Artist Tip-Limitation or Liberation?


Everyone experiences setbacks and disappointments. And every challenge can wreak its unique havoc in our lives. As artists, you face obstacles daily, from creative blocks to gaps between your creative vision and the actual work you produce. Accepting that as a given does not have to equate to complacency.


The real question is not what happened to get you off track, or even why. The real question is what are you going to do about it? Will you resign yourself to defeat and see it as a limitation or embrace it as a source of liberation? Hard as it may seem, empowering yourself to understand limitations as freeing you up to do something different is very liberating and can lead to amazing creativity.


An example of that comes from a very talented artist, Phil Hansen. To make a long story short, he developed a hand tremor after years of working in pointillism. It got so bad that he even quit making art for a few years. But he missed making art too much to stay away, so he went to a specialist. When he got the diagnosis that his hand tremor was caused by permanent nerve damage, Phil took to heart what the doctor advised – he embraced the tremor. By doing so, he opened himself up to an evolving creative spirit that took him on an unexpected journey of making art in new ways. Over time, he went from being unable to draw a straight line to painting the Mona Lisa out of hamburger grease. By embracing his limitation and allowing that to liberate him, Phil’s creativity was no longer limited by his tremor – to the contrary, his hand tremor made his creativity boundless.


If you feel frustration or disappointment with any of your art practice, take a page from Phil. By accepting what is, you can open the door to finding different approaches to doing what you are passionate about in personal ways that expand your creativity in rewarding and incredible ways. Be inspired by Phil, and know that you too, can overcome limitations in your path to achieve your goals.


More info from the Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake


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