I first came across the concept of Artist Dates a few years ago and can't believe it's taken me so long to get on board with it properly.
Going to art exhibitions solo is one of the most effective solutions to 'creative block' I've found so I'm excited to see what making this a regular event in my life and in this way does for my design work!
While strictly speaking they should be done alone (and in future mine will be) I was joined on my first one by my daughter and Mum and we went to the magical Van Gogh Alive exhibition, an immersive experience where you can walk through Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night before entering a huge room where you are surrounded by his iconic paintings in floor to ceiling (and on the floor) displays accompanied by light and sound. There is also a memorable sunflower room to exit from and a life sized painting of Van Gogh's Bedroom you can walk into and sit in.
I definitely recommend keeping an eye out for where the exhibition is touring next which you can do on the website here. It's definitely not your typical gallery exhibition!
So what is an Artist Date?
An artist date is a way to devote time to your creative self. It should be done solo, and the time is just for you. Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, describes them as assigned play. It may be walking through an art supply store or visiting a museum—anything you find creative and enjoyable. Julia Cameron describes the Artist Date this way: The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.