How to Use An Artist’s Date to Have a More Full and Satisfying Life

by Stacey Curnow on · 2 comments

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." – C.G. Jung

Julia Cameron, who wrote the fabulous book The Artist's Way, created the idea of the Artist's Date – and I'm a big fan of the idea. Here's what she has to say about it:

An Artist's Date is a block of time, perhaps 2 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's Date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.

You want to cultivate your inner child, your inner play, your inner delight. You want to take this as seriously as anything else you are doing in your life. You may feel resistance, thinking, "I'm not an artist, so what does this have to do with me?"

But like any artist you are creating something. You are creating a life you love. And you create it, as Jung said, from the play instinct – that which brings you joy and delight.

Listen, I understand how busy you are. I really do. I always have resistance to making Artist's Dates, even though I know how much I benefit from them. But I always make at least one a week and I'm always so glad I do.

I've come to believe that spending time by yourself is essential to self-nurturing and essential to a happy and satisfying life.

As Audre Lorde once said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation."

Here are some suggestions for an Artist's Date: Visit an art gallery, rent an old movie, take a walk in the woods, make yourself a picnic, rent a canoe and go to a quiet river or lake, go for a long bicycle ride, browse around in an antique store or a nursery.

If you have any resistance to making this date happen, name exactly what it is and release it. Recognize that your resistance is only a story and know that you can change it.

Find a way to make this happen sometime this week. After you have carved out this time and seen its value, you will not feel the resistance next time.

Share what you plan to do in a comment below. Better yet, let us know how your Artist's Date went!


by Stacey Curnow

Stacey is a purpose and success coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your purpose and passion, check out her FREE eBook, The Purpose and Passion Guidebook.
Stacey Curnow
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Audra Krell October 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Love this post! This book helped change my life and I learned a lot about artist’s dates. For one thing, I was actually already, occasionally taking an artist date, I just didn’t have a name for it, and also felt guilty about it. Once I named it and threw out the shame of it, I discovered I’m a better wife, mother and friend when I take my artist dates. It really shows on the weeks that I don’t!

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kathryn October 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

my friend and i make a date every month to go to a gallery, art museum, exhibit and now this month on a conservatory tour of art deco architecture in downtown los angles. i think it’s super important to expand your creativity, perspective and knowledge and support the arts in your community. By committing to it with a friend, we’re assured of always going!!

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