I’ve loved drawing for as long as I can remember. In fact when I was learning to write and finding it difficult I used to imagine each letter as a drawing. When I left school I studied art and went on to university to study drawing.
Over the last ten years or so my tics have affected how much I can draw and the way I can do it. Because my arms can jerk suddenly, each time I do a drawing I know that there’s a good chance it’ll get spoilt by a sudden movement that’s outside of my control. Sometimes I go with these involuntary movements and change the marks they make into something new, but most of the time it’s just very frustrating.
A few weeks ago I was introduced to an incredible new tool! Something I’d known about for ages but without realising that it could revolutionise my approach to drawing – an iPad and a digital pencil.
My colleague Fred uses one to make notes all the time but I’d never thought about using it for drawing. But as soon as I tried it I knew how transformative this was going to be for me. All I had to do when I moved unexpectedly was hit the undo button. My new iPad arrived last week and since then I’ve created all sorts of images, many of which my tics would have made impossible for me to do on paper.
When I was a child I loved drawing detailed imaginary worlds just for fun. Over the last few days I’ve been doing this again, this time inventing places I think my niece Bean and her toy penguins Avi and Sticker might like to visit.
I’ve really enjoyed making these drawings and it’s been a great way of getting to know my new tool. My arm tics have never stopped me drawing but they have made it a much more stressful process – something that has only really become clear now that a lot of that stress has been lifted and that making images can become relaxing again.