On Maintenance (Personal)

Making comics can be brutal on a human body. Many artists spend up to 12 hours (some spend even more than that) a day sitting in place, making repetitive motions with one hand, and staring at a relatively bright surface while making art (and if you’re working digitally, you’re still sitting just as long in one place, albeit with an even brighter work surface in front of you). It’s not a healthy way to live. Even if you’re one of the few odd ducks who draws while standing (I can’t speak for his current working conditions, but at the very least, back in the 90s and early oughts, Frank Miller did a lot of work while standing), it’s not good for your health to stand more or less in place for hours a time, either.

The key to keeping your own health up is movement, and it’s sort of antithetical to our work day.

While I would argue that I have more privilege than a lot of people, even I have issues getting up and around to move the way I should in a day (my most open bits of time are from 5:30 in the morning to 7, and from 5:30 in the evening until I go to sleep…or the two times I have either the least amount of sleep, or the least amount of alertness).  If you’re one of the few who has a window of time in the day to work out when you’re most capable of doing so, claim it and refuse to let go of it. I envy you.

I’m not going to tell anyone what kind of physical activity they should do, nor will I say how anyone should eat (I’m neither a doctor nor a personal trainer, and I don’t want to give anyone bad advice).  The one thing I feel comfortable imparting is the idea that you should do something as a form of exercise, assuming you are physically capable of doing so. Not out of vanity, not out of conforming to anyone else’s beauty standards, but rather, for your own wellbeing. Just make sure to consult a doctor (if you can’t afford one, I would strongly recommend saving up for the cost of one office visit and making an appointment anyway, regardless of how long it takes to save up, because it’s that important), and take that advice about diet and nutrition seriously. Work out a wellness plan with the doctor during your visit, and stick to it. Your body will thank you later.

Besides, if you aren’t feeling as tip-top as you can, who’s going to make all those books and drawings you have in your head that haven’t come out yet?