Happy Fall, friends! If you’re here I would assume you’re either working through The Artist’s Way, or you’re considering it. If you fall into the latter category I would recommend you start with my guide to Morning Pages and then come back to this one – it will make more sense with the way the program goes. If you’re already doing The Artist’s Way, then I’m assuming you’re here because you’re desperate for some artist date ideas at home, and that’s perfect because I’m ready to assist!
- What is an Artist Date?
- 12 Artist Date Ideas at Home
- 1. Decorate With Stickers
- 2. Throw a Living Room Dance Party
- 3. Get Cozy & Read a New Book
- 4. Take a Romantic Bath
- 5. Freestyle Some Nail Art
- 6. Cook Something New
- 7. Play With Plants
- 8. Write The Beginning of Your First Novel
- 9. Re-Design Your Space
- 10. Draw Something… Anything!
- 11. Hone Your Photography Skills
- 12. Up You Bullet Journal Game
What is an Artist Date?
Feel free to skip over this section if you don’t need any further clarification, but I like to make sure my posts are as informative as possible, and before I give y’all some artist date ideas at home I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about what an Artist Date is at all!
An Artist Date is one of the core components of The Artist’s Way program.
Put simply: It’s a weekly date you have with yourself – no one else is invited – in order to get in touch with your inner artist and your inner child.
The idea is to do something that will essentially spark joy, and not to take it too seriously. Artist Dates can be any number of activities… in The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron’s suggestions range from going to an art exhibition to buying a pack of stickers and spending an hour decorating a journal with them.
Artist Dates are not meant to be pretentious or overly high brow. They’re meant to awaken something within you, a curiosity and mischief that we’re so often encouraged to keep below the surface.
Practically speaking, an Artist Date should be about 2 hours, and it should be time you specifically set aside.
In other words, it shouldn’t technically count as an Artist Date if your friend cancels on you but you were already out so you have a nice time getting a solo drink and then later think, “Hmmm, maybe that was my Artist Date this week!”
Make it intentional, make it fun, and make it weekly!
Ok, this is overwhelming…
I know! Let me tell you, I did the entire Artist’s Way program in the height of lockdown, back when we were legally only allowed 1 hour of outdoor exercise a day, so literally all of my Artist Dates were inside my tiny little flat.
Do not worry though! There is no shortage of Artist Date ideas at home – for those of us who have no idea which part of our inner artist we want to access, or who don’t have money to invest in a bunch of different painting and sculpting and textile and [insert obscure craft here] classes to find that one thing that’s going to awaken the creativity inside of us.
My secret to nurturing the BEST Artist Date ideas at home? Skillshare.
Very shortly after starting the Artist’s Way myself, I ran OUT of Artist Date ideas at home. Especially cheap or free ideas. It was in this funk, mindlessly scrolling one furloughed afternoon, that I came across a banner just like this one:
I had always heard about Skillshare, but never thought to actually check it out.
I had also recently heard that some of my favorite creatives were launching or had launched Skillshare courses.
That was enough for me! My boredom got the better of me and I signed up for a two-week free trial on the spot.
Let’s be honest, unless you’re truly a jack-of-all-trades type of person, you’re going to eventually find that your well has runneth dry with Artist Date ideas at home.
In a way, I think that there’s a blessing in coming up with Artist Date ideas at home, because it can help remind us that there is always room to get creative with our time and our space, even if we’re stuck at home for months on end because of a seemingly never-ending pandemic.
So without further ado let’s get into my favorite Artist Date ideas at home!
12 Artist Date Ideas at Home
1. Decorate With Stickers
Listen, this one came directly from Julia Cameron so how could I not include it?
Order yourself a sticker book, or a bunch of fun custom stickers from Etsy or Redbubble, and you’ve got yourself an art project! The beauty of quarantining in this day and age is that you are nearly certain to find exactly the dream stickers you’re envisioning on these platforms, which have endless designs being sold by creators all over the world.
Here’s what I would do, specifically.
Get yourself a bunch of stickers and completely plaster your morning pages notebook with them. Then add any extras to inside the pages for you to find randomly as you write the pages! Bonus points if you do all of this with your favorite playlist going in the back.
2. Throw a Living Room Dance Party
I think we’re all well aware at this point in the pandemic that YouTube is our best friend, and it’s also perfect for Artist Dates. I personally did dancing related Artist Dates a few times during the program because dance is something I rarely get to do anymore, and I love it a lot.
