Creativity and the Artist’s Way
Carol Harrison considers creativity to be a vital part of her life. However, she has found it hard to think of herself as an artist. Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way,” helped to change Carol’s thinking.
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An Artist Date
Julia Cameron in her book, “The Artist’s Way”, promotes something she calls the Artist date. When I first heard about this concept from a group I write blog posts for and interact with, my first thought was, “But I’m not an Artist!” Artist is not written on any puzzle pieces in my life. How would you feel, or did you feel as you listened to the beginning of this piece?
But I discovered that an artist date is a way to explore your own creativity – setting aside time to play, to have some fun and to enjoy your hobbies. For some that will involve art. For others it might be music. It could simply be retreating to a quiet spot for some time to reflect, journal, listen to music or be refreshed in the great outdoors. It might be a time you set aside to go by yourself to a place you have never been or have not been in a long time. The more I read about this, the more I realized there is no set criteria of what to do as much as to plan in some time for yourself – a time away from the hustle and bustle of obligations and to do lists.
I think creativity is one of those puzzle pieces in our lives and it comes in different forms for each one of us. Sometimes we don’t recognize this creative piece and try a variety of pieces to fit the hole. At other times what fits has been found early in our lives.
One of my granddaughters, Arianna, loved drawing and art related things from an early age. That love of expressing herself through her art never left. Now she is studying it at university. For myself, I recognized the desire to do creative things but never found exactly how it should look. I never felt good enough at any creative endeavour. I tried many things and enjoyed learning new skills but nothing seemed just the right fit for this spot in my life.
Creativity and Stories
Now I realize that most of my creativity revolves around stories. I love to listen to stories, read stories and now tell stories. I still have much to learn about telling stories and especially writing them down. At times fear wanders in and threatens to dislodge this piece of the puzzle that is settling into my overall life picture.
But creativity of any kind also needs feeding. There are places I can go to learn more skills about storytelling, writing and srrapbooking the memories. I can attend a conference, meet with others who are pursuing the same type of creativity and I can just tell the stories. I can retreat, go on an artist date, take a trip to make more memories and then preserve them. It might be simply looking for that moment of joy within the ordinary or even the tough times of life.
Spark Your Creativity
What might be a good idea for an artist date is going to depend on you and what sparks your creativity. The first one I went on was a trip to a local antique shop that also sold ice cream. I sat at an old chrome table from the fifties, eating a dish of ice cream and looking through a collection of old postcards I had always wanted to rummage through. I found interesting ones from the teen years of the 1900’s complete with writing in pencil on the back. It made me wonder about the person who wrote it and the one who received it. What story might come from this? Could it give me a glimpse into that time frame?
Journaling for Creativity
Another artist date proved to be an extended trip that my husband and I took by train across Canada. I journaled about what I saw, people I met and feelings triggered by the vastness of this land, the changing scenes and time with my husband. I have photos, notes, memories and stories to share with my family and friends as well as illustrations for speaking and devotionals.
I stayed at home for first artist date of 2019. I cleared off space on my desk, took out an art journal my granddaughter Arianna encouraged me to play with and then simply added collage, simple line drawings and colour to some pages of thoughts. I had fun, remembering the times in my childhood where decorating a page for a school report meant using collage. I had loved doing that way back when and found out I still had fun now.
What Inspires You to be Creative?
What might an artist’s date look like for you? It will vary with each one of us, depending on our interests, what inspires us or intrigues us. It does not have to cost anything or not much. The trip cost me a lot of money but was on our bucket list to do. The creativity it sparked was an added bonus. The antique shop cost me the price of the ice cream. Playing with supplies I already had meant just scheduling in time to be creative, to play and to allow God to help me feel creative.
Ideas for Artist’s Dates
I came across many ideas for artist’s dates. Let me share a few with you.
- An afternoon out for a walk with your camera
- Play with some plasticine
- Walk in a garden or forest or along the beach – depending on the season of the year and your location
- Go to a farmer’s market
- Spend a couple hours in the library, curled up in a chair with a book, wandering the stacks looking for something new or just investigating what all the library might have to offer
- Take a walk through your town, looking at it with fresh eyes – what might a visitor see that you take for granted
- Go to a new coffee shop and people watch
- Take an art class
- Draw, colour, paint, play with paper
- Plant something
- Visit a museum gift shop and see what treasures you might see
- Make an image or vision board
- Buy a colouring book and colour
The list is only limited by your imagination. Take the challenge and look at how God has gifted you. Explore the creativity he has placed in your life. Then share with someone else what you did and how you felt. Enjoy.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
Light Bulb – TeroVesalainen
Drawing Paper – rawpixel
Ice cream – RitaE
Coffee and Journal – 6689062
Camerawoman and Dog – SarahRichterArt