First of all thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate it
Well...where should I start? lots of things have changed lately, I dropped out of school two weeks ago, mainly because I was not doing stuff the right way and it was killing me quite literally.
I found myself turning in half-assed work every class, every day, and sure you can build a career like that, but this world doesn't need more people with that attitude. I either do things right or don't do them at all. A friend of mine once wrote something that really stuck with me "If you're committed you look for solutions, if you're not you look for the way out"...and I was not committed.
When I decided to come back to Argentina this year (I'm from Ecuador btw) to study I really thought that it wouldn't have such an impact on my health, nothing could have been further from the truth, an awful lot of days with no sleep (at least 2 or 3 on a row per week) coupled with days without food (sometimes simultaneously) definitely took its toll. My hand/wrist aches aggravated, my spine started to hurt and with it my neck and my head, and my eyes were burning all the time. It's interesting how health related issues put your life into perspective and lots of the things that seemed to matter don't matter anymore. And one day, just like so, I woke up and dropped out of school, no back up plan, no nothing, it's safe to say that my relief is vastly greater than my fear for the unknown and uncertain future.
I should mention too that Argentina was getting too expensive for me, prices were increasing every 6 or 7 days, some stuff duplicated quickly. I literally didn't do some projects out of sheer hunger, I didn't feel like buying materials for assignments when I could use that money to buy bread or fruits. Recently I sold 1/3 of my clothes just so I could pay the rent, things could have gone a bit smoothly if I managed to sell my pc I suppose...
I'll be on a plane back home in a week or so. And now I'm gonna stop writing because I feel like my thumb is gonna fall off...Take care guys
Hey man, hope you're holding up well. Really saddened to hear that you had to go through an experience like that. I had a terrible time myself when I left my city after school, but I managed to return home, and it worked out very well for me afterwards.
I think it's very important that you have a home to come back to. I know many guys who didn't, and suffered for it. Just go back there and collect yourself. I understand you went through an experience that is going to stay with you throughout your life, for good or for bad. But I just wanted to say that I know first hand that it's not impossible to turn this into something that will make you stronger. Go home, be around the people you like, spend quality time with them, and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll be feeling stronger than ever.
Again, it's very important to have somewhere to go back to, and I'm glad you were able to choose that option. Take care Andres, I sincerely hope you do well.
psage: thanks dude...still trying to speak in spanish eh? hehe
Vritra: I'm actually grateful for the experience, I'm aware that indeed I'm a stronger person because of that. I hope it didn't sound like I was complaining, since it wouldn't make sense as I made all the decisions myself. In fact, I'm not planning on staying in my hometown, not to sound harsh or ungrateful but I'm looking forward to get out of there as soon as I can. At this point in my life, however, it looks like I need to take a step back in order to go to the next thing. Thanks for the good wishes.
PREVENTING CG ARTIST'S COMMON INJURIES
When I was under therapy for a couple of months (for problems with my hands/wrists, back, and eyes), I learned a ton about Repetitive Strain Injuries and I thought that it was stuff worth sharing.
People often complain that it's hard to find useful information about the business side of art, well I've found that an even more overlooked topic is that of health. It's one of those things that you don't hear anyone talk about and you don't even realize it can happen until it happens to you.
Now I'm not a doctor, so I cannot really tell you what to do, feel free to disagree at any time, this is just from personal experience and random things I've picked up from different doctors.
My main goal is to make you think twice about the way you do things everyday, so that you stop taking it for granted, is it really the most ergonomic way to go about it?
I see lots of 13, 15, 17 year olds doing awesome work and really putting the hours in order to excel. And that is wonderful, however, I'd like them to consider the impact it could have on their health, maybe not now, but it could damage them overtime if they don't get educated about some healthy habits. I started drawing more regularly at age 15, and got much more serious about it after I reached 17, obviously this is not all because of drawing but it sure has played an important role on my actual condition.
So if it helps you in any way, please share it.
EDIT: Sorry if the drawings look like crap, I haven't picked up a pencil in more than 10 months so I'm very rusty...
