EMBRACE THE SHAKE is the motto of artist Phil Hansen.
While he was studying at the Art Academy his hand suddenly started shaking. The problem became worse and worse and eventually he wasn’t able to draw as he once had. It would seem a devastating bit of news for a working artist. But sometimes looks can be deceiving…
Phil felt completely defeated at first. He believed his time as an artist was finished. After a visit to the neurologist, the doctor said: “why don’t you just embrace the shake?”
A simple suggestion that, at first glance, seems much easier said than done. But it’s exactly what Phil did.
After returning home, he grabbed a pencil and started creating incredible scribbles and squiggly lines. He became inspired and soon discovered different ways of creating art despite his shaking hands, or perhaps more accurately, because of them. The new situation caused him to paint with his feet or with a welding torch.
Phil realized that accepting his disability became a motivation for his creativity. At this point in his life, he even feels he cannot produce art if there are no limitations. For the artist, the opposite truth now applies: “if anything is possible, creativity gets blocked”. In the new reality he even creates limitations in order to trigger creativeness. He has, for example, started producing art for which he charges no more than 1 dollar per piece. He has even painted while performing karate moves. He has discovered that he needs to be limited in order to create limitless art. According to Phil “learning to be creative within the box, is the most important lesson to learn. It is the best chance we have to change the world”.
This extraordinary example of using the strategy of acceptance shows that embracing the problem can have a life changing effect. Phil’s limitation became the source of his creativity, which changed his live forever.