LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) — We should take care of our health because we sit much more frequently now than we used to, which is bad for us.
In this article, I want to offer some advice on how to safeguard your health as a visual artist. All of the suggestions I’ll make are things I already do or am attempting to do.
When we create, it’s easy to start with the wrist, especially if they are small details, but even with big tasks, the best thing is to not damage your wrist in the long run, as in the case of sketching. Instead, support your whole arm; that way, more muscles have to work and not just the wrist.
Also, when photographing your images, it is important to support your arm, or better yet, get a sturdy tripod; that way, you get perfectly aesthetically pleasing images instead of shaky ones.
I have always had a regular desk until recently, when I got a standing desk. But even if you don’t have the money for one, use a bigger screen or tablet for your work.
Standing while working is an option; the more often you do it, the more calories you burn, and the more calories you burn, the closer you are to finishing a marathon. Not bad, huh? Standing up and working can be compared to a marathon. Today, we spend far too much time sitting, which is bad for our health.
In the long term, your health will benefit if you can help it and start standing up more. If you do decide to start standing up while working, make sure to obtain a standing mat to protect your back.
Even a daily 30-minute walk will help you move more and improve your health. I go on walks several times a day and it’s through this activity that I develop fresh ideas for my visual works or even blog posts.
Put on your shoes and jacket and go for a walk if you’re stuck and experiencing creative block. This exercise can provide you with amazing results. You might just return with a new perspective.
Sitting in front of a monitor for long periods of time is not good for your eyes; it causes strain. So even if you look away two meters for 20 seconds, it does a lot, but taking regular breaks is even better away from the work you’re doing, even if it’s to go to the bathroom or even the kitchen for a drink.
One thing that can help you even better is the Pomodoro Technique; you’ve probably heard of it: work for 25 minutes, break for 10 minutes, and no, you don’t have to set that kind of time. I’m doing 10 minutes, 5 minutes for long breaks, and 2 minutes for shorter breaks. With this, you should go away from your stuff and do something else, like grab a drink at your favorite spot at home, etc.
Cleaning is good to do; maybe take that walk I mentioned earlier, or even better, do some stretching or exercise. You should maybe stretch your wrist a little between these breaks, and I learned a few during my years that work pretty well. You should not overdo it; you should feel like you’re stretching, but it should not hurt. Take your breaks; your work will not go anywhere.
We can be really good at telling ourselves that our work isn’t good enough, and I’ve been there too many times. You may look at your work and be like, “Oh, I’m not that good.” Don’t compare yourself with others, especially not with artists that have been on their journey longer than you. You should use them as inspiration.
Additionally, don’t completely follow what other people tell you to create; instead, create what makes you happy. If people who follow you are true fans, they will enjoy it too. Sometimes, fan art can be a trap. If you’re doing a project that you feel bored over, make it more fun.
You don’t have to follow every step of the project. You’re a creative person; use your creativity, and you should be happy while developing a visual piece, not depressed.
There is a lot more we can discuss to improve our health, such as meditation, but that is a topic for another blog.
Thank you for reading.