Can an Artist have Shaky Hands?

handshakyhand1‘Who says an artist needs to have a steady hand? ‘ is the question posed by a current television advertisement for the Mazda3 which goes onto suggest that you need to do a bit of creative thinking to overcome the challenges that you meet in automotive design and in your limitations when drawing.

Phil Hansen, the featured artist, blames years of intense work on pointillist drawings for nerve damage that has forced him to look for other ways of making art.

Essential Tremor

handLast time I saw my doctor, I asked him about it. I remember having had shaky hands since the age of seven.

‘Does it go off if you have a glass of wine?’ he asks.

‘How did you know?! It’s worse when I’m tired or when  I’m upset about something. For instance I was at a party the other week and had to hold my champagne glass close to me because I was worried that someone was going to want to shake my hand. I can’t manage a cup and saucer. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on it as a medical problem.’

‘Let’s not call it a medical problem,’ he suggests, ‘it’s a human condition; everyone’s hands shake to some extent.’

He diagnoses it as essential familial tremor. There’s no cure for it as such but if it gets worse (I can move on to affect the neck, voice or even legs) I could try beta-blockers. I think I’d rather stick with red wine for now.

‘There’s a hypnotherapist just opened above our hairdressers, might that help?’

His sceptical smile says it all but he admits; ‘I would have dismissed it altogether until last week when we were given a demonstration and I was quite impressed.’

It’s good to know that I’ve got the option of a back-up, either for specific events that I might be worried about, or if it gets worse as a regular thing but for the moment I’ll try not to get so stressed or so tired and to try and relax and enjoy life.

Like my colour blindness, I think my shaky hands have given me a challenge to spur me on in my artwork.

Link; Phil Hansen, Mazda commercial

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