• Sewing Machine Mart

"Serious (Fiber) Art Is Born From Serious Play" — Julia Cameron

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Sometimes, sewists — that's sewer plus artist — experience creative blocks or other blocks that keep us from finishing existing projects. Sometimes, these blocks prevent us from committing to a new project. Instead, we endlessly scrolling through Pinterest and YouTube tutorials and create nothing.

Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way" is a wonderful resource for creatives or those who want to amp their creativity regardless of their creative outlet — writing, embroidery, quilting, painting, gardening, and upcycling thrift store furniture with chalk paint or decoupage. And if you are a quilter, try some creative cross training like making a purse or writing a journal or starting an online photography gallery for your own amusement. The takeaway here is to play, play hard, and then see how renewed you are to finish a project or commit to a new one. So go ahead and give yourself permission to go on an artist's date alone or with a friend and just play!

Here are some artist's date ideas from Julia Cameron:

  • Visit an artist’s supply shop, a fabric store, or a hobby shop.

  • Spend some time outdoors with your journal, sketchbook, craft supplies, etc.

  • Go for a walk and take your camera with you to document the experience.

  • Stop by the library and check out some music CDs, listen, and see what you feel inspired to do.

  • Create an artist’s workspace in your home.

  • See an Oscar-nominated movie or a foreign film.

  • If you don’t have an artist’s blog, start one.

  • Visit a “creative” shop that has nothing to do with what you usually do – an art supply store, a fabric shop, a music store.

  • Grab a stack of magazines and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.

  • Support the local arts scene.

  • Go to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit, etc.

  • Start your own herb garden or a butterfly garden. Plant a tomato plant or some bulbs.

  • Try a “guerilla garden” and scatter seeds randomly somewhere to see what grows.

  • Spend an hour going through your books. Pick ten to read or re-read and ten to donate to charity.

  • Go to a thrift store. Give yourself $5 to spend and find something really great that you can do something creative with.

  • Give yourself a beauty treatment – a cuticle treatment, a foot soak, exfoliation, hot oil treat, etc.

  • Go sit at the pond and play in your sketchbook.

  • Visit your childhood playhouse or forts.

  • Sit in the driveway and make designs with pretty rocks.

  • Sing campfire songs.

  • Sit in the porch-swing and lean your head back as far as you can and look up at the tree branches backward. Think of as many Shakespearean poems as you can while you are doing this.

  • Send a care package to your best friend or to a family member — just because. Take time and care to put loving and thoughtful things into it. Be creative. Make things. Be as careful with the packaging as you are with what you actually put into it. Get as much from it as they will in receiving it.

  • Go to Home Depot with $10 in your pocket. See what cool things you can find there to create an art project with that $10 (only).

  • Carve out an hour and write notes, letters and cards to those you love. Mail them.

  • Go to a pet store or shelter and play with or exercise the animals that are waiting for good homes.

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