Monday, March 23, 2015

Out Of Your Comfort Zone

(pendant above is available here)

 Many people think that the best stuff happens "outside of your comfort zone."  Personally, I don't think in order to do your best work that you have to continually leave that familiar place--but I do think you need to increase its boundaries. Move your fences on a daily basis.  Try to learn something new, and cultivate curiosity in all things. 

Last week's theme was a bit of a bust and I am thinking that one of the reasons many people found it difficult to participate is that when we leave our "comfort zones' and venture into unknown scary places, we want to do that without worrying about what other people will think of the path we cut through the foreign jungle.  Having to share your "out of the comfort zone" work in so public a forum may have defeated the purpose of the exercise- which was to STRETCH and TO GROW.  While I had every intention of abandoning my comfort zone of painting- which for me is a solid black line-because I knew I would be sharing it,  I found myself being too critical and too much "in my head" to really enjoy trying a new  technique. And so maybe it is no accident that I forgot to bring the finished painting to work with me this morning.  So here I will share what I did that was highly unusual for me this weekend:
I rarely make sculptures, but started this one that I hope to enter in the Clay National.

Someone who did not hesitate and had her work off to me within a day of the prompt is artist Kim Lawrence.  She wrote:
"Outside the comfort zone" for me was to play around with digital painting using ArtStudio on my iPad. The program has been sitting on my iPad for a year and I haven't touched it.   And actually…
It was very liberating and fun! I am truly not over thinking and just letting whatever happens happens. These are my first 2 attempts.  No pre-planning, no preliminary sketches, just letting creative expression be what it is"

"We Just Fit" came about when I drew 2 shapes that fit together… inspiring the painting of 2 people fitting together physically and emotionally.

"Together as One" is about global compassion and unity… simply inspired as the painting evolved. 
Artist Jack Wilcox took a beloved character out of his comfort zone 
"Cozmoe Explores Earth For The First Time"
Digital collage, triptych

Jack wrote: "Cozmoe is an 8-bit video game character I designed. He is an interstellar space explorer from a distant planet. In this triptych, he is seen encountering some of the many hostile environments and dangerous living things on Planet Earth. It is not uncommon for Cozmoe to feel "out of his comfort zone" while exploring new planets.
A lot of my current work is inspired by outer space and sometimes I find myself fantasizing about being in space. While this would be way out of my comfort zone, I think it would be very peaceful."

Artist Karen Hahn submitted this piece which is very different from her usual work, but equally as awesome:

 She wrote: "It is a vintage paint by number with my own text.  I like the double meaning of the message;  God is awesome, and so are you.   or me.   we need to remember that more!"

I realized looking at the pieces above that it would have been interesting to contrast these works with items in these artist's existing portfolios.  It is easier to see the distance people have traveled when viewing a map that shows the starting place.  Next time!

Here's a piece from one of my all time favorite peeps, artist Mary Anne Johnson
Mary Anne wrote: "LOVE a good deadline... Work in progress??? Very nervous about this." 

I think Mary Anne is right that deadlines can be INCREDIBLY INSPIRING, lol.  I think this is awesome and I applaud her for being nervous and doing it anyway!!  We all need to do more of what scares us or makes us nervous!

Here's another. Victoria Atelier makes gorgeous jewelry using wood and metal leafing, such as this pair of earrings:
$13.50 available here.  Now look what she does with watercolor, pencil and ink
Original painting $135.00

If you met Sheree Burlington in person you would be surprised to learn that she had any trepidation about ANYTHING--she is the type of gal who dives right in and teaches herself new things all the time.  Well known for her digital collage work and beautiful personalized ceramics business museware, Sheree has always been fearless about making additions to her creative wheelhouse.
Recently, she has been learning pattern making.
She wrote:  "I cannot tell you how much fun I am having in Illustrator! I have learned that I make my sketches too complicated, making them difficult to color. These are just doodles on photocopy paper - loving me that Illustrator fairy dust."

Which is a good reminder to us all: to play, and find the joy in discovery.   Remember when you were little  and it didn't matter if your drawing was going to go up on the fridge,  be given to your aunt Ruthie, or even perhaps be stealthily moved into the trash by a mom with too many papers lying found joy in just the process, and the magic was in the doing.  That is what we all seek to return to as adult artists- those moments of transcendental creativity where you are so involved in the process that that product takes a back seat.  

$4.03 and available here

Next prompt is due Monday, APRIL 13- giving you a whole THREE WEEKS to complete and submit to me.  The theme is SHOWERS.  No porn please, LOL.  In between prompts I will begin featuring some of my friends and their work as well as continuing to share art contests and opportunities.

I know I had a problem with comments last week- but it should be fixed now!  Have a creative day!

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