Push the Limits
We all have a comfort zone. A place we can escape to, where we feel safe in what we're doing. But are you reaching your full potential by staying in that zone. What could you acheive if you just stepped out of it?
I asked myself that question recently, over and over again. For 20 years I worked in graphite. I hadn't picked up a paint brush since art college. I wanted to hone my drawing skill and work with one medium to get really good and enable me to have the confidence to sell my work.
On New Years Day 2015 I made a decision. 2015 was the year of colour! If you take a look at the photos on my facebook page, you will notice a stark difference in my work as soon as we entered 2015. I felt I had reached a limit with graphite and wanted to venture out and offer my customers another option and it really worked.
More people started to engage with my art, because I was using different mediums like colour pencil or paint. It was a liberating feeling, unlocking another skill I had hidden away for so many years. Since then I've done a couple of colour commissions, with more on the books and each time I pick up colour, I learn a new technique and broaden my skill as an artist even more.
I looked at being an artist, in a similar way to being a lawyer. A lawyer has to specialise in one area of the law, in order to be successful. The law is a vast subject and no one can be an expert in every aspect of it, ever heard of the saying 'jack of all trades, master of none'? So I saw sticking with graphite, as my way of becoming an expert in one medium of art. This attitude only got me so far!
Art is all about pushing the limits, just as picasso, van gogh, the impressionists did. Unless you push the limits you will never reach your full potential as an artist.
The picture I've chosen to go with this blog is my most recent work. It's not to everyone's taste, but you will notice, its not in colour. However, even though I've gone back to graphite, this was far from within my comfort zone. I'm not a hyper realist artist, but that's not to say I can't have a go and this is my first attempt at this technique. I couldn't have chosen a more difficult subject to draw. This is unfinished, but has so far taken me 10 hours and it's only A5 size. I stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed my skills as a graphite artist to its absolute limits with this piece and I think I've pulled it off. The sense of acheivement is fantastic.
So, I am urging you artists out there to push your limits. You never know what hidden talent is lying dormant inside you.