Twenty+ Lockdown Artist Date Ideas

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Aside from writing Morning Pages, another key element of The Artist’s Way practise is to go on what Julia Cameron calls Artist Dates. These are “a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you”.

However, with lockdown or quarantine still going on around the world, a question we often hear is what people should do for their Artist’s Date if their mobility is limited and things like art galleries are closed, so below we’ve listed a bunch of ideas for things to do in or around your home:

Go for a photo walk

Going for a walk with a camera (even if it’s just the camera on your phone) is a great way to become more curious about the world around you. Try focussing on pictures of specific types of things: maybe flowers, or circles, or things of a specific colour. If you can’t leave the house at all, you can even do this at home and it’ll give you a whole new way of looking at your environment!

Do some origami

Chances are you haven’t tried origami since you were a child, but it’s a fun and relaxing way to pass the time. Loads of origami patterns and instructions can be found on this site.

Read poetry

Poetry is something most of us appreciate but don’t often take the time to enjoy, so spend an hour or more reading an anthology. Playing classical music in the background and burning some incense can make the experience all the more special!

Go on a virtual museum tour

With the whole world in lockdown, many museums have virtually thrown open their doors to visitors, and peaceful and informative hours can be spent wandering the digital corridors. This list is a great place to start.

Browse an art book

Many of us have a range of big glossy art books sitting on (or propping up) our coffee table. Give yourself an hour to enjoy browsing through one, trying to give yourself time to really experience the works of art featured.

Do a YouTube or Zoom art class

Lockdown might mean that you can’t attend a real life art class, but it also means many talented art teachers have gone online. Here’s a list of some of the best.

Enjoy a movie date with yourself

Watching a movie might not seem like a particularly special thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a fulfilling experience. Dim the lights and choose something you wouldn’t normally watch - maybe a foreign or classic black and white film.

Cook a romantic meal for yourself

Whether you live alone or not, there’s nothing stopping you from dimming the lights, lighting some candles and enjoying a special culinary moment with yourself!

Go for a drive

Normally when we get in the car we have a destination in mind, but it can be freeing to decide to go for a drive with no purpose. Turn down roads you wouldn’t normally turn down, explore, and get lost (pro tip: maybe bring a sat nav so you don’t really get lost!).

Take a virtual tour of a city

Ever wanted to visit Moscow? Or Tokyo? Or Rio de Janeior? Google Street View is your friend! Try to spend a decent amount of time looking around one particular city and seeing what you can notice. If nothing else, it may give you inspiration for when you can travel again.

Watch a nature documentary

There is something particularly relaxing about nature documentaries, with the bonus that you can learn a lot!

Find an object and draw it

Most houses are full of random objects that have been amassed over time. Pick one of them and try to draw it in as much detail as you can.

Read in the bath

If you’ve got a bath, throw in some bath salts, light some tea lights, and give yourself a good hour to soak and read. Bliss!

Create a vision board

If you’ve got a bunch of old magazines lying around, put them to good use: take some scissors and cut out all the images and phrases that speak to you, and stick them on a large piece of cardboard.

Make a natural sculpture

Go to your garden, a local park, or a beach, and collect leaves, shells, stones or twigs that appeal to you. Take them home and arrange them in order of size or colour, in a long line or a circle, or whatever you feel like! Film yourself doing this with a stop-motion app and share with your friends.

Do some colouring

Adult colouring books have been popular for quite a while now so there are loads available. There is something uniquely meditative about filling in the blanks. Just make sure to stay within the lines!

Paint some rocks

Find some rocks in your garden or local park, take them home and paint them in a range of colours, and then return them to whence they came. Not only do you have fun painting them, but you’ll bring a little joy to the lives of whoever finds them!

Draw a self-portrait

Drawing oneself can be an act of self love or at least self investigation. It doesn’t matter how good you are at drawing; what matters is that you are taking the time to really look at yourself.

Write postcards to friends and family

There is something much more meaningful about a postcard than an SMS. Buy a pack of 100 and spend some time writing to people you love or you’ve lost touch with.

Make a Spotify playlist

Choose a genre you love, or a time in your life, and try to make the ultimate playlist. You’ll love listening to the music and you’ll have something unique that you can share with friends.

Play loud music and dance around your living room

Close the curtains (or don’t!), dim the lights, and turn up the stereo; it’s time to dance like a lunatic! Dancing to music has been shown to lift mood and ease anxiety and, more importantly, it’s fun!

Listen to music properly

What with Spotify, iPod shuffle, and the radio, we rarely sit and listen to an album all the way through, but it can be an incredibly rewarding process. Try to avoid doing anything else - just focus on the music - and consider choosing a band or artist that you don’t know well.

Make a bucket list

There’s nothing like quarantine to remind you of all the things you want to do (but currently can’t), so make the most of it and make the ultimate list of things that you would like to do in your life.

We hope this list has inspired you to make the most of your time at home. Let us know in the comments if you’ve got any more ideas!

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