Today in my Introduction to Creativity class my teacher presented us with a video of an artist, Phil Hansen, who lost coordination in his hand. Hansen specialized in pointillism, a very precise and controlled artistic method. When he lost control in his hand his dream of becoming an artist vanished, until one doctor years later, diagnosed him with permanent nerve damage and told him to embrace his shaking hand. By embracing his limitation, he was able to break through the creative confines his mind had created about art, and adopted a new way of thinking in which the end result, or masterpiece, was not the most important part of the process. He then challenged himself creatively by setting new limitations for himself, such as creating a piece using only $1 worth of art supplies or painting a portrait in hamburger grease.
This made me think about my own shaky hand: fear of letting people in. This developed as a protection mechanism growing up: my idea was that the less I let a person in, the less potential their words would have to affect me, in that sense I felt as if I could never get hurt. I quickly learned that concealing my personality wasn’t going to fix my anxiety about getting embarrassed or hurt. The video we watched in class today encouraged me to embrace who I am and to live fearlessly.