Seriously, though. In many ways "stepping outside of your comfort zone" means so much more than just changing up the artwork that I make. While that is an essential part of the MFA experience, it is also about taking that artwork and showing it to a broader art world outside of my circle of friends and family in Denver and my colleagues in Hays, by applying to various shows outside of my circle. It's about working with a diverse group of students who are all doing a different style of artwork than what I like to do. It's about trying my hand at new mediums that are sometimes difficult to master (think blacksmithing). It's about writing a blog about my experiences as an MFA student, putting those thoughts and ideas out there for anyone and everyone to see. For some of my colleagues it's about fighting to learn new computer skills, though I should really learn some new software programs as well, like a 3-D imaging program.
It is also, most importantly and most difficultly, about getting out of the comfortable place that we have been living in and actively working to change not only our artwork, but, by default, ourselves and our place in our own world. Some of my colleagues have had friends be almost hostile to the idea of them going back to school for a masters degree. Some of us question whether or not we are worthy of this opportunity, if our artwork has true merit. It has been a tough journey at times, but I must admit that, looking at the work that I have made at the end of this semester, I'm seeing that things are starting to come together, despite the struggle that I have felt this semester (or perhaps because of it?).
Getting out of your comfort zone, getting those new experiences, you can't help but change and grow and, in the end, that's what makes it all worthwhile. What are you doing to get out of your comfort zone from time to time?