Hey man good to hear from ya. Thanks a LOT for that post and diagram it really was informative. I am well on my way to some kind of crippling hand ordeal I have terrible sitting/pc set up habits and already get minor ringing pains. But lately I've been being more aware of it and it's still really hard to kick these pencil holding habits.
I've been putting grips on my pens and finding that wider bodied tools make it unconsciously easier to hold the pencil with a more relaxed grip.
Drawing from the shoulder and not "monkey paw"ing are still things i find so hard to do.
Have you guys ever just found yourself going back to the tight rigid grips over time unconsciously?
I just gotta remind myself to do this more often... (whats in the diagram)
again... THANK you i didn't know some of that.
also here's the Daarken Post <- Really helpful EXTREMELY informative video about carpel tunnel and where to place the tablet. (Not much about holding traditionals, but applicable, also has treatment advice)
i'm sure you've seen it, if not maybe it'll help someone else seeing this.
He explains it all pretty well.
Though, what gets to me more than anything is...
Originally Posted by andres333
... I haven't picked up a pencil in more than 10 months..
THAT fucking sucks and I'm extremely sorry to hear that. More than anything I hope you get back on the drawing horse and pick up where you left off.
Thanks Andres, its such a shame you have to leave but i know you understand that the things lived always makes you wiser and you are the proof of that. The common injuries post its awesome, really informative, but theres something ive been wanting to ask you. This chart applies for paper drawing and big tablets, but for small tablets or sketchbooks, is there anything you found could be done to not stress your wrist in such small surfaces? Thank you again and have a good trip home, i know you might not want to stay there long but enjoy the time you have there nevertheless. For all of us See you in Quito bro...
Feel free to stop by My Sketchbook (harsh criticism extremely needed )
p sage: Chapin? What's that? lol man you're killing me
Sporus: Exactly dude we go back to the bad postures unconsciously, we naturalize them, we take them for granted, that's why next to the heading I wrote "be critical". I'm glad you found it helpful thanks for caring
rokushoxxx: All I can think of for small drawing surfaces is to use your extended pinky finger as an anchor, it takes practice to get dexterity drawing this way but it's definitely worth it in the long run. If you check out some of Feng Zhu and Peter Han tutorials as well as other Art Center graduates , you'll see that that's the way they approach to it.
rich4rt: No problem mate, thanks for stopping by. It's so fulfilling to know that you found it helpful
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a doctor, so I cannot really tell you what to do, feel free to disagree at any time, this is just from personal experience and random things I've picked up from different doctors.
My main goal is to make you think twice about the way you do things everyday, so that you stop taking it for granted
Hey bro, thanks for stopping by my sb. Ill make sure to work more on projects and theres a really big one coming!. I was checking your new common ijuries post and i tend to sith that way when i work. Thank you for the really usefull info and keep drawing! see you soon brah...
Feel free to stop by My Sketchbook (harsh criticism extremely needed )
Hey man, nice second instructional poster! Are those available for print? I think anyone working with a small pen tablet needs those as posters in their room!
I have a intuos4 medium so its not so bad. but I see how depending on what zoom you work in, you could really be unconsciously destroying your wrist.
So after reading those posts I've been incorporating them into my drawing, and it has really helped me. Sitting at right angles and with my tablet directly in front of where my arm is, parallel to my mouse hand (i'm a lefty) and drawing from the elbow and shoulder have remedied my ringing wrist pain! I don't know what I did right... I may be unconsciously drawing from my elbow now. However my non-drawing arm, my right/mouse hand is deeestroyed... it is SLOW and PAINLESS ...people be warned
Anyway so what's your set up now adays? Maybe take a picture or show a diagram of the ideal set up?
Do you really stand while working? I think that'd be amazing, it'd force you to take breaks and help posture as stated.
Now its just the secret of trying to do these good habits constantly and unconsciously.
hope you don't mind i posted the wrist poster on another users SB b/c they had similar injuries, gave you credit. direct [img] to the pic on this page