Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Artist Dates!

Traci Bunkers here! It's my turn to pick the theme for this month.

During most of November and December, I was working myself to the bone, so to speak. I was beyond burning the candle at both ends--my candle was burned out. I was left feeling exhausted, and honestly, frustrated because I wasn't feeling like I was getting enough in return for all of my hard work. Because of working so much and not getting much sleep, I had gotten far, far away from the self-care practices that I used to do on a regular basis.

 I always think of the new year as a do-over, a fresh start. So this is a perfect time to get back to doing some much needed self-care. When The Artist's Way came out, Julia Cameron introduced all to the concept of an "Artist Date." And I quote from her book, "An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist."

Since I'm a self-employed artist who works at home, and I live alone, artist dates are very important for me. They get me out of the house, and into the world around me. They help to revive me, and to "fill the well". I feel more balanced because of them.

My challenge for January for myself, and for everyone, is to have a weekly artist date. And, to do something creative because of the date--whether it's going somewhere and working in a sketchbook or journal while on the date, or working in it after returning back home. So not only is the artist date something fun and interesting that refuels us, we are also doing something creative because of it.


  TraciBunkers.com - mirth cafe

  TraciBunkers.com - zen zero

In the past some of my artist dates have been walking around downtown with my camera, and then treating myself to lunch. And while I was having my lunch, I drew.


TraciBunkers.com - journaling at the burrito connection in santa fe

TraciBunkers.com - journal page created in burrito connection in santa fe 2

Here's a journal page that I did in a restaurant while I was on an artist date while visiting Santa Fe. (The first photo was taken while I was working on it in the restaurant.) Here, my journal page isn't about my artist date, but I did create it while I was on one, and contemplating things. So whether you are new to having artist dates, or an old pro at having them, I hope you'll join me with the challenge of a weekly self-care. And, My plan is for me to continue with the weekly dates, even after January has come and gone.

The theme for January 2013 is:  Artists Dates

There are currently no scheduled giveaways for the sketchbook challenge at this time so you will not need any special tag for your photo uploads to the Sketchbook challenge flickr group this month.  



This post may contain some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

18 comments:

  1. I love this theme! I think it will be great for all of us! Happy New Year!

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    1. Definitely. It's a good way to start the year!

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  2. What a great idea, The Atist's Way was my companion for many years, but I had forgotten this idea. I love your restaurant work, don't know if I'd have the courage to do it though.

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    1. You can do it! (If you want to that is). See the Jan. 7 post on "working in public." Take baby steps.

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  3. Perfect timing! I'd already decided I would do this, and for much the same reason: I, too, have been working from home. Sounds great in theory, but in reality it often means remaining chained to a computer all day. You're right: It's so important to break the mold, get out, refuel, breathe fresh air and allow the mind and heart to air out as well. Looking forward to this one!

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    1. Yes, working at home definitely has its benefits, but there are some drawbacks. Artist dates help with that!

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  4. Great topic.

    A question: What's the brand of that set of tiny alphabet stamp & numbers? Looks like something I'd love to use! -Thanks!

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    1. I think you are referring to the alphabet set with the colorful blocks? I have a line of rubber stamps, and that's one of my alphabet sets. You can get it as a kit, or just the unmounted sheet. As the unmounted sheet, it comes in 2 sizes. Here's the link: https://www.tracibunkers.com/blog/?s=crap+toy&s_cs=true

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    2. Thanks for the info, Traci! I noticed helpful videos about the stamps on your website too!

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  5. What a beautiful idea! Thanks for the inspiration. I can't wait to play with and create from this month's theme!

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  6. I've used The Artist's Way and had started the second volume in the series but got distracted with things like work and small details like that; this is a great theme to get me back into it. Thanks! I'm new to the Sketchbook Challenge and, frankly, to sketchbooks in general. But I plan on participating in the challenge in 2013. Thanks for giving me a way to ease myself into this new creative exploration.

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    1. Welcome & you are welcome! Enjoy your dates!

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  7. Oh, wow. Many years ago, I was doing artist dates because of that book. I discovered, to my GREAT suprise, that I felt more completely at home in art supply stores. It was my absolute favorite date - like entering a sacred space. They were one of the few experiences during which I could completely relax, feel like I belonged, and never get bored. I slowly, slowly starting letting myself by art supplies - one or two at a time - and try to figure out how to use them on my own, even though I was always 'the one who couldn't draw or paint well' at all. (I was always a writer, sometimes a musician.) I have quite the collection of supplies now - and always want more! lol And I still love going to art supply stores and just getting lost in there for a few hours.

    In terms of finally letting myself make whatever I want (and actually making some progress in skill), and being braver about sharing my stuff with other people, and getting into a regular habit of trying arty things, this sketchbook challenge over the past couple of years has been - far and away - the most helpful thing though. It's boosted my confidence tremendously. So, we come full circle and fuse the two! :)

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    1. It can be scary at first to share your work. But once you make the hurdle, I think it makes it easier to create because you've given up a little of worrying about what other people think.

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  8. My favorite Artists Date is always in Encinitas, CA--at one of the many fabulous cafes!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21317136@N02/8357294241/

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  9. Isn't crazy how life works...I started writing my morning pages 2 days ago, after remembering the concept from an interview with Julia Cameron that I saw years ago. This morning after the morning pages I decided to search more information, videos etc. about the Artist Way. I just watched the "Artist Date" video and thought I'd hop over the "The Sketch Book Challenge" to see what this month's topic is. I have been intending to participate for a long time (even have the badge on my blog) but never have.

    Just from this morning's whatever you want to call it...coincidence isn't the word. I guess something is telling me to participate in this group and take my "Artist Date". While I was watching the video, I imagined taking my journal to an antique shop, and sketching something that inspired me there. Looks like I have my mission, and I am accepting it :)

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  10. December seems to be traditionally the one month of the year that gets consumed with "making, creating, and giving" to others. I guess Dec. holidays mandate that! And consequently with not much time for self care feeling burned out seems inevitable. Been there and done that. SO I loved your post about how to replenish. More power to you!

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