For this week’s create date, I took a last day with Keith Tyson, 2002 Turner Prize Winner, at Jerwood Gallery’s Turn Back Now exhibition, before it left Hastings.

Tyson is an unassuming Northerner with a beard and specs, who uses the universe as his muse, creating art in almost every form, from painting and drawing to sculptures and machines.

And he’s inspiringly prolific. The Jerwood was featuring the Studio Wall Drawings he calls “headline of the day”, a daily outpouring which he began back in 1997, as a way to explore creativity within the confines of a small studio.

He continues to do them today, pondering universal questions and charting his most personal moments.

They’re his version of my f-r-e-e-writing, I thought, as I circled round the room, the first time, overwhelmed, at first, as well as overawed. I joined the Jerwood so I could visit the exhibition again and again, (on four separate occasions, on my own, in addition to dragging every visitor along also). The more time I spent with the pictures, the more I was floored by Tyson’s productivity, and .

I joined the Jerwood so I could visit the exhibition again. And again. (Four separate occasions on my own, in addition to dragging every visitor along also). The more time I spent with the pictures, the more I was floored by Tyson’s productivity, and insights.

The more time I spent with the pictures, the more I was floored by Tyson’s productivity, passion and perception.

I can honestly say that I have been more affected by Tyson’s than any other art exhibition I’ve ever seen. It has liberated me, and inspired me, to think about what I create and how I create it. As only the very best artists can.

Which is what the very best art (which ultimately means the art that speaks to you) always does.

A Create Date is a weekly outing, spent doing something that 1] you’d really like to do; 2] you haven’t done before, or for a very long time; and 3] is pure play for you (not work in disguise).

It may not feel like it but it’s an important creative practice. Conscious creation is about the play of ideas and insights and this creative play replenishes our well of images, ideas and inspiration.

When choosing a Create Date, just ask yourself, “what sounds like fun?” And then allow yourself to do it. (Alert: expect creative resistance. Create dates show us that it can be really hard, sometimes, to be good to ourselves.)

You can keep track of your Create Dates using this log. Downloadable Creative Playsheet: Monthly Create Date Log

I write about my weekly Create Dates here on the blog, most Saturdays. Check out: read more here.