February 6, 2009

The Comfort Zone

This journal page was created as a reminder to shed my heavy cloak of artistic discomfort and doubt. For the past week I've been working on a client project that's relatively outside of my comfort zone. I paint murals for children, and nurseries are my specialty.

The nursery I'm about to begin is quite different from my repertoire. Instead of choosing the usual baby themes and my often requested enchanted garden (complete with a variety of magical "winged things"), I've been busy enlarging animal drawings for a nature inspired, woodland themed nursery. No little anthropomorphic animals for this nursery. Mom and Dad have requested "fairly realistic looking" critters.

Admittedly, I'm a LOT more comfortable painting sweet little creatures wearing hats, coats and cute little shoes. I must admit, I DO love the fantasy of it all . . . my work becomes my escape.

Staying inside my artistic comfort zone is a lot like staying under a fluffy, warm feather duvet on a snowy Saturday in January. It's SO nice and comforting; it's SO snug. Why venture out? Sometimes as artists we tend to stay rooted in where we are, cloaked in a cape made of doubt and fear, rather than choosing to move forward creatively. We cling to our old techniques because they're so very familiar and safe. We fear rejection, failure and sometimes, even success. But nothing ventured, nothing learned; no opportunity for growth.

Once I begin to paint this project and stretch my wings, who knows . . . this may become one of my very favorite projects. Gotta go . . . the little creatures are waiting in the forest for their befuddled Snow White!

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