Working in my comfort zone

It's time for the monthly Jewelry Artisans Community's blog carnival again. Our topic today is "comfort zone".
What's the comfort zone?
Wikipedia tells me that "the comfort zone is a psychological state in which a person feels familiar, at ease, in control, and experiences low anxiety. A person in this state uses a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk".

I'm not going to talk about all of my comfort zone, just that little spot in the corner where I have set up my studio.
What is my comfort zone as a jewelry artisan, anyway? And how are creativity in artisan crafts and comfort zone linked? How much of it is how to promote yourself? Is it important if you are doing it full or part time or maybe even just as a hobby?

Let's get to my limits that I can think of at the moment:
I limit myself to three techniques mostly, wire crochet, wire knit, and bead looming.
I hardly ever make really big pieces. That doesn't mean I always go for instant gratification and knock out 15 minute pieces. I do spend hours on some pieces and patterns, but sometimes I also lose patience during a project which turns it into a forever WIP if it's out of luck.
I avoid tutorials.
I don't deal well with some styles or colors, especially if I don't wear them myself.

Now do those things hold me back? Should I step outside my comfort zone? Am I maybe just trying to convince myself if I say that I'm happy with what I'm creating? Should I ask for more criticism? Should I try to get my pieces juried? Enter them into challenges? Send them to magazines to push myself? Look for shops that would take them on consignment?
I'm not saying these thoughts never haunt me, but so far I have always ended up back in the studio corner of my comfort zone because frankly, when contemplating it I really am quite happy at the moment with what I do. I haven't run out of creative ideas yet and it makes me feel good to create and to experiment with things within my limits.
Maybe my goals are not high enough, maybe I'm too lazy, maybe the hammock in my comfort zone is too comfortable or maybe I'm just frightened and won't admit it to myself.

The thoughts will come back, no doubt, and that is a good thing, too. They will kick me and eventually the kicks might be hard enough to throw me out of that hammock. We'll see.

Here's a video about the comfort zone, the learning zone and the panic zone which was interesting AND fun to watch.

What do our other JAC members have to say about their comfort zone? Hop over there and have a look.
I'll add more links as they come in.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
Echoes of Ela
Ponder the cat

P.S. At the time I am writing this post I have eleven more days to come up with an idea for a steampunk challenge piece. I'm not a steampunk person and I don't know much about it. The only thing that comes to mind are watch parts of which I don't have any at the moment.
If I haven't had an idea until now when this post goes live, I'm in trouble because it will be only three more days.
I am tempted to say that I'll skip that challenge, but this is one opportunity for a very small walk outside of my creative comfort zone into the learning zone and I shouldn't miss it.
I guess I'll start with watching this episode of Castle for inspiration as there is not much else to do at this time of night. Wish me luck!


  1. I have a lot of things that are outside of my comfort zone.
    Now I wished I had joined the blog carnival for this month.

    I too made it just in the nick of time, I didn't want to skip the steampunk challenge either. :)
    Now I off watching the video you posted here. :D

    1. I'm not sure yet. The watches I got don't work, and I don't think I'll be able to come up with something without materials ...

  2. There's nothing wrong with be happy where you are at this moment in time. When the day comes that those thoughts push you out of the comfortable place you currently occupy, you'll know that the time is right to try something new.

    Cat, I remember when you first started looming and at the time that was probably a giant step outside of your comfort zone.

    I know you'll figure out a way to use those watches - you're too stubborn not to!

    1. "being" not "be"

      *face meet desk - sigh*

    2. I wonder what it's called if you leave your usual zone to do something new, but it does feel comfortable. It's probably going from the comfort zone to the learning zone without hitting the panic zone!