By: Amy Maricle
The Creativity Challenge #2 is to make an artist date. What is an artist date? It’s making a time to get together with another creative soul to make some art. That’s it. You can mix things up by giving yourselves an artistic challenge or joint project, or just make art freely at the same time.
Why Make an Artist Date?
1. Starting the art process can feel intimidating, your commitment to your date will help you “show up” to make art that day.
2. Inspiration flies: Making art with someone else often impacts my art making. I have often marveled at the way images will “jump” from one page to another on the other side of the room in a group. Have you ever noticed this?
3. Using new materials helps you stretch creatively. Go ahead, steal that conte crayon, and while you are at it, teach your friend how you do that thing with the watercolor brush.
4. It’s creative self-care- why not use positive peer pressure to your advantage? 🙂
5. There are so many reasons why making art together is amazing, can you help fill out the list in the comments?
How to Meet Other Artists
If you regularly make art with others, making an artist date shouldn’t be too hard. If however, you have not made art with anyone for a long time, or ever, it can feel very intimidating to ask.
It’s kind of like standing at Chris Robbins’ locker, looking up at that uber tall, James Dean look-alike, asking if he would consider going out for coffee and him saying, “Uh, maybe?” Yeah. Awkward.
Let’s try and avoid that scenario.
So if asking someone on an artist date feels awkward to you, I totally get it! When I was in graduate school, I made art with classmates and friends all the time. However, after graduate school, several factors, including a move, limited those opportunities. This year I set out to change that.
Finding Other Artists
Where do you find other creatives or artists to make art with you?
1. Start talking about art with friends, folks at work, at religious services, or wherever you go. You will find that you are already connected to people who do a variety of creative activities, you just never talked about it before.
2. Likewise, start some conversations on social media about art. Do some searching for beautiful art , art blogs, and project ideas on Google and Pinterest and share them. See who likes, comments, and shares, and you may find some “hidden artists” in your existing networks.
3. Join Instagram. It’s all about images, so it’s a natural place for artists to share their work, inspire each other, and connect. And if you are feeling shy about sharing your work, know that many of the images that I have seen “liked” the most are detail shots of just a part of a whole piece.
This is a great way to focus on what is working for you in a piece, (great advice from Flora Bowley) as well as a great way to share your art without feeling quite so vulnerable.
So far, I have approached two people through Instagram, and two bloggers. I have two dates set up! (I will share all about them in a future post.)
How to Ask Someone Out on an Artist Date
First of all, be brave and be bold. What’s the worst someone can say if you ask? “Uh, maybe?” Well if they do, just move on! (Besides, it will get you one step further in your “Rejection Therapy,” a hilarious experiment I referenced in a previous post.)
Because I know it can be helpful to have a “cheat sheet” for something like this, let me tell you some of what has worked for me so far.
1. Reach out to someone whose art you like. Be genuine. Tell them why their art inspires you. Talk about your motivation for connecting with more artists and getting more in touch with your art process.
2. Offer to host them at your art making space, whether that’s your kitchen table, a gorgeous studio, or at a local cafe over pastry with art journals and portable art supplies. (Ooh, this last one is sounding good, any takers?)
3. Have an online artist date. If you find that you connect with someone in California, and you are in Rhode Island, meet up on Skype, Google Hangouts, Vsee, or FaceTime. Of course it’s not quite the same as being in the same physical space, but it will still offer you both connection, inspiration, and encouragement.
What to Make on Your Artist Date
Of course you can make whatever you want on your artist date, but given that it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d offer a little inspiration. (Given the timeline, you may want to make shamrocks, chicks, bunnies, or Easter eggs.)
I had great fun making these Valentine books, I hope you like them. Would you let me know what you think in the comments?
I used craft foam I bought at Michael’s to cut heart and leaf stamps. I then used a pin to cut little lines and details into them. Click here for a post on making your own stamps. (Stamps are SO much more fun to play with when you make them, and so cheap! Do you find this too?)
I also pulled out some more simple index cards, a hole punch, and my fun, colorful “O” rings.
I also happen to have a heart-shaped hole punch, so I figured that would be fun to play with as well.
You and your date can make Valentines, like the ones shown above, or create artist trading cards, (shown below), and trade a few with each other, and each walk away with a collaborative book.
I kept making more and more Valentines and couldn’t stop, so I decided to bind them together in a little book. Aren’t these sweet? Sewing on paper – how cool is that?
I can’t sew that well or embroider, but my trusty Singer lets me do all sorts of fun, rule breaking activities on paper and fabric. I love paper – the feel, the texture, the sound. Does anyone else love paper the way I do? Are you a Paper Source fiend? Please tell me I’m not alone in that.
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