During his time in art school Phil Hansen developed a shake in his hand. Interested in pointillism, a technique that involves many many small dots to make up an image, Hansen’s intense attention to detail exacerbated the only made the shake worse. The problem led him to abandon art for some time. But missing his calling, Hansen decided to seek an expert’s advice. A neurologist told him he had permanent nerve damage and would never fully recover. Deciding to “embrace the shake,” Hansen returned to art using a different approach. Hansen realized that, “we have to first be limited, to become limitless.” A creative through and through, Hansen developed projects whereby he would give himself a “limit,” and then figure out how to overcome it. Deciding to make a work within certain parameters, Hansen came up with ideas such as creating a work of art for under $1, or a work made up of “karate chops,” or work made out of impermanent materials. Challenging himself and the limits (non-limits) of his creativity, Hansen enjoys the process and channels his ideas into these various projects.
Inspiring by deciding to be inspired by his restrictions, Hansen landed a TED talk (see above). His current project is a unique collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation. Hansen is creating art out of individual stories of philanthropy. You can still submit a story, or read others here.