I have some extra time so I wanted to post to the blog about something important to me that I learned from other artists and well, successful people in general. To be direct I want to talk about complacency. We all have the tendency to settle in nice and cozy to the things in life that come easy to us or that we have learned to master over time. This notion is fine and perfectly adequate. I hate that phrase "perfectly adequate", like it somehow means, "eh, you'll do". This is not how I live my life. As an artist this translates to living and creating within your comfort zone. Sure we know many artists that specialize in abstracts or in portrait work but have you ever known an artist that can do more than one style and enjoys stepping outside the comfort zone? In many cases it is rare (reference the artist Gerhard Richter if you want to see artistic diversity). I began my step into the art world working soley with portraits why? Because it came easy to me but I quickly learned that it wasn't enough for me if I wanted to grow as an artist. So taking some advice from mentors I expanded into cityscape work and from there I created a series of paintings that eventually were picked up by the local city government. Had I not ventured outside my realm this would not have happened. In many cases this can apply to our daily lives no matter what field of work we are in or situation. My current exploration is now in oil painting and contemporary work. I listened to a speaker at an event once and he said that most people are afraid of feeling dumb or better put they are afraid of feeling like they don't know what they are doing. It reminds of being a child and first learning to ride a bike. That feeling of novice for a first timer. How many times do we feel like that in life? Perhaps most of us avoid those moments but I love them. Maybe I like feeling dumb, no thats not it I like the newness of it the feeling of exploration and conquering new challenges. Over time these become notches in our belt and we grow to become well rounded individuals and/or artists. So the next time you are wondering what it would be like to create something larger than ever or paint something smaller than ever don't just sit and wonder in fear. Challenge yourself to take it on as a lesson and find out something about yourself you never knew before.