Many students are pleasantly surprised by the way that these requirements can stimulate creativity and ideas. I give one assignment called "Routine", in which students are asked to create a drawing based on one of their routines. Hopelessly addicted to chocolate pudding, one student depicted an exaggerated tower of empty pudding cups while another student visually represented flashbacks of his mother's death from cancer.
These days, we can consume our art in conditions of perfection: CD's with no crackle or static, photographs with no scratches. But I think we all find something intriguing in the idea of the disturbance. We love the Easter egg in the video game, the intentional flaw of a Navajo rug or a quilt. More and more of us have tired of the digital clarity of a CD, and film is still being produced for those who want the imperfections of a negative in the darkroom.
I realized we are so limited in our thinking and the universe is so abundant, it's our fears that block it. When I set out on the streets of New York with my camera, there is that moment of doubt that all artists feel. "I can't do this. This time it won't work. I'm a fraud." And then, like learning to play the harmonica, or getting up on skates for the first time, you're flying, and the hair on the back of your neck stands on end and you lose all track of time. That's it, for me anyway.