Thursday, August 13, 2009

Comfort Zones

"Do not resist events that move you out of your comfort zone, especially when your comfort zone was not all that comfortable." -- Alan Cohen


It’s been almost a year to the day of when I announced my first hand-coloring workshop. It was an idea I thought about, but not too seriously, until the bottom started to fall out of the art festival circuit I had been on for over 10 years.

I was tired, frustrated, disappointed and scared. I knew I needed to make some changes in the way I did business, but at first did not know what direction to go in.

The decision to hold a workshop was not an easy one to make. I was terrified, but I created an email with information about the class, hit “send” and then held my breath. Within a couple of hours I already had two people signed up. My first reaction was “sh#%, now I really have to do it!" That class filled up pretty quickly and I soon had a waiting list and another class scheduled.

I wrote about that first workshop in an earlier post so I won’t go into to detail, but let’s just say I was soooo happy when it was over with.





Fast forward a year and I have now taught this class about six times, as well as a more advanced version of it twice. I have made changes based on things I learned from previous classes and as a result, get a little more comfortable each time I do it.

I have also discovered that I really enjoy teaching! I have formed a lot of great relationships with people that have taken my class and I love seeing students discover their own creativity, sometimes for the first time.

In the last couple of months I have been trying to come up with ideas for other workshops. One idea that I tossed around was a two day class on floral photography. This would be in a studio setting where on the first day we would work on setting up and then photographing flowers, and then on the second day, each student would hand-color their favorite image from the day before. I was a little nervous about such an undertaking and was debating whether or not to set a date and make an announcement, when I came across the above quote. So again, I hit the “send” button and held my breath. Well, as of the other day it has sold out and I am excited about the ideas I have for teaching this new class.

I am a big believer of stepping out of your comfort zone once in awhile. It’s how we grow. At first, I thought I was offering workshops as a way to supplement my income, but teaching has opened up a whole range of different opportunities for me, some of which I hope to share in future posts.

4 comments:

  1. Way to go, Dianne! Teaching can be a lot of prep work with a whole lot of anxiety mixed in. But so rewarding.
    Sounds like you have found some interesting class offerings and the response attests to it.

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  2. Congratulations Dianne. Teaching can be terrifying, but it seems you have it figured out. Your work is so beautiful I would think there are many people who would like to learn with your guidance.
    Great job!

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  3. Thanks for the encouragement!

    It does seem overwhelming at times and takes away from time I spend working on my own photographs, but in the process I believe I am learning just as much, if not more, than my students.

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  4. Congratulations Dianne! Your stepping up to challeneges and changes is inspiring.

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