Last week I went on what is known as an artist’s date with my friends (and fellow creatives) Andrea + Kris. Based on the concept from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, and artist date is when you go out to explore something that interests you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be artistic, but it should be something that encourages “play” and sparks inspiration for you.
Typically it’s done alone, but we decided to do it together after we discussed always being open to finding inspiration in the mundane over dinner a few weeks back. We were having dinner at a Thai restaurant one night, and after Andrea told us about her love of sticky rice and mango, we decided that our “date” would be at Viet Hoa, an Asian food market in Midtown Memphis that’s been around for years.
Andrea has been going there since she was a child, but it was Kris and I’s first time. I’ve driven past it a million times, love Vietname food, and my grandmother lived about 3 blocks from it when I was little, but for whatever reason, I’ve never been in.
It sounds like an odd choice for a “date”, but because the 3 of us tend to search for inspiration related to color, texture, and packaging, it was the perfect spot to hang out.
The first thing that stood out to me were the pears wrapped in a textured cloth. I immediately thought about mesh material in sportswear, and being that they were next to some tangerines, that pop of neon put me in the mind of the athleisure trend that’s been big the last few seasons.
A #colorstory, if you will.
Andrea is a fashion designer, stylist, and budding illustrator, so she sought out texture and colorway ideas for a moodboard she’s working on for a new collection.
Kris is in her last year of school for fashion design in London and is an amazing fashion illustrator, so she has a keen ability to find colorstories everywhere she looks (she’d just snapped one on her phone).
That moment when you make a flatlay in the middle of a grocery aisle, lol. Thank god the workers ignored us. We all had cameras out so they probably thought we were tourists.
We made a pitstop in this aisle because who knew there were so many options for noodles?! Seriously, there were a bajillion. The packaging was pretty dope as well.
We walked the market for about 45 minutes talking about products and packages, and then we decided to have a little fun with Kris’ hat outside before we headed off to lunch.
I was OBSESSED with Kris’ necklace. Of course she got it out of the country! Going to school in London allows Kris to travel to so many different places, so she’s always finding little treasures during her travels. I love watching her Snapchat because she finds beauty everywhere and looks at things from a different perspective, which is really inspiring. She is a true artist in every sense of the word.
Andrea getting her pose on (gotta get an #OOTD post in!) We got a few odd looks while we were outside but we didn’t care. We were having a ball, lol.
After our “session” we headed over to Shang Hai Oriental Restaurant for lunch. It was about a block up from the market; this is where Andrea usually gets her sticky rice + mango from (one of the ladies makes it specially for her) and they have some of the best egg rolls in the city.
I usually get some type of noodle dish but I decided to keep it light and get their vegetable soup, sesame chicken, and a shrimp egg roll. I was full (and it was delicious), but I was able to go about my afternoon without falling into a food coma, lol.
It was a fun (and quite cathartic) day. I’m glad we were able to spend it together, because you can easily get wrapped up in your solo work and miss out on those bonding moments with your friends. We’re all so different but share common interests, so being able to talk about not only our work but what inspires us and day to day life while “playing” in a new setting is fun. I’ll continue on my solo adventures for sure, but dates like these will definitely become the norm. 🙂
Have you ever been on an artist’s date? What would/did you do?