Summer is the best time to fill your life with the arts. If you’ve been pushing off your goals of becoming a more artistically-driven and self-aware human, you now have several months to achieve them. It’s the perfect season to create habits that you can carry into the school year. You may be heading to a WiFi-free beach for a month, covering extra shifts at all three of your jobs or not thinking about much besides “Game of Thrones” and which Netflix series to start next (don’t worry, we’ve all been there). Whatever the case may be, there are ways to feed the inner artist without consuming much time or showing up to a specific location.
Saying goodbye to friends for summer can be difficult. However, you now have more time to spend with your family members, co-workers or hopefully some new companions. No matter where you are, there will always be people to meet. Broadening your perspectives can make you a more well-rounded artist and person, so connecting with people who are unlike you is one of the best ways to build your artistic foundations. Cellists, ballerinas and sculptors can learn a lot from each other, but they can learn even more from getting to know doctors, biologists or computer scientists.
Don’t just disconnect from technology. After you have made enough connections or reached your family-time limits, give yourself some time away from people. Go on a hike, sit in a park or find a quiet space in a library. Allow the interactions you have accumulated to settle and even dissipate for a while. Learning how to create time for yourself can help you relax and better process the overload of information you might receive during the non-summer months. If you are in the Salt Lake City area, take advantage of the Wasatch Range and head up one of the canyons for a hike.
Watch and Listen
Watch the movies and listen to the music you once swore away. People are quick to denounce genres of art without giving them much of a chance. You may not think you enjoy watching documentaries or listening to rap music, but if you give these practices a couple of unbiased attempts, you may realize how little you have been listening to yourself.
You can literally feed your inner artist. Bake pastries, knit a scarf, host a paint night or write a haiku. Learn new skills or rediscover the activities you loved before life became all work and no play. If you are still as busy as ever, set an hour or two aside each week to practice and create.
Reading is one of the most flexible activities — you can do it anywhere. Soak in different forms of literature and news. The more variety you take in, the more ingenuity you will be able to put out. Visit the Marriot Library or any of the Salt Lake City Public Library branches and peruse the aisles. The Salt Lake City Public Library website has excellent book lists for readers of all ages.
One of the simplest forms of expression is writing. Anyone can do it, and carrying a journal around does not take much energy or space. Journaling allows you to transfer your thoughts to paper so you can create more room in your head for new information. Keep track of your progress as you live your summer as a human sponge. There are plenty of coffee shops on and around campus to take your thoughts and paper to. Mom’s Cafe in the Marriott Library is one of the most popular cafes for students. Salt Lake Roasting Co. is only one TRAX stop away from the Rice-Eccles Stadium and offers more space than the average coffee shop.
Try one or two new practices this summer. If you enjoy them, build them into your routine. You can make a goal to visit a new museum every month, watch a new movie each week or write a new poem every day. Not everyone practices artistic expression, but everyone has an artistic side. Use the longer days and change in schedule to discover or develop your inner creativity.