{ Looking at Limitations As a Source of Creativity } Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake …*

“Embracing the shake, for me, wasn’t just about art and having art skills; it turned out to be about life and having life skills. Because, ultimately, most of what we do takes place here, inside the box, with limited resources. Learning to be creative within the confines of our limitations is the best hope we have to transform ourselves and, collectively, transform our world. Looking at limitations as a source of creativity, changed the course of my life. Now, when I run into a barrier, or I find myself creatively stumped, I sometimes still struggle, but I continue to show up for the process and try to remind myself of the possibilities.” – Phil Hansen

Some deeply important truths and buckets of inspiration in this great TED talk from artist Phil Hansen!

 rethinking > inventing …

{ truths } 

“Once I embraced the shake, I realized I could still make art. I just had to find a different approach to making the art that I wanted.”


“After having gone from a single approach to art, I ended up having an approach to creativity that completely changed my artistic horizons. This was the first time I had encountered this idea that embracing a limitation could actually drive creativity.”


“As I searched around in the darkness, I realized I was actually paralyzed by all of the choices that I never had before. And it was then that I thought back to my jittery hand–embrace the shake. And I realized, if I ever want to get my creativity back, I had to quit trying so hard to think outside the box and get back into it. I wondered, could you become more creative by looking for limitations? What if instead of painting with a brush, I could only paint with karate chops?”


“Limitations may be the most unlikely of places to harness creativity, but perhaps one of the best ways to get ourselves out of ruts, rethink categories and challenge accepted norms. And instead of telling each other to seize the day, maybe we can remind ourselves, every day, to seize the limitations.”

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