“An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.  The artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan to defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a your creative child. That means no lovers, friends, spouses, children, – no taggers on of any stripe.”

The Artist’s Way. Julia Cameron.

……Sounds good to me! This has got to be my favourite quote turned practical mantra of the year. The weekly artist date “toute seule!” Some of my dates have included finding the closest art gallery to one of my weekly meetings in a new town, a wool shop with its sweetie coloured balls of yarn ready to be made into cosy creations, a country walk with an ancient unlocked church to explore somewhere en route, Liberty in London shop displays, or at an extreme getting on an aeroplane and going somewhere totally new like Vienna, Austria to see the Leopald Gallery, the third floor gallery wall depicted here!

But what if you can’t access some of these finer luxuries? What can you do to dedicate some time and space to yourself? So much exists online nowadays but it might not be the same as experiencing something in the flesh.

Keeping a sketchbook can be a solution to setting up an Artist’s Date. It enables you to carve out focused and creative time for yourself because you need to book in the time to draw and sketch. It is the content that you choose to draw that can transport you to far away places, discover mythical illustrated figures conjured out of your imagination, luxuriate in all the good things in life around you on paper, and spend as little or as much time putting pencil to paper. You then get to look back on this time and indulge in positive memories.

Every week I think about my artist’s play date as seriously as a proper date and if I am particularly greedy I make time on a daily basis!