The above image was the first digital art drawing I ever made. I have always liked to draw, since I can remember, and it was a way for me to feel “accomplished” and good about myself after I finished a drawing I was happy with. They were small goals that I could actually work towards and accomplish, since I didn’t really have anything else in my life at the time I felt the same way about. I grew up with “can’t do’s” in mind, being told by others or by myself what I can’t do because of my disability, but drawing was something that didn’t really require physical work besides using my arms. I always used pencil and paper, or charcoal, until a few months ago that I purchased by first tablet.
This image is from a while back, I did the drawing with either black charcoal and white pastel, or black and white pastels, on sketchbook paper.
Now it has become sort of an obsession, I could spend hours on the computer if I could. Who needs to be social now anyways huh? (lol). Well it’s not all butterflies and rainbows anymore. About a year or two ago I started getting pain in my left leg from the sciatica nerve because of my MD. I haven’t had an MRI or CT scan done for that, but it’s what I assume since my sister has the same thing (she already had those tests done) and she has the same MD diagnosis as me. I was going to physical therapy for it for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t find it really improved or worsened it. It’s not that bad though, just uncomfortable and if I do let it get “out of control” it can be more painful, but not too much. Anyways, this leg pain prevents me from being sitting down (or even standing) for long periods of time. Depending on the drawing I want to create, it can take me anywhere from 3-7 straight to finish it. But realistically, it takes me days or weeks to finish because I can’t work on it too long because of my leg. This is really difficult for me because I’m literally the type of person that really submerges into the work and gets a sort of “high” that makes me not want to stop until it is complete. I’m like this with drawing, photography, web design, video games, and other things that interest me and I enjoy doing.
I plead guilty to not always listening to the first signs of my sciatica starting to speak up. Sometimes I’ll say to myself “just a few minutes longer, I just need to finish this part so I don’t forget what I imagined it looking like later” or “I’m ALMOST done”, but a few minutes turn into 40-60 minutes more. And then you guessed right what follows it, my leg is not hurting and it probably won’t go away now until the next day. Some may say that’s irresponsible of me, but I just can’t help feeling like this. There’s just not enough time in one day, and not enough days in my lifetime. There’s so many things I want to do, create, accomplish, learn, how can I do all of them? My answer to myself has been to work hard at it all, do as much as I can in one sitting, in one day, in my life. That’s probably not very healthy for me… but I do try to balance it out as much as I (mentally) can. I’m not just hibernating all the time, I like being outdoors, going on trails (easy ones), and doing yoga, it’s just probably not enough compared to the time I spend doing other things that require sitting.
When I was in high school I wanted to become a graphic designer. I literally envisioned myself doing that for the rest of my life, and being happy. I had goals and a vision to where I wanted to go to in that field. After high school I realized it wasn’t very realistic anymore because of my continuing health problems. I wouldn’t be able to sit for a long time enough to get work done on time, and who knows what other problems I’ll discover i’m developing along the road. It took me until now (age 23) to discover what I want to do and can do in a career. Realizing I can’t do everything and accepting that I have a disability is what I feel helped me learn what career is right for me. I didn’t do the previous before, and I think that’s why I had such a difficult time finding something.