The Artists Way is a bible of sorts for the artist, writer, entertainer or anyone who wants to add a little creativity into their day to day life. Julia Cameron is an inspiration. Her books and other endeavors have taken her near and far, she clearly practices what she preaches.
There are three main elements to the Artist’s Way;
* Morning Pages, which are three long hand pages of free writing each morning. Just to clear the mind. These pages if written as religuously as she instructs, miraculously have the ability to change your life.
* Walks, get out into nature and walk. I try to do this everyday, although I believe the prescription is once a week. It seems Julia Cameron herself walks daily from what I’ve gathered from her books, and so that’s what I do.
* Artist’s Dates, this is where I get tripped up. She suggests taking yourself out for a date, alone, somewhere that can inspire you. Refill your tanks and just enjoy the solitude to think, imagine and dream. Although I’ve been reading and rereading her books for years now, getting myself to agree to go somewhere alone is difficult.
I’ve tried every excuse in the books, literally in the books, since she covers many of the hang ups I face. Family, work, no time, children need me, blah, blah, blah. I know she’s right and so the following is my list of ideas to jumpstart the Artist Dates.
Regardless of where you live, there’s cool stuff to see and do. Drag yourself out there to find it!
Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Even if you have been living in a town your entire life, head over to the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for a free city guide of your area. And pick up all the touristy brochures that are unique to your area. You’d be surprised at what you can miss by simply being too familiar with a place.
Check the online community calendar for your area, most area’s have one. There should be seasonal things like festivals, arts and crafts fairs, home and garden events, home tours, musical performances and more. Turn to the community section in your local newspaper and look for some of the more obscure events, the Ukrainian Egg Festival…check it out.
Pretend you’ve found the golden ticket in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar and sign yourself up for a tour of a big company. Dr. Pepper, Mary Kay, Harley Davidson, Mally’s Chocolates. The tours are usually free and open to the public. It’ll be a fun outing, unexpected conversation starter, and often full of free samples.
Find a nice spot outside where you can watch the planes land and take off. Bring something to eat and drink and just gaze and imagination for an hour or so. Small airports offer just as much muse as the large ones.
Farmers markets or outdoor sidewalk sales are great for filling the senses with people watching and fresh produce and other homemade goodies. Step outside your comfort zone and try an ethnic dish if available. This can be a great place to talk to people, listen to their stories and fill your tank with new information.
Thrift and Antique Shops
Flea markets are another great destination point. Just browse, wander around and look at the unique finds. Maybe you’ll find a serendipitous treasure, or maybe you’ll just walk away with great new images seered in your brain for future use. Again, talk to the owner of these shops, if they are game, for some great background information.
Local universities often have free and low cost programs open to the public. Head over and pick up a catalog, or calendar with upcoming events. Attend a sporting event, or art exhibit, loads of talent and usually full of extreme enthusiasm.
From the grand Art, Natural History, and Health Museums to the more obscure. Most towns also have unusual museums put together by collectors and fans of a certain genre. Search those out, the unusual destinations are generally less expensive and you won’t feel as guilty going alone!
There are so many more options. You can attend a school play ( even, or especially, if you do not have a child in the school), meander through a zoo or aquarium with no agenda, other than soaking up all of the unique creations. Sit through a poetry reading, or folk music at a coffee shop, yes people still do this. The sky is the limit. Hopefully these ideas inspired you to take Julia Cameron up on her challenge!
The new connections formed, plus the fresh images will serve your inner artist well.