We have a monthly play date with artist friends at our studio. Sometimes we each do our own thing other times we try something new together. We work around each other or together to create something interesting and different. Being together sparks creativity, allows us to play off each other’s ideas, and it provides fellowship that we might not otherwise experience.
Very early on when we started these play dates we decided not to set any expectations. We enjoy being around each other and enjoy being creative; other than that, there is no expectation that anyone finish anything or has to do anything specific. I think that freedom allows the creativity and ingenuity to flow. Amazing things have been developed and produced during these sessions and the best part is seeing the blank page turn into something incredible.
Creating can be a lonely business. Most artists spend hours, days, weeks alone working to bring their ideas to life. That alone time is crucial and yet it can be a bit isolating. Sometimes you just need someone to provide feedback, or help you talk through your idea or next decision, or someone to relieve the tension you have built up in your own head. Having a play date does that. Knowing that you are safe to create or be silly, to work hard or hardly work, no matter what you do there is no wrong way to go.
I did not grow up with play dates. In my time it was called going outside to play, nothing was ever arranged or scheduled or organized. To think that I had to become an adult to experience a play date. I’m okay with that. I look forward to these days and am always inspired by what other people create. Some of my best experiments have come from these sessions.
What do you do that you could benefit from a play date? Are you a writer that could gain insights or wisdom from other writers? Maybe you are a carpenter who could learn during a wood workshop? Or maybe you just need a time to play around and find out what you like to do, want to do, hate to do. Being able to be a kid on a play date has it’s advantages. Give yourself the chance to play at something this week, it will do wonders for your stress level, and you might even want to hang what you create on your refrigerator.