I thought I genuinely knew what this was at the time.
The "box" is all the conventions your culture has taught you.
It is also the "autodrive" your mind gives you, where all you can do is the same thing over and over.
Outside the box would be outside convention and outside non-convention and merely seeking the truth of your idea.
IE to be a "goth" artist, you have successfully become non-conventional and may not be on your autodrive, but you are merely rebeling blindly.
Thinking outside the box is finding the truth on your own.
It is realizing there is some truth in what people see, what people tell you and your preference, but outside the box is beyond this.
It is what picasso saw when he started cubism, he saw the shapes not the way he was always taught to see them, not the way his mind saw them and not the way the people who defied convention saw them.
So to be an artist is to go outside of your comfort zone, not to rebel and not to follow and not even to lead.
It is to think for yourself, without that autodrive of where your mind is telling you to go.
Have I ever mentioned I rarely give up on an idea once it is in my mind.
Yes, that little research bug drives me to learn more than any teacher, boss or mentor ever could.
I'd love to hear thoughts on this.