It’s tempting to blame limitations for limiting us.
To wish we had more resources, more time, more help, more talent.
But there’s never enough — and you don’t need it.
Limitations free your efforts and creativity, help you avoid being overwhelmed by infinite possibilities.
If you have no rules, you have no game.
If you have no gravity, no seasons, no wind and rain, you cannot grow.
All creativity work with limits.
Pushing against them moves us to new places.
Limits build up pressure that pops us into new dimensions
Hemingway used just 26 letters.
Miles had but three valves on his horn.
Painters limit themselves with canvas size, with the colors on their palettes, with the history of the artists that precede them.
Binary code limits engineers to just 111s and 000s. That limitation produced the computer you’re reading this on.
Shakespeare didn’t use iambic pentameter just to produce plays with iambic pentameter.
He used it to force himself to use new words which expressed new ideas.
How can you limit yourself?
6 thoughts on “The limit’s the sky.”
I paint with a limited palette. I also have limited time, so I challenge myself to do one stage (or a portion of said stage) and walk away until my next available time.
It seems like in order to do great things we need to start with the same vast storehouse that we imagine the “Pros” have. Thus it is safer not to dive into the pool, to excuse yourself from competing . During WWII, my elder brother was an MP guarding German prisoners of war. He discovered that one prisoner was an artist. As my brother could speak fluent German, they conversed about the artist’s life and his longing to be back at home working in art instead of being a soldier. My brother bought a box of crayons at the PX ( only art supplies they happen to sell), and included a pencil. He found some large sheets of paper that did not seem to be in use. These few supplies allowed the artist to find some joy in his art as he waited for the war to end. He used a small photo my brother carried of me, ” his little sister” ,to draw a picture of me as a gift for my brother. I still have that drawing and it is a reminder that very little is needed to make art. So…make art, not excuses.
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I decided to do the 75 days drawing challenge on very white, very smooth paper with one very black, soft- nibbed fountain pen that produces a thick line. This is totally unforgiving: the moment I put the pen to paper, ink flows and my drawing has to flow too. I have to wait for ink to dry so I must carefully plan the order in which I draw, indeed sometimes turn the sketchbook around. I am challenging myself to produce sketches that are not ‘only line’, that are varied in subject, and each an evocation of my day. Yet within these stricts guidelines I feel I am progressing. I always remember a riddle our physics teacher gave us: you are on a perfectly smooth, perfectly iced lake; you cannot walk because your soles won’t adhere to the ice. How do you get to shore? Answer: by kicking the air. Find some reaction, some resistance, and you’ll be moving. That’s the way I see limits.
It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in the cone…
Why must you change your blog layout? I finally got used to the old one and here ya go again!!! Grrr This one is sure to keep me away! (Oh, perhaps that’s the point! hahahaha)
A very wise post. But inquiring minds are dying to know: what happened to your doggie?? Why does he have to wear the cone of shame?