solo date ideas: using artist dates to stay creative

If you’ve ever read The Artist’s Way (or tried to read it), you might have heard of artist dates. These are little dates you take yourself on to refill your creative well and get yourself inspired. It’s designated time to nurture your inner artist, spark inspiration, and explore the world with fresh eyes — all […]

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July 7, 2024

Kira

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If you’ve ever read The Artist’s Way (or tried to read it), you might have heard of artist dates. These are little dates you take yourself on to refill your creative well and get yourself inspired.

It’s designated time to nurture your inner artist, spark inspiration, and explore the world with fresh eyes — all without expectations or too many rigid intentions or goals (yet).

Here are some solo date ideas — times where you bring yourself to do something fun on your own!

But Before Solo Date Ideas: What Are Artist Dates?

The concept of artist dates was introduced by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. Cameron describes them as weekly solo excursions to explore something that intrigues you — a time to treat your inner artist to new experiences and sensations.

Artist dates are supposed to invite play into your life. As artists, we need to play more, but as adults, we’re given little encouragement to do so.

Unlike regular self-care activities, you should design your artist dates to feed your creativity. While a bubble bath might relax you, an artist date challenges you to engage with the world in new ways. It’s active rather than passive, focused on discovery and inspiration.

The solitude aspect of these solo date ideas is so important. Spending time alone can help you fully immerse yourself in the experience without distractions, giving you the ability to have deeper reflection and build stronger connections to your creative impulses.

Benefits of Solo Dates Ideas

Using these solo date night ideas or artist dates help you with…

  • Boosting creativity
  • Exposing you to new ideas, sensations, and perspectives to spark fresh inspiration
  • Feeding your imagination with new material to work with
  • Having a break from deadlines, due dates and daily stressors and focus on yourself
  • Stepping away from your work and gaining new perspectives
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone/trying new things/seeing the world differently
  • Increasing your self-awareness, confidence and deeper understanding of your creative process

Solo Date Night Ideas

Hanging by the Water

Have a local park, walking trail or reserve by you that you feel like you always wish you could go to more?

Google Maps one of these locations and find a brightly-lit, publish space to hang out and get connected to the water. You could do this shoreside, or rent a paddleboard and spend time right on the water.

Give yourself some time and space to listen to the surroundings. What do you hear? What do you feel, see? I find that when I force myself to be present and silent, I sometimes feel a discomfort — like I should find something entertaining like a podcast or song to listen to instead of just allow the sounds of nature to inspire me.

Outdoor Photography

You could also use that same preserve or park as a little outdoor photography session (as long as you don’t photograph people without their permission).

Just like you might be listening to the sound of nature, this helps you see what draws your eyes — is it the colorful flowers, the sky, any animals, etc.

Lie on the ground for a worm’s eye view of flowers. Climb (safely) for a bird’s eye view of a landscape. These different perspectives can transform ordinary scenes into extraordinary images.

Use Adobe Lightroom (paid or free) to find ways you’d like to edit these photos. Do you like warm photos, or cooler photos? Light, shadow? Grain, no grain?

Botanical Garden Walk

This is one of many free solo date ideas. (University campuses often have beautiful grounds that are open to the public/free).

As you might have noticed, I’ve mentioned being in nature quite a few times already! I believe observing nature can influence so many art forms.

A painter might be inspired by the color palette of a flower bed.
A sculptor could be intrigued by the form of a twisted tree trunk.
A writer might find a metaphor in the life cycle of a plant.
A musician might be inspired by the beauty of a bird.

I’ve found some of the best solo date ideas include being outside and in nature. I feel that nature is a higher power and part of my spirituality… and that Vitamin D is so important in making sure I stay happy. 😊

Museum or Gallery Exploration

Find a local museum or gallery to explore, be it a history, art, or something else. Don’t give yourself a time limit — let it take you as long as it needs to take you and enjoy what you find.

Don’t come in with any expectations, i.e. I need to learn this, I need to get to this area. See where it take you. I love that part about museums — you get to be the one to guide yourself and revisit areas if you need to.

DIY Craft Workshop at Home

For some solo date ideas at home, try some DIY crafts! Gather basic supplies like paper, scissors, glue, paint, and brushes. Add specific materials based on your chosen craft, such as yarn for knitting or clay for sculpting.

Some beginner-friendly crafts that can be super fun…

Buy a kit online and/or follow a YouTube tutorial, and aim for exploration and enjoyment, not perfection.

Visit a Shelter

Visiting a shelter is a win/win, especially if you love animals. You get to give shelter animals some love, and you get to activate your inner child.

Remember seeing pets in the mall or pet store and begging your parents to get one? You now have the ability to drive yourself to whichever shelter you want and play with whichever animals you want. Let out your inner child and bask in the beauty of spending time with animals.

Go to a Play/Show/Concert

Bring you (and only you!) out to a performance of your choosing. Maybe there’s a local band playing in your area that you’ve never heard of (SoFar Sounds has cool events in cool locations). You could also see a show at a local theatre or at one of the larger theatres in your area.

You might be used to doing this with your friends or others, but I really encourage your doing this as one of those fun solo date ideas that lets you witness fellow artists!

Art/Cooking/Crafting Class

I love the idea of going into my neighborhood and getting to learn from someone local! I still have a few on my list, like:

  • Vegan/gluten-free baking
  • Gardening
  • Candle-making
  • Furniture flipping

Solo Date Ideas & More: Creative Inspo on my YouTube Channel!

Did this give you some inspiration for how to venture on your next solo date idea? Subscribe on YouTube for more creative inspiration for ways to stay creative along with your solo date ideas so you can embrace being the mindful artist that I know you are. 💕

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