Need Inspiration? Go on an Artist Date.

Late fall is the time of year when dancers can start to feel overwhelmed with rehearsals and school work. It is, after all, a short semester, at the end of which is usually a big performance as well as exams. Ack!

Add to that the sense that Thanksgiving  and the holidays are a little too out of reach to feel comforting… If you are feeling a little drained or tired, here is some inspiration.

Schedule an Artist Date

One immediate and easy solution to these blues is to have an Artist Date. Julia Cameron, who may have coined the phrase in her excellent book The Artist’s Way (now an online course), describes this as a block of time set aside and committed to nurturing your inner artist.

It’s a kind of play date with yourself that gives you the opportunity to engage with art in a way that will fill your soul. She says that you should go on this “date” alone – just you and your inner artist. If you go with someone else, you will probably get distracted by the social element and the date will not have the desired effect. (If you need to get to your artist date with someone, that’s okay, just make sure you have some 1-on-1 time with the art, so that you can really observe and reflect.)

Tips for Your Date

  • Visit a museum: What kinds of art inspire you? Classical? Ancient? Modern? Spend some time looking at the art; maybe write down some thoughts or sketch in a journal.
  • See a live performance: In your discipline, outside of your discipline, or even way outside of your discipline. Try theatre, classical music, jazz music, cabaret, blues, or experimental dance. Try something you’ve been curious about or think might be fun.
  • Visit a gallery and see what today’s artists are making
  • Take and architectural walking tour
  • Visit a garden or park- if you’re in NYC, check out the Botanical Gardens or Central Park.

Too Busy! Really?

I can already hear some of you saying that you don’t have time, but I know that isn’t true. If having an artist date were as important as taking technique class every morning, then you would make time. So look at your schedule and find a little window where you can feed your artist’s soul. Think of it as putting savings in the creativity bank.

After you have your artist date, I’d love to hear where you went and what you saw!