A Date with Art
by Ann Faison
Thanks to my sister for this post. She called last night asking if I had a copy of the Artists Way which I do not. She said she was thinking of imposing a mandatory Art Date on all the managers of the retail stores that she and her partner own in order to inspire more creativity in their work. What a great idea, I said. Apparently in the Artists Way there is a description of an Art Date and she wanted to use it as a guideline. I said I would write something up for her no problem. It is such a good idea that she inspired me to take myself on regular Art Dates from now on. I think once a month would be great. Here is what I sent her:
Creativity in the workplace is a prized commodity but how can we be creative when we have our heads in the day-to-day business of work, whatever that work is? Even artists get stuck in ruts of their own routines. We have to take the time to break the routine and appreciate what is out there. What the world has to offer us, and what we have to offer the world. What others are doing and what we might like to do. We have to literally feed our creativity in order to let it work for us.
Ideally, an art date should be 3 or 4 hours.
Examples of an art date could be going to a museum and instead of looking at the exhibits you would normally be drawn to, taking a look at something you would usually ignore first.
Go to a few art galleries and instead of looking at the art and asking yourself if you like it or what it means, ask your self what you think led the artist to make that particular work. What might have come before and what the artist’s background might be. Ask yourself different questions than you would normally.
Go to a movie and pay attention to the art direction instead of the story. Or close your eyes through the entire thing. Or go to a play and let your self become completely taken in by the characters no matter how hard it is.
Take a walk with a camera and give yourself a simple assignment like photographing shadows or trying to create a narrative photographically.
Sit on a park bench with a pencil and paper and try to sketch or write the scene around you including everyone in it.
Try to draw some clouds.
Find some interesting music that you don’t know anything about and have never heard before and try dancing to it. If you don’t think you know how to dance, take a dance class.
All of these examples (and they are only examples) are starting points for an art date that might take you any number of places. The key is to take the time out of regular life to see what happens. Start at the museum and see where you end up. Make sure to take a couple of hours at least to allow things to happen without any rush. And always have something on hand that you can use to take notes since you will be getting so many ideas on your Art Date.