Blog / 2022 / Pushing the Limits of What’s Possible
October 27, 2022
“This particular client operates in such a way that they push the limits of what’s possible.” The lawyer raised their eyebrows ever so slightly, just enough to make the Orwellian doublespeak in their comment obvious.
I know my lip didn’t curl in response—I would have felt that. But, as my partner never ceases to remind me, my picture might as well appear in the dictionary as the antonym to “inscrutable.” My disgust must have shown on my face.
And why shouldn’t it? This high-end lawyer I’d met at a party was describing a client who does illegalish or even outright unlawful things, and they were bragging about it. That’s hardly shocking in itself, I know. The part that got to me was the perversion of the phrase “pushing the limits of what’s possible.”
The whole interaction made me want to take back the concept. It made me want to live my life in a way that actually pushes the limits of what’s possible—and not by being unethical.
Sometimes, that’ll mean doing this: painting Hope and 43 other portraits over the course of just 66 days.
That’s pushing the limits of what’s possible for me, because slow art is my thing. I usually spend anywhere from six to fifty hours on each artwork I create, so painting 44 portraits in such a short timeframe shouldn’t even be feasible. I’m honestly still not sure how I did it, but I’m glad I managed it, because the work is on display right now in Lambertville, New Jersey!
Generally speaking though, pushing the limits of what’s possible in my life means what it means for every artist who’s not independently wealthy. It means making art every day and making enough money with it so that I can keep on making art every day.
And the fact that artists are out there doing this—the fact that artists are pushing the limits of what’s possible more than any overpriced lawyer could even imagine—does more than raise my eyebrows. It prompts the biggest grin you’ll ever see.
Artists are the antidote to so much of what’s wrong in this world, and it’s my wish that every artist know this in their bones.
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