends. No phones. No Money (usually). No distractions. Just play.
Artists dates can happen anytime, anywhere. But for me, they happened on Thursday afternoons in the shops of the Westside Provisions District. From the curated displays, seasonal colors hanging on the rack, to the beautifully packaged perfumes and candles asking to be wafted, this tour de store was my inner child's recess.
But the epitome of my creative jungle gym lived specifically within Ann Mashburn - a stunningly tailored store full of timeless whimsy. It is a place where you can feel the intention that goes into every stitch of clothing and stack of perfectly aligned books.
As I took my inner child by the hand through the store, she started playing hide and seek with me through the colorful array of clothes, in the collage display on the wall, on the mobile twirling above the register, and in the satin touch of the dressing room curtains.
The intersection of art, fashion, and interior design has always been a keen source of inspiration for me and I walked out of that store with it wrapped around my shoulders like a feathered boa. I wore that inspiration out of that store like courage - courage to waltz back into the studio, courage to shake loose, courage to give my inner child full autonomy in my work that day.
This is the genius of the artists date. This practice of nonsensical play and wonderment fills a part of our spirit that we often leave empty - that then overflows into everything - your perspective, your friendships, your work and the way you move through the world.
Artist dates are as unique as the inner child they aim to entertain, so here are a few ideas to get you thinking: restoring a piece of furniture, thrifting an outfit for an evening out, collecting colorful leaves in the park, arranging a bouquet of flowers, tending to your garden with bare hands, creating a menu using the untouched cookbooks in your pantry, walking until you see a red bird, rollerblading, writing a song.
The Artist Way is created to be completed within 12 weeks, but the weekly practice of the artist dates continues to breathe life into my routines - and ultimately - my work. As I sit here full of childlike wonderment after another Thursday out, all I can think to do is thank Julia Cameron & this special practice by passing it along.
So there you have it. The artist date. The greatest gift you can give to yourself, and keep on giving.