I would think about what kind of dance you want to try and find some Youtube videos that do classes for your skill level. I personally have done ballet and jazz classes, and a friend of mine did a belly dance class she found.
This one also gets bonus points because it gets you moving, something we all could do with more of during these times.
3. Get Cozy & Read a New Book
I’m personally of the mind that any season is a great time to feel cozy, but especially when we’re encouraged to be indoors I think it’s the perfect excuse to get luxurious about how cozy your room can be.
For this Artist Date I would order yourself a new book – maybe even challenge yourself to pick something you’d never really heard of before and go out of your comfort zone!
Then, get some nice soft lighting going in your favorite room of the house, put some chill vibe Spotify playlist on, and read that book!
4. Take a Romantic Bath
I specify that you should take a ROMANTIC bath because god dammit this is an Artist DATE. Treat yourself!
Get some bath bombs or oils, and maybe even some flower petals to sprinkle in. Light some candles, get it nice and bubbly and like, really get into it. Do a face mask while you soak.
Listen to a podcast, listen to a new playlist. Listen to an album you’ve never heard all the way through.
Bring your burrito if you want!
The possibilities are endless!!
5. Freestyle Some Nail Art
I can almost hear the protests already. I get it okay, nail art is HARD.
But the whole dang point of Artist Dates is to play around a bit and get out of your comfort zone in a safe way. To be creative without any real roadmap.
Get a few nail polish colors and just do what feels right. Approach it with the mindset that there is no messing up this task.
If something goes differently than planned, just accept it as the new plan! Do something abstract!
The worst thing that happens is you hate it, and… who cares? We both know you aren’t seeing anyone anyway.
6. Cook Something New
Ok ok don’t yell at me, I know we’ve all been cooking more than our fair share during the pandemic, but hear me out.
For this Artist Date idea at home I challenge you to do one of two things:
1. If you’re like me and a recipe is your safety net, cook without a plan or a reference.
2. If you’re always whipping things together from whatever is in the fridge, find a recipe that is out of your normal comfort zone, and get going.
My favorite go-to for both options is to either make a pasta sauce out of whatever we have in the kitchen… but make it a whole experience – I’m talking jazz and red wine while you stir – or to find some vegan/raw dessert recipe and try to make that! But feel free to put your own spin on things – you do you boo!
If you, like me, struggle to get much organic inspiration past those first six options… I’m telling you. It’s time to try Skillshare.
I’m tellin’ ya! There is literally no downside to trying out Skillshare’s one-month free trial deal. We are talking endless FREE knowledge here, just waiting for you to soak it all in!
Want a pro tip? Do what I did and dedicate an entire weekend to binging like 15 Skillshare courses. Brew a pot of tea or two. Grab a notepad. Take notes and get ready to drink in the knowledge – then keep on Artist Date-ing to your heart’s content whether you decide to keep the subscription or not!
I have a feeling you’ll stick around though – especially since your first year’s membership will also be 30% off!
Next I’ll share with you six Skillshare courses that led to some of the best Artist Dates I had during The Artist’s Way… including those from Christopher Griffin (aka the Plant Kween), Roxane Gay, and Amanda Rach Lee!
Now, maybe you already have a green thumb and you’re a successful plant mother to many plant babies, in which case, go off.
If you are not, though… I would highly recommend watching Christopher Griffin’s course Plants at Home: Uplift Your Spirit & Your Space on Skillshare.
Christopher, @plantkween on Instagram, is pretty much the ideal person to teach you anything and everything about plant care. They are knowledgable, soothing to listen to, and will hopefully inspire you to also be fabulous and cultivate an indoor jungle.
This one is a little different than my other Skillshare-related Artist Date ideas at home… I would suggest watching the course and taking some notes prior to the actual Artist Date.
Then, if you’re comfortable going outside, take a trip to your local plant shop or outdoor plant stall and pick yourself up a plant (or two or three)! When you get it home you can repot it if it seems like it’s really needing an upgrade, or you can just play around with placement and then do some research on your new baby.
Alternatively, if you aren’t down to go outside (you know, due to the PANDEMIC) you can have some gorgeous plant babies delivered right to you from The Sill or Bloomscape, two of the best online plant shops out there.
I’ve made this my Artist Date a few times already, and can attest… it’s a good one!
