What Is An 'Artist Date' And Why Should You Be Doing One Every Week?

When you're trying to fit in 40 or more hours of work every week, household responsibilities, time with friends, cooking, exercising, and other adulting tasks, life can quickly become overwhelming. At the end of a long day, it's tempting to binge a TV show or scroll through TikTok for a few hours before bed. The problem? If we fill our days and weeks only with things that we have to do and then some mindless activities to calm us down afterward, we're neglecting a vital self-care practice: doing something creative that engages and expands your mind.

Of course, not everyone is Picasso or Taylor Swift — but luckily, you don't have to be to explore your creative side. Scheduling a weekly artist date is all about enjoying your own company and making yourself feel more whole. Your date is something to look forward to throughout the week, and it can be any activity that hits the reset button on your consciousness. Whether you prefer checking out a museum or strolling through a garden, it's important to make your "play" time a priority if you're seeking a higher quality of life.

Why we need artist dates

Though we tend to think of fun or me-time as something extra in life, it's actually important for our physical and emotional health. This kind of time recharges us. Creative activities can help ease our anxiety levels, improve our confidence, and have a positive impact on our relationships with other people. We can be more present with loved ones when we're more present with ourselves, after all.

Bestselling author and expert on creativity Julia Cameron explained what the intention of artist dates should be. "What you are trying to do is sort of enchant yourself," she said. Cameron added that "when we say 'date,' we mean 'wooing.' An artist date is wooing your own consciousness." According to the author, American culture values work ethic above enjoying ourselves, and so we lose sight of nurturing our consciousness sometimes. "We will go work on our creativity, but we won't necessarily go play on our creativity, and playing is absolutely necessary," she pointed out.

How to plan some that are right for you

Customize your artist date according to what you feel really passionate about and what gets you genuinely excited. To start the process, ask yourself this one question: What would your inner child like to do the most? Think back to when you were about eight or nine years old, and choose an activity that would make the little you light up. If you used to love to dance around your room, try out a cool girl ballet class. If you had fun back in the day preparing "gourmet" meals for family members, experiment with a new recipe and throw yourself a candlelit dinner date.

There are no wrong choices, and there are as many different artist date options as there are people. If you're having trouble deciding, brainstorm a list of possibilities and journal about each of them. You may discover that there's especially compelling reasoning for one or two in particular, or you may want to just try a bunch. Happy solo artist dating!