Good news, dates are not just for couples! This Valentines Day, take your inner artist on a date. Artist and author Julia Cameron introduced this idea in 1992 in her book The Artists Way. She has long been encouraging us to reconnect with our often starved creative soul. In this fast-paced world where we place value on output and production, where and how can we slow down and get filled back up? Here is where Julia Cameron’s concept of taking weekly Artist Dates can come to the rescue.
What is an Artist Date?
An Artist Date is when we take some time away from our usual routines and engage in something that simply delights our soul and senses. Something your Inner Child will say “that’s fun!”. Julia Cameron suggests recalling what you enjoyed as a child. This could be a trip to a new museum, a walk through a garden, shell collecting on the beach or perusing the shelves of an art supply store. It doesn’t have to be expensive or far away. Whatever your ideal artist date is, it is important to give yourself permission to be playful, to be curious, and to wander. What sights, sounds, smells, sensations do you notice? Is there something you haven’t noticed before?
What are the Benefits of an Artist Date?
-Connect with and recharge your creative side
-Rediscover those things that light you up and that make you, YOU.
-New Ideas and fresh inspiration
-Bring some fun into your week
-A treat for the senses
Where Can I go for an Artist Date?
Anywhere that is fun for YOU. There are limitless possibilities but here are a few ideas to get you started:
-a pet store
-an art store
-a book store
In Connecticut, we have some special places to enjoy an Artist Date.
In New Haven, CT these two museums are across the street from each other and are free:
Art Supply Stores:
North Haven, CT is home to an amazing Art supply thrift shop, Ecoworks. Find inspiration in the variety of odds and ends. Their inventory changes frequently!
For expert quilters or beginners, Cate’s Sew Modern located in Guilford, CT has a gorgeous selection of modern and unique fabrics.
Centrally located, Hammonassett State Park in Madison, CT is a beautiful spot for collecting shells, wandering the trails, and picnicking any time of year.
Another state park, the grounds of Gillette’s Castle, offers views of the Connecticut River and walking trails. Seasonally you can tour the castle designed by actor and playwright William Hooker Gillette.
ReRead in Chesire, CT is a delightful find for booklovers. Tons of used books in great condition and at a discount. They have a mission to enrich the community and provide employment to young adults with special needs.
An award-winning bookstore, RJ Julia, offers not only books, but author events, gift items and a place to cozy up with a cup of coffee. Located in Madison and Middletown, CT.
Happy Exploring! Your inner artist will thank you!
Ashley Hines Lunt, LPC is a Professional Counselor and Art Therapist who enjoys exploring new places in her home state of Connecticut.