In a very Artist’s Way fashion, I like kind of fell into this one. On the day that I was meant to do my Artist Date I was completely de-motivated and feeling totally uncreative.
And then completely out of nowhere I decided I should write something.
I’ve really never been one to write personal essays or fiction at all, but in a two hour period I wrote the first chapter of a novel, and a personal essay that honestly I was really proud of!
Since then I’ve take a few classes on Skillshare for creative writing because I think it’s something I want to pursue a bit more seriously.
I think this is one of the cooler Artist Date ideas at home especially if you aren’t normally “a writer,” because it’s a totally no pressure situation in which you can explore a totally new medium for your creativity.
When you really start to run out of Artist Date ideas at home, I think one of the best things you can do is look around you and search for inspiration in the most mundane of places.
We’ve all spent waaaaay too much time in our homes lately, so we know them maybe a little too well. But how much does your space itself give you the good vibes you deserve?
Thinking a bit about interior design doesn’t have to wait until you buy property or even until you’re rich enough to re-furnish a space. Infusing some personality can be done entirely through re-arranging stuff you already have or maybe picking up a few fun new decor items at the thrift store.
Emily Henderson’s Skillshare course Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design really got my creative juices flowing.
Emily walks you through a whole bunch of down and dirty design theory. What I loved about her course was that watch it felt like an exercise in creativity… an Artist Date in itself!
Early on, the course features a really fun personal style quiz to help give you a vocabulary for what you like. Then, she covers how to look on Craigslist for the best vintage finds, and even has a mini styling workshop to help you figure out how to arrange all your stuff in an aesthetically pleasing way.
If you really wanna go all out for this Artist Date, you should put on your best “I’m an interior designer” outfit – think flowy and light – and really play the part. See what you can come up with!
I’m certainly not like, artistically challenged, but I’m also no professional.
I found Carly Kuhn’s class Start Drawing: 3 Fun, Freeing Exercises to Spark Your Creativity to be soooooo rewarding and calming, and it actually completely reawakened a love of drawing that I had been ignoring for a bit.
She has you do several exercises, all having to do with line drawings. At the end you even get a mini styling lesson so if you end up liking any of your art you can frame and place it in your home – perhaps to be styled in the Artist Date I mentioned above!
Of all my Artist Date ideas at home, this course was on the quicker and easier side for me. Even so, it was extremely satisfying and felt like it really did spark something.
This is an especially good class to take because you can take the skills you learn and apply them to other Artist Dates later on, if you decide that drawing isn’t actually so scary after all.
Obviously you don’t need to watch a course just to take some pictures, but if photography is something that interests you at all then it might be worthwhile to study up a few tips for improving your technique!
There are soooo many photography courses on Skillshare, but I watched Hannah Argyle’s Photography for Instagram: Capture and Share Your Life.
Full disclosure, Hannah is definitely extra about her Instagram photography, but it pays off. She certainly taught me a thing or two about how to streamline my overall aesthetic.
The class inspired me to do a photo shoot as my Artist Date, and it was SO much fun.
I laid out a bunch of outfits, put Ariana Grande on Spotify, set up the DSLR on self timer and just went for it! Get as creative as your heart desires, maybe even do some outdoor shots in your yard or outside your house.
It’s the perfect project if you just want to feel yourself a little bit!
I personally already use a bullet journal, and Amanda Rach Lee has been my go to bujo expert for years over on her YouTube.
Still, when I saw her course The Ultimate Guide to Creative Planning & Journaling was on Skillshare, I knew I had to do it.
Amanda is like THE art bullet journaler, so you know you’re in good hands with her. Whether you’re going to use this Artist Date to set up your first bullet journal, get inspiration for your next month’s theme, or learn a new art technique like hand lettering, this is one of my favorite Artist Date ideas at home.
Which of these Artist Date ideas at home will you begin with?
I hope this guide has helped you realize that home can be just as inspiring a place as anywhere else for letting your creativity flow!
Yes… you will struggle with a lack of inspiration at times throughout The Artist’s Way. That’s inevitable. BUT if you do your best to think outside the box about what creativity could actually look like, you’ll see there is opportunity everywhere!
And remember, if you start to run out of Artist Date ideas at home even after working your way through my ideas…
Keep in mind that my free trial link will get you an extra THREE WEEKS free beyond the regular free trial offered on the Skillshare website! So what are you waiting for?
Get out there, get learning, and get creating!