This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, known for FASO Artist Websites, the leading provider of professional artist websites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Art Contest & Exhibit and the free daily art marketing newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed “art fanatic”, Clint delights that BoldBrush’s downtown San Antonio, Texas office is full of original art, as is his home office which he shares with his two feline assistants Kiara and Lilly. You can connect with Clint on Twitter, Facebook or his personal blog at clintavo.com
Your dreams live outside of your comfort zone.
If you want to grow and have a more exciting future, you must do something different from what you’ve done so far.
One painter whom I admire tremendously is Kevin Macpherson. He’s a great example of someone whose art, career and life have benefited from operating “Outside the Comfort Zone.” When I first met Kevin, he was already known as a very successful “Plein Air” painter from New Mexico. He related to me the story of how he had become a fine artist. He had been a very successful freelance illustrator working in Phoenix, Arizona and made a very comfortable living. Like many of us, he wanted to pursue his own creative passions and was painting in his spare time. A trip to Taos inspired him and he made the decision to buy a house, close his illustration business, move to Taos to pursue a full-time fine art career.
Overnight, he walked away from a comfortable income and the life he had built, all to pursue his dream of being a fine artist. That’s getting out of the comfort zone.
Envision Your Dreams
Sit down sometime and set aside some quiet time to think about your dreams and goals. Every successful artist has thought about his or her goals at some point in their lifetime. Write your dreams and goals down. Now look at your list. The items on that list will require going outside of your comfort zone to achieve. Artists never have dreams like “work at a dull day job and paint once a month if at all.” No! People’s dreams make them want to travel the world, see exotic places, exhibit their works in museums, and take their personal growth and artistic mastery to unbelievable levels. You may be comfortable with your current routine, but it will not get you where you need to go.
The great thing is that as you push yourself out of the comfort zone, then your comfort zone expands.
You will find that the things that used to feel uncomfortable are now quite comfortable and, at that point, you will find your dreams and goals expanding even further outside of your “new” comfort zone. And, at that point you will have taken your first step into a much larger world.
Push Yourself to Dance at the Edge
What are some specific ways you can get out of your comfort zone?
1. Take a workshop with a master artist (preferably one who paints differently than you.)
2. Sell or Give Away Your Best Work
3. Don’t Show your Bad or Even Mediocre Works
4. Commit to paint every day (experience is a function of number of paintings)
5. Have your work critiqued (by someone besides your family or friends)
6. Connect with your passion for painting
7. Stand out from the crowd, Find your voice
8. Work in a new medium
9. Take a painting trip to a new place (with someone who is better than you)
Push yourself. Fortune favors the bold brush.
BoldBrush Founder and Art Fanatic
PS – Don’t limit yourself to these ideas! This article is to stimulate your thinking. I’d love some feedback on other ideas. What are some ideas that you have found helpful in pushing yourselves to new levels in your artwork, career or life goals?
PPS – the image is your editor cooling off at a blowhole by the ocean in Maui, reached after a drive, getting lost, getting our jeep stuck, a hike, an encounter with some local chickens, and falling down a bamboo covered hillside. It was so worth it.
Today’s post is an updated version from a few years ago, but we’re republishing it again today because it’s still a timely and relevant message. Enjoy!