Reading through The Artist Way during COVID presented many ways to change up the exercises. But the exercise from each week that became harder to act on was the “Artist Date.” According to the creator of the Artist Date, Julia Cameron, an Artist Date is, “...a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly ‘artistic’– think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy.” So in continuing with the theme of mischief, I’ve decided to create artist date ideas based off each enneagram number!
If you’ve heard at least one of our podcasts, you’d know by now that I am very into the enneagram. I won’t pretend to be an expert or “master” at the enneagram, because my expertise started with a counseling session and has continued into every enneagram dank meme account I can get my hands on. However, I am currently in an enneagram small group reading through The Path Between Us, by Suzanne Stabile after reading the prequel The Road Back to You. If you want to learn more about the enneagram, I’d highly recommend reading The Road Back to You! If you don’t know your enneagram number, I recommend that you avoid taking tests, and instead read or listen to an enneagram book or podcast to get a better idea of what number you could be. Or even have a conversation with a friend you trust who knows the enneagram about what number you could be, but make sure that friend is loving enough to not type you outright but instead help you on your journey of typing yourself. People react to learning their number differently, but the core motivation and fear should resonate with you in a meaningful way.
The enneagram is made up of nine numbers, where each number represents a vice and passion. The enneagram is broken into three triads: the Gut Triad made up of 8, 9, and 1, the Heart Triad made up of 2, 3 and 4, and the Head Triad made up of 5, 6, and 7. I am starting with the Gut Triad, also known as the Anger Triad. Below are my interpretations of what may be blocking each Gut Triad creative and some artist date ideas that could aid in their quest to be creatively inspired!
Artist Dates for a type Eight: Go Slow
Enneagram Eight’s are known as the “Challenger or Leader.” They value the truth and are very strong-willed. They have one speed and that is fast. They fall into the temptation of wanting to be self-sufficient. For Eights, my advice is to go slow! Eights are very passionate and want to soak up every amazing experience of life and do everything they want to do as fast as they can! But Eights tend to miss out on the truth that by going slow you can accomplish more and can find answers to the problems you’ve been speeding towards with abandon.
Take a walk! Exercise is very important for Eights to get their energy out. Taking a walk helps them slow down, process, and take in their surroundings.
Do a puzzle. Completing a puzzle is a great exercise for a creative eight to do something slow and methodical while still problem-solving.
Paint-by-number. Instead of going hard and fast at a creative project, slow down with a paint by number where each piece of the canvas is slowly filled in little by little.
Cross-Stitch, Knit or Crochet. Another way to complete a project in small increments.
Read a Book. Read or listen to a book for 30 minutes to an hour each day and take the time to listen to the story and understand the main idea of each chapter.
Artist Dates for a Nine: Go Fast
Enneagram Nines are known as the “Peacemaker,” because they value love and are very amiable. They fall into the temptation of wanting to avoid conflict and self-assertion. For Nines my advice is to go fast! Nines are very thoughtful but easily distracted by their thoughts, wanting to do a million little things at once and thinking of the fastest and best ways to complete tasks, without fully completing them. Nines tend to miss out on focusing on how they feel by overthinking and overdoing, by going fast towards one goal a Nine will be able to complete a task and think through one idea thereby unblocking themself from their distractions.
Go for a Run. Going for a run will give a Nine the space they need to focus on one thing (running) and to think through their creative challenges and wins.
Play a game. By playing a game a Nine can practice making quick decisions and following through with those decisions.
Photography. Taking pictures is a great way for a nine to creatively challenge themself to make quick decisions and in doing so explore the best shots and lighting.
Collaging. It doesn’t take much time and allows a Nine to piece together different ideas into one concept.
Journaling. Taking time to reflect and write down their thoughts and feelings is a great way for a Nine to unblock.
Artist Dates for a One: Get Messy
Enneagram Ones are known as “Reformers” or “Perfectionists.” They value perfection and constantly are aware of how things could be better. They fall into the temptation of believing the world is made up of only that which is good or bad and right or wrong. For Ones my advice is to get messy! Ones are very structured and organized, so getting outside their comfort-zone is a bit of a challenge for them. Doing something out of their normal routine will help them have fun and unblock their creativity. Ones tend to struggle when things aren’t as planned, but by doing something out of their ordinary they will be able to shift their perspective and find creative ideas in a new way.
Try out a new recipe. Ones are great at following directions, but experimenting with a new kitchen gadget, style of cooking or flavor can introduce a whole new world of inspiration.
Try a new flavor. Whether it’s coffee or tea, wine or beer, whatever drink you love and drink often, try out a new flavor or taste you’ve never tried before for at least a week! See how your day changes up.
Dig out your favorite childhood craft. This is a very Julia Cameron idea! Getting back to your childhood is a great way to unlock creative inspiration you’ve left neglected for too long. Whether it’s playdough, glitter, crayons or chalk, get outside and play! Make a mess!
Try a new look. Experiment with a new hair-do, a new hair-product or styling tool, try a new eye-liner color or blush. For an extreme idea, try out a new haircut or subscribe to Ipsy to find different and fun products to mix into your makeup routine.
Finger paint. It's hard to color between the lines let alone draw straight lines when your fingers have three different colors of paint on them. Loosen up: it doesn’t have to be perfect or finished. The colors are just there to be fun and to be explored.
If you try out these ideas, leave a comment and let me know how it goes! And please remember I am just a human who enjoys reading about personality-- but I fully recognize that each type in the Gut Triad are more than their numbers and temptations, they are far more complex to be put into boxes. But identifying little habits and changing them up can help us be a smidge more open to creativity!