Comic Book Creators, Look After Your Hands, From Raven Gregory And Nei Ruffino

900x900-content-photos-nei-ruffinoComics writer Raven Gregory made a good point on Facebook that kicked off a whole stream of advice from comic creators. He began.

Creator advice for the night. Writers. Artists. Take care of your hands. Overworking your tools…that's how carpal tunnel happens. Truth

And others followed,

Bradley Witenhafer What's the best way to take care of your hands and avoid carpal tunnel?

Sean Doran Hands in ice bath, sink with ice water 5-10 min once a week. Rest your wrist in ice pack 5-10 min. Take breaks from drawing or writing. Numbness us your body telling you something is wrong. Hand and forearm massage. Just a few ideas.
Raven Gregory I've had this talk with Nei Ruffino multiple times and the lesson I've learned is when your body is telling you something you better fucking listen. Otherwise your body will lay the smack down to prove its point that as much as you think you are in charge of what your body feels and does that is the farthest thing from the case.
Raven Gregory From a writers point of view my lesson was learned when I wrote six scripts In a month. Solid scripts. Ones I felt really good about. And I knew I was over working myself but you're enjoying yourself and breaking down limits of what was previously thought as a barrier. You are winning against the deadline. And then all of a sudden there is a tingle. You pay it no mind and that tingle becomes a numbness and you power through thinking this is just a part of manning up and being a writer until the very process of typing on the keyboard feels like holding an electric wire. Thus I learned the hard way.
Nei Ruffino i wanted to take a few weeks off, and no matter how hard i tried no more than a day ever came…..bits been over a year since i developed tendonitis, but its better by leaps and bounds.
Raven Gregory And the thing is that rarely does anyone, be it your peers or pros you admire tell you these harsh fucking truths because the industry as it works is we bust and kill ourselves as creators until we reach a point where we get paid on a regular basis to do such a thing. But while you are chasing this lofty goal you're getting older. Your body is aging and things that you could once do with ease do not in anyway last. So that small piece of advice is left out of that which is given because it's hard enough just to get there let alone stay there.
Nei Ruffino tendonitis and carpal tunnel are caused by under resting, not over working lol. i would work 7 days a week 8-12 hours days without issue, but i still slept 8-10 hours a night. one time i decided to work harder, and sleep 3 hours a night for awhile, or work until i had to sleep on endless cycles. years of working like a machine, and not resting enough…that finally caused it.
Raven Gregory I never knew that Nei Ruffino and hearing you say that makes so much sense as I never had issues with it until I pushed myself far and beyond conventional means to that place where you know damn well and good that you are hurting yourself trying to make due versus keeping the work output within acceptable parameters.
Raven Gregory But the counter point to all this is the romanticism of being a creator and an artist. The idea and example that always stands out in my head is that rarely is that lofty place of immortality ever achieved without a Shakespearean level of tragic desperate obsessive dedication of sacrificing all and everything you are for this thing that is you through and through. The Sistine chapel. Michaelangelo was fucked when he finished it. His body ruined from the lengths he went to created something that would always be remembered even though there is no way he could ever have known how eternal it would become. And it's that whispering notion that very well damn near destroys the best of us. Artist or otherwise because we all want to live forever. But with the creator, the idea of living forever through their art or story, is at least in someway, no matter how lottery it may seem, at least plausible.

Raven Gregory And Nei Ruffino said it better than anyone else. You think the "break" will come. The time off. The moments respite. But that shit don't come. You get to that place of in some way feeling you've made it and you don't have the option of not stopping. You get to that place where the work is coming and stopping no longer is feasible because you spent so long trying to get there and that journey damn near programs you to neeeeeeeed to stay there because no one likes going through that shit. But you have to conscious find someway somehow to know know when it's time to make time to stop whether you want to or not. That's that shit that will extend you feasible career more so than anything else because most of us are not wire to think that way.

Brandy Baran Yes. Definitely rest! And listen when your body says it needs a break! I didn't and now I have something worse than carpal tunnel: unknown medical condition. Pain in both hands daily! And I'm only 30!

Stacy Wooley This may be a stupid statement b/c I am neither writer nor artist. I understand no one can draw for you. However, as a writer can't you talk into a tape recorder or dictate to someone. I'm curious is part of the passion of writing being able to just write or type furiously when inspiration hits?

Brandy Baran Write or type furiously when inspiration hits. And most people don't have the money to hire someone to dictate to or get the computer program that types out what you speak. And seeing your work on paper or computer as you are working can be very helpful when you get stuck.

Stacy Wooley I see thanks Brandy. If I lived closer I would gladly volunteer for writers in need!

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.