In addition to my daily morning pages, another basic tool of The Artist’s Way is the artist date. Basically, once a week, I take my inner artist out on a date.
The artist date is time set aside to nurture my creative consciousness and fill my well of imagination with new imagery and experiences. It is my weekly “Treat Yo’ Self!” for my artistic self.
My inner artist and I get around. In the past, I’ve gone on dates to museum exhibits, strolls through the park, trips to the bookstore, and solo dinners at a new restaurant. Some of my favorite dates have been to toy stores, because my inner artist is childlike.
At toy stores I get to tap into all of the fantastic energy of being a child. I may even buy a toy or two for myself, because, you know, I have a job now and can afford any toy I want.
Yesterday, I decided to take my inner artist on another one of my favorite dates: a photography date. I snatch up my camera, take a walk around the city, and snap pictures of anything that interests me.
Yep, just me and my inner artist, running around with my cheap little camera and playing photographer for a day, but yesterday’s date came with a surprise twist.
I had Sunday brunch with my friend Miram who brought along a friend of hers. I told them about my plans to go on my artist date to snap pictures after, and her friend revealed that he was a professional photographer. He just happened to have professional camera equipment in his car and some free time, and invited my inner artist and me to take pictures with it.
This was exciting. I never held or taken a picture with a professional camera before and was surprised at the weight of it and all of the gadgets and techniques that go along with taking a photo.
He explained how lighting and reflection works, composition, focusing, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and introduced me to the sunny 16 rule. There’s a lot of mathematics in photography and lighting, which I could relate to through the mathematics in music and sound.
I took a couple of pictures of a fence and tennis sneakers hanging on a wire. We walked a few blocks to Riverside Park and he suggested I take pictures of some flowers. I’m too cool for flower pictures, so we photographed a cannon instead. I’ll make sure to share my pictures once he sends them to me.
Essentially, I received a very generous, impromptu master class in photography. My natural self was overwhelmed with more information than my brain could retain in one afternoon. My inner artist was totally inspired and filled with more than enough creative energy to last me a while.
I wonder where my inner artist and I will go and what we will do together on our next artist date.