Embrace the Shake

I am not the best of sketchers as this little drawing I did for Susan Yeate’s 30 day sketchbook challenge demonstrates. Still I found these little dancers pleasing in spite of their lack of realism and anatomical correctness. Somewhere along the line I stopped being quite as self critical about my artistic endeavours. And so it was that I found the freedom to unleash my creative self. I’ve written before about naive artists like Maud Lewis and Alfred Wallis. In spite of constraints such as physical health issues, poverty and lack of training they produced work that has influenced my view of my ability to create enormously. So has the guy who is the subject of the ‘Embrace the Shake’ TED talk.

Phil Hansen was at art school when he developed an incurable tremor caused by nerve damage. He thought that his dream to be an artist was over. However his neurologist suggested that he should ‘Embrace the Shake’. This idea took him on a journey where he welcomes limitations rather than becomes restricted by them. In doing this his capacity for creativity has expanded. Just pop the kettle on and watch the video with a cuppa. You’ll see what I mean.

I’ve mentioned before that I suspect that I’m in the neurodiverse gang in spite of a lack of diagnosis. When I was a nipper that type of thing wasn’t contemplated. You were perhaps considered stupid, naughty, or in my case clumsy and inattentive. There’s no way on earth I can produce precise, highly technical work. I still find trying to do so stressful and upsetting. That stymied me for a while but people like Phil Hansen show me that deviation from the perfect is okay. For me, what I would have previously seen as ‘faults are now part and parcel of the character of my work. I urge those who are saddened by the fact that they ‘can’t do art’ to have a rethink.

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