how to stretch your creative comfort zone

Creativity is inherently vulnerable. We create from our sweat, blood, and tears, and then show the world, unsure of how it will receive our work. That is why so many of us shy away from stepping into our creative selves. We are afraid of what others will think. We are afraid of judgment.

But I'm all about testing the edges of our comfort zones, because that's how we grow. If you feel that you haven't really tapped into that creative source, here are five tips that I have found helpful on my own journey: 

1. Let yourself explore a highly personalized or dark theme

Not all art is rainbows and butterflies. Art expresses the subconscious – the inner workings of the psyche. If it's weird and dark, let it out! If you have a strange obsession with your ancestor's bones (like me), then follow it. 

2. Show a friend or family member you trust 

It begins with one friend or family member. Pull them aside, and show them what you are working on. Unhook from their praise or criticism. What's important here is your vulnerability, not what they actually say about the piece. Practice showing your work and taking feedback with a grain of salt. 

3. Organize a small exhibition, show, performance, or unveiling

The days of being "picked" are over. We used to believe Oprah would one day pick us to be on her show, or pick us to be featured in her book club. But now we live in a time when we must pick ourselves, which means creating your *own* seat to teach or stage to perform. No one else will do it for you. A true act of self-love. Pick yourself. 

4. Put it online or give it a website

With website-building tools, and social media platforms like Instagram, there's no excuse for not showing your work. 

5. See if you can sell 

Etsy, anyone? Push your boundaries by testing whether you can sell something you've made. Would someone pay for what you have to offer? It shouldn't be the motivation behind the creative work, but I do find that helps us see what's possible from a livelihood point-of-view. Could we earn some income doing this work? There's no harm in trying. 

Comment below in this post: What is one step you will take to stretch your creative comfort zone?



PS: As many of you know, I love writing poetry and taking photographs. My first book of poetry "The Song of Death Valley," now available for purchase here – Enjoy! I recommend the read with a cup of your favorite tea. Now off to my Vision Quest and see you all on the other side. 

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