Follow me as I do the steps in the Artists Way!

My First Artists Date: Antique Shopping

I FINALLY got around to doing my first artists date. I decided to get myself to an antique store for a project I’ve been meaning to do. I also quickly dropped by Pier 1 to take a look at their sale. Okay, before I go any further and show you what I bought, I need to defend my decision to do an artists date that looks ALOT like aimless shopping:). As a working mother, I never actually leave the house on an errand that is SPECIFICALLY to make my house prettier WITHOUT my kids. Well, at least not since I moved to Salt Lake. I’ve sort of just been getting by in our rental house. However, I’ve been feeling a very strong urge to decorate my living room and kitchen the last few days. I had a couple of projects in mind and I needed to get the materials cheap. one thing I knew I wanted was a very large frame. I also wanted  to check out the local antique store. So, I found a place called Moriarty’s Antiques. I managed to arrive Saturday morning at 10:30am and it didn’t open until 11:00am. Pier 1 was just around the corner so I popped in for a second. They were having a serious sale (a reason I hardly wander out of my house during the January through March months! I ended up buying the red plate in this set:

2257834I only saw the little red salad plate, which I bought all 12 they had in store (now that I see the whole set, I wish they had the bowl in the store too! I would have grabbed that baby up!). I have a set of Crate and Barrel white dishes and this red plate is the perfect accent! How much did I get those darling little plates for? $1.50 a piece… $18 later I’m a happy girl! 

At 11:00am, I was headed to the antique shop where I meandered for an hour. Oh happy, meanderings!!!! I love this artists date thing. I just love antique stores because you can really find unique and loved items that have so many uses…I like finding some new use for these old items! I ended up buying a monster frame that was hideous for only $10!!!! And I’ll show it to you soon (I promise) because ever since I bought it, I have been dolling it up for a fantastic kids/kitchen project.

So I would consider my first artists date a total success. I just like giving myself the chance to see something different and new. And I’m addicted now! I can’t wait for the next one!

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Second Day of Morning Pages

So this is just a quick entry about the morning pages I’m doing for the Artist’s Way. Today was the second day of doing them. It was VERY hard to get myself to do them. The first day it was exciting and fun to do them (and therapeutic). But this morning, well, this morning I had to get up at 6am to do them. I think most of my sentences said, “I’m so tired. Going to back to sleep for a second.” I am glad I did them. I think they helped.

My First Day of the Artist’s Way

So I buckled down and finally started this morning. I must have subconsicously been trying to avoid it because I meant all weekend to get a pretty notebook to write in and it never happened. I also hemmed and hawed about making an artist’s date for myself…and just generally avoided this thing that I have committed myself to do.

But somehow this morning, I was compelled to start my week a little differently. After a rough weekend, I KNEW I needed to do my morning pages. Because I didn’t need to get into work until 9am, I was able to sit down at the kitchen table as my kids watched Dora and really get out my 3 pages. I didn’t have a notebook, so I just grabbed 2 loose leaf papers and wrote  back and front on them

I won’t tell you what I wrote, but I will say I feel much better this morning. It was like venting before my day even happened. I really took it out on that paper!:) I did feel a little of my anxiety release itself into those pages. Whether that happens everyday…we’ll have to see. It would definitely compel me to continue writing them!

Either way, I’ve begun. If you want to do this with me, grab your spiral bound notebook and start sometime this week! Keep me posted so I’ll be motivated to continue too. I’ll continue to write each morning and I’ll post when I’ve decided on my artist’s date this week! And I’d REALLY suggest reading the fist chapter of the book as you do this. It somehow makes the entire experience a little more meaningful, a little more…therapeutic.

Initial Review of The Artist’s Way

 So today I got on an airplane to visit my friend Jen in San Francisco. While on the plane, I started reading the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which is my book of the week. I first heard about this book three or four years ago in a graduate class taught by Marilyn DeLong, which was about untended consequences in design. So I knew the concepts that this book proposed before I sat down and read it…and I have even tried some of these concepts based on my knowledge. Unfortunately, none of them stuck. Now, having read the first 33 pages of the book, I know why. Julia Cameron lays out two things that you have to do to help unleash your inner creativity…morning pages and the artist date. I have tried both without much success….here is why: I was uncommitted. I did them because I knew about them, had them explained to me, but I was praying for a miracle. That these two concepts would simply fix my creativity. Now that I am actually reading the book, I am realizing that the only way to do these, is to read the book and be committed. 

Some of the concepts she has thrown out, definitely hit home. I think that you will find that it does too if you read it. So I am proposing the following: I am going to finish reading the book and try the experiment of doing morning pages and the artist date and report of what happens with me on the blog! How does that sound? I hope being the guinea pig will convince me (and you) that there are new avenues of creativity to be found. 

So what are morning pages and the artist date? I am a little hesitant to tell you because I’m afraid you’ll do what I did…do them and not really be committed. But here they are so I can talk about some of the things she says in the book. Morning pages are three pages of stream-of-conscious writing when you first wake up in the morning. This is NOT a journal. It is a forum for getting all the “gunk” out of your head to leave you open for the rest of the day. Julia Cameron has a number of other caveats about how to do the morning pages, but for the purpose of my review, I think this definition works (again, you should read the book to get everything Julia Cameron says). The second tool she proposes are artist dates. You are suppose to dedicate a block of time (1 or 2 hours) to take your self on a date and do something that you really want to do or that would nurture you. Now, I don’t know about you, but this is VERY hard for me. Sure, 1 or 2 hours should be easy to come by during the week…but somehow those hours are never there.  When there are kids, jobs, and cleaning to do, when is there time to ever take time for yourself? The sad part is, we with everything going crazy in our lives, probably need to take ourselves on a date the most. Agreed? Julia Cameron makes the argument that if you where in a relationship that you wanted to save, you would go to therapy, find a mediator, and try to save it. Why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself (and your creativity)?

So, I will start morning pages (I’ll find a beautifully designed book to make it more motivating) and I’ll set a time next week to do the artist date. Julia Cameron suggests 12 weeks of this. She says she’s been doing it for a decade. It helped her be more creative, perhaps I just need to give it a go if I want the same result? Man, I am so commit-a-phobic! I’ll report on the rest of the book ASAP and let you know what happens. If anyone wants to do this with me (always more motivating), please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll keep updates on this project going so you can post as well.