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Week One of the Artist's Way Project 

This week we focused on the idea of play and inner child healing. 


Together, we asked and created work to study - "When was the last time you had the mental freedom to play? To let your mind wander, unrestricted? Took a line for a walk? Let your hands think for you? When was the last time you broke the rules?"

Play is not just for children; it holds significant value for adults as well. Research shows that incorporating play into our lives can have numerous benefits for our overall well-being and personal development. According to a study published in the American Journal of Play (Burton, 2012), engaging in playful activities can enhance creativity, boost problem-solving skills, and promote cognitive flexibility. Playful experiences have also been linked to reduced stress levels and improved emotional resilience (Russell, 2018). Additionally, play fosters social connections, strengthens relationships, and promotes a sense of joy and fulfillment (Brown & Vaughan, 2009). As adults, it is important to recognize the value of play and actively incorporate it into our lives. By embracing playfulness, we tap into our innate curiosity, explore new possibilities, and cultivate a positive mindset. Prioritizing play allows us to reconnect with our authentic selves, leading to increased self-expression, enhanced mental well-being, and a more fulfilling and balanced life (Panksepp & Biven, 2012).

Burton, R. (2012). The American Journal of Play: Play and the Human Condition. Retrieved from

Russell, V. M. (2018). Play and Wellbeing. In Encyclopedia of Child Psychology and Developmental Science (pp. 1-7). Springer International Publishing.

Brown, S., & Vaughan, C. (2009). Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. Avery Publishing Group.

Panksepp, J., & Biven, L. (2012). The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions. W. W. Norton & Company.

What are morning pages?

Get the Book

Connect with others!

Videos and research on the importance of this seminal book  

See videos and research ont shis seminal book

Photos and Documentation of the Week 
Please view our photos from week one! 


Artist Date Ideas Week One:

Have a playdate with your inner child: Set aside time to engage in activities you loved as a child. Build with LEGO, paint with your fingers, make collages, or engage in any other form of artistic play that sparks joy and reconnects you with the uninhibited creativity of your inner child.


Have a solo picnic in a scenic location: Pack a picnic basket with your favorite foods and head to a picturesque spot—a park, or a beach. Take in the scenery, journal, or sketch as you enjoy your meal.


Attend a poetry reading or spoken word event


Explore street art in your city. Find your favorite one! 


Take a music appreciation day: Set aside a day to explore different genres of music. 

What is an Artist Date? 

In Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way," an "artist date" is a key tool for unlocking creativity and fostering inspiration. Essentially, an artist date is a solo excursion that you take for the purpose of nurturing your creative side.

During an artist date, you do something that inspires you or sparks your imagination. This could be anything from visiting a museum or art gallery, taking a long walk in nature, or exploring a new part of town. The key is to do something that you find enjoyable and that gets your creative juices flowing.

The purpose of an artist date is to provide you with the time and space you need to connect with your inner artist and fuel your creativity. By taking this time for yourself and engaging in activities that you find inspiring, you'll be able to recharge your creative batteries and tap into your innate creativity.

Artist dates are meant to be fun and enjoyable, so it's important to choose activities that you genuinely enjoy and that speak to your interests. With regular artist dates, you'll find that your creative well is constantly being refilled, and you'll be better equipped to approach your artistic endeavors with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Everyone has the capacity for creativity, and like a muscle, it needs to be exercised regularly to develop and improve. Whether it's coming up with new ideas, solving problems, or expressing oneself through art, music, or writing, creativity is an essential aspect of human life.

Join us in this project and make a conscious effort to engage in creative activities. Let's see what happens when we do creatives practices across the city how it can enhance our lives and the city in ways we never thought possible.

Discussion Questions from the Book 

The book club discussion wil start June 12, and will be hosted each week at Rosa Parks Circle, from 7-8pm

These first questions are just for you.  They are not recommended for morning pages, but instead are reflection points to consider as you navigate the preparation for this creative journey.  

Rosa Parks Circle Event - Monday, June 12, 6-8pm

We kicked off our entire project with our first night at Rosa Parks Circle.  Our community social engagement art project began with a vibrant and interactive evening at Rosa Parks Circle. We introduced two art invitations that encouraged active participation from the public.

​Our community social engagement art project, inspired by Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way, beautifully merges the themes of play and inner child healing. By providing a clean white table as a canvas and inviting individuals to draw directly on it, we encouraged participants to break free from the constraints of traditional artistic boundaries. This act of coloring on the furniture itself symbolized the liberation of creativity and the importance of self-expression, mirroring Cameron's emphasis on reconnecting with our inner child's uninhibited playfulness.

​Similarly, the second invitation featuring giant collage materials made from painted cardboard pieces created a playful and interactive experience. The oversized pieces allowed participants of all ages to engage with them freely, encouraging exploration of different forms and compositions. As people moved the cardboard pieces around, they actively participated in shaping the artwork, highlighting the transformative power of art and the influence of different perspectives, just as Cameron advocates for embracing multiple viewpoints and perspectives in creative endeavors.

Overall, our community art project aimed to emphasize the significance of self-expression, breaking boundaries, and discovering new perspectives, aligning with Cameron's principles. By inviting people to color, draw, and rearrange the materials freely, we fostered a sense of creativity, openness, and playfulness within the community. Through this collaborative and immersive artistic experience, we hoped to empower individuals to embrace their unique voices, challenge conventional norms, and embark on a healing journey of self-discovery, inspired by the joyful and transformative spirit of Cameron's teachings in The Artist's Way.

Community Events

We will be hosting work within the community.  This may be at a partner location, at a park, on streets or sidewalks, or simply at home or wherever you are.  

Monday nights will share interactive art shared in a big way!  Embracing your inner child, exploring hopes and dreams, sharing ideas as a community, and so much more.  

Our first event will be at Cultivate, 620 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids, and we will share a Vintage Saturday Morning Cartoons day.  Held on June 17th, from 10am-12pm, we will share a variety of cereals and watch a selection of Saturday Morning Cartoons through the eras (roughly ten minutes of each decade from the 1930's til now!) 

We will also be releasing community questions on a variety of google forms.  Keep your eyes peeled for that! 

Additional Resources 

Here we will be sharing research and videos on the various weeks.  In the meantime, check out our blog post below on why this project is important right now.  

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