Podcast: How to get out of your comfort zone as a painter

Art as inner journey, Developing an art practice, Personal stories, Podcast

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Simone Nijboer, Dutch abstract artist, online art teacher, daily painter, creativity accelerator


Would you love to paint, but never take the time? Sign up here for the free video series about collage making, and start painting now!


Would you love to paint, but never take the time? Sign up here for the free video series about collage making, and start painting now!


  1. Dotty Seiter

    Oh my gosh, Simone! Outstanding! And what a gift!

    Your podcast message was just what I needed today. Thank you!

    I respect and understand your concerns about creating a podcast (for the first time ever, no less!) in other than your native tongue. You certainly have modeled stepping outside your comfort zone in a very concrete way. Not only in a very concrete way but also with tremendous success—your English is excellent, and your presentation feels warm and conversational. My hat is off to you!

    Additional feedback: I thought your ‘turning point’—at about minute 13—where you wrapped up your personal story and shifted to reflect on that story, with heightened attention to your topic of getting out of the comfort zone, was very effective, as was your numbering of the points you made as you spoke. You were easy to follow and you created a good sense of flow.

    What fun to find myself featured and our friendship celebrated in your podcast! Thank you for your kind words. It’s lovely to look back on the many little brave steps we took that put us in a position to meet each other despite an ocean’s being between us. That connection has been nourishing my painting life ever since. The best!

    In response to your questions to me as a listener:
    1. The first step I took that was out of my comfort zone was to try my hand at painting for the first time by committing to a 4-day painting retreat with a mentor and a longtime close friend who lives 1000 miles away from me. That adventure changed my life! Ahead of time, I looked at the weekend as no more than a weekend adventure, and I guess I thought I might dabble with paints occasionally. I never once imagined that I would be painting—daiy!—four years later. I have taken many steps out of my comfort zone since then: starting a blog, committing to daily painting, participating in 30-day challenges, posting on Instagram, taking a few classes, showing several paintings at a fundraiser exhibit. Plus, painting itself continues to push me past comfort, over and over again.
    2. My next very uncomfortable step is to get a personal art website of my own up and running. All sorts of challenges there.
    3. I have lined up help to move forward with my website. I’ll work with a mentor starting two weeks from now.

    Thank you for holding a hand out to encourage me and others.

    • Simone Nijboer

      Thanks, Dotty, for such warm words about my English! I will not wave them away, but savor them 😉

      I did not even know about your painting retreat! Was there a whole group of painters? Or just your friend and you and a mentor? Was that when you started to paint abstract, or was that later? I think that was later, wasn’t it?
      Hats off to you that you are going to start a personal art-website soon. I’m looking SO forward to it!


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