The Artist Date

artist date being more creative creativity & photography landscape photography thoughts Oct 08, 2022

The Artist Date

“Logic will take you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”  Albert Einstein

As a full-time professional photographer, I spend a lot of time producing.  Producing new classes, focused on the production of the speaker series, producing images for clients or art fairs.   Even when I am not actively engaged in “the production” my mind is thinking of new ways to present information, display my work, or how to position my offerings.  I do so willingly, happily, and with no reservation.  I am extremely fortunate to be able to make a living helping others on their creative journey or to brighten up their homes.

My mission at Nature Photography Classes is “helping nature photographers, who are interested in deeper connections, create more impactful images, so they can confidently and consistently express themselves.” 

I talk about connection as something we form with our fellow photographers, a deeper sense of connectiveness to the natural environment, and about how we can connect with our inner creative.   All three of these items are vital to bring forth balance in our lives but it is often that connection to our inner artist that receives the LEAST attention. 

When we talk about that connection to our inter artist is it about changing the channel from send mode and putting the receive into the mode to receive.  When I change my dial to tune into receive mode, I get my best personal insights, inspirations, and guidance.  To set the tuner to receive, I must make an intentional effort to create the space for this important work.  This is what is called the Artist Date.  Adopted from the amazing book called The Artists Way by Julia Cameron it is the point in time where you open a dialogue with your creative self. 

(Created on an Artist Date where I didn't have any inspiration to be photograph when I left the house)


“The Art of living lives not so much improving oneself, but in freeing oneself from the entanglement of the discriminatory mind.”  Tao of Photography

For me it is about tapping into my inner creative.  My inner creative doesn’t care about money, couldn’t care about the brand of my camera, or what to sell at the next art fair.  My inner creative child is well, a child it is not a refined adult.  What does a child want?  To spend time with their parent.  So why do I neglect this part of my creativity and not give it dedicated time? 

For 2020 I was doing Artists Date regularly and was finding a deeper connection to new images I was creating.  Then we got wrapped up in Covid, going full time as a photographer, and a myriad of other excuses and I realized my Artist Dates had slipped completely off my calendar. 

“Our personal growth can fuel our photography and photography can fuel our personal growth.” Brooks Jensen

There are some rules we need to follow.

  1. Your artist date is with just you. Not with someone else. This time is about spending time with our creative unconscious.  In this self focused time we can learn to cherish and enjoy solitude vs fearing and avoiding it. 
  2. It is not productivity focused, rather solely focused on curating the time with your artistic child.
  3. It is a commitment of at least 2 hours that should be done weekly.
  4. It is not focused on getting a shot, capturing a particular scene, or doing something specific, the idea is to go out with no preconceived expectations.
  5. It can be cross functional, as it should be fun. This could be completely unrelated to photography. 
    1. Go to a bookstore. Spend some time in a totally different section or open yourself to look at things that are completely different.
    2. Go to an arts and craft store. Look at the different textures of fabrics, see the way things are being presented. 
    3. Stroll through an art gallery. Spend some time in their gift shop seeing how people talk about their work.

(Created on an Artist Date in winter 2020 where I spent hours observing the trees and the landscapes before being inspired by the arterial branching on this winter oak)

The point of the Artist Date is to create, experience, discover, without expectation or judgement from another person, do explore without having to worry is the other person enjoying it.  With that, give yourself the permission to just be.


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