An Artist Date: The Perfect Excuse for Creative Mom Alone Time

The Artists Way Book
The Artist Way e-book by Julia Cameron with my daily morning-pages as suggested by the author.

Halli hallo to you,

I am Ludy and I am brand new to GeekMom. In fact, this is my first contribution as a blogger/writer to anything that is in a collaborative environment.

While I have not yet been very involved and active I am liking it a lot so far.

I am someone who for the past 10+ years has started to become isolated through lifestyle choices such as becoming a homeschooling mom, a freelance designer, and then an entrepreneur with an online business.

Ok, so maybe GeekMom is not a huge step into in-person connections, but the way that I have found myself as a contributor here is through two dear humans that I did indeed meet in person at Comic-Con in 2019 named Corrine Lawson (GeekMom) and  Jim McQuarrie (GeekDad).

Little did I know that the Geek Family Network actually communicates and advises one another on Slack. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, just imagine a digital mix of a chat/conference room where you can brainstorm, collaborate, welcome, introduce and meet your co-collaborators. Slack’s slogan is “Where work happens.” And it surely does, lots of ideas and suggestions are being exchanged here. It’s quite lively.

It’s great to be a part of this group of parents who truly love sharing what excites them. Here’s to me adding to the mix and sharing some of my own exciting findings with you too.

My first post is more about what makes me tick and how my findings and excursions are all connected. Trust me, there is a method to the madness. I am a creative who is currently contributing through designs, and digital design instructions to the fashion and textile design industry.

Adobe software, gadgets such as Wacom tablets, iPad Pro pencils, Moleskin digital notebooks, Surface pro touchscreens and other digital tools (toys) excite me and I get to use them weekly if not daily.

But I noticed that, over the years, sitting in front of digital devices all the time did not sit well with my creativity. I need to do things that are in the real world outside of devices. I needed to be a bit of a role-model for my now teenager. And while researching online and looking at photos and videos in the online environment surely serves it’s specific and fantastic purposes – I need to be able to walk through real-life experiences and possibly even touch a creation.

Bonus points for good smell.

As I was considering what to write about, I was really hoping to find something that I do all the time, and it finally clicked. Something that I have always done but that I did not really have a name for until this past year is what Julia Cameron calls “Artist Dates” in her book The Artist’s Way.

See, I can get lost in colors, textures, materials, details, and words. The medium doesn’t matter, film, fabric, music videos, and even desserts well designed. GIMME!

Exhibits, art walks through artist homes, historic building tours, gardens, all can keep me entertained on the hunt for that one “epic” detail that I promise myself to use in my next design work.

For years I wondered why I was the only one in my family and friend circle that actually needed these excursions to fill up my creative well. Why wasn’t everyone else as easily raptured?

While time stands still for me and I can take hundreds of pictures of the same corner and at different angles of the same inspirations, my fellow travelers would fall asleep, give me some not so settle hints, and, at times, even growl at me for taking too long “ON PURPOSE”.

What was wrong with me, how could I ever be so inconsiderate? Turns out there is nothing wrong with me at all, it turns out that I just did the artist dates entirely wrong. I am better off going to these creativity cell recharging outings by myself.

As a matter of fact, it is recommended to block two hours every week and go somewhere to get inspired.

So as a reminder to myself and anyone else who would like to start a weekly artist date routine.

For An Artist Date, You’ll need:

• Two hours/ per week scheduled as an appointment

• The courage to go alone

• Be on guard for upcoming excuses and u-turns that will keep you from leaving the door (or shutting the door).

• A fun destination for you to enjoy. Something that makes your day brighter.

Artist Date
Found in one of Emily-Dickenson’s letter – true wisdom.

So not only will blogging here about my experiences showcasing some of my latest geeky, tiny detail discoveries but now it will most likely also hold me more accountable to myself to take the time and do it. It’s actually pretty bad that at times I can’t simply justify this unstructured time for play and exploration.

My kid is in college now and I am no longer married – so a lot of time has magically opened up free to use as I wish- but it still feels like I am trying to heave a boulder up a hill when leaving the house FOR FUN. I am reminded of Emily Dickenson who in one of her letters writes “…I don’t go from home unless emergency leads me by the hand…”

I feel ya girl!

Thank goodness that I have saved my digital treasures in the form of pictures of many of my adventures way before I knew that I was going to blog about these mini creativity retreats. I just wish I could find the photos of one of my most memorable geek out artist dates that almost got me kicked out of a trim shop in Paris. Oh well, wish me luck going through my 1TB backup drive.

Please share with me if you have any success and where you went?

More later…

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