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QUACKCAST 586 - Working with disability

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, June 7, 2022

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How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.

The four of us have had limited experience at dealing directly with impairment, but we've had our moments and all of us know many people who've faced more significant challenges. On numerous occasions I've suffered paralysis to my thumbs lasting many months (alternating sides, not both at the same time), in order to keep on creating I had learn to used the mouse in my other hand (which I still do today), and create a brace made of bands and ties so I could hold my pens and brushes. But that was a minor inconvenience compared to the situation faced by Pitface's mum, Karen Hillard Good, a noted illustrator and artist known for her commercial work and children's books. Last year she experienced a stroke which paralyzed half of her body as well as causing some cognitive impairment. She's had to adapt to her changed physical abilities, relearn how to use her body to create and overcome the challenges facing her.

As we age and life happens to us there are many things to which we have to learn to adapt, not just physical impairment but mental too. It's just as difficult to adapt to things happening with your mind, like not being able to concentrate, memory issues, depression etc. Are there any physical or mental issues you've had to learn to adapt to so you can continue to create? If so, how did you do it?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Sophomore - Sparking into action, the reverent tones of a groovy church organ play us into the roiling conflagration of this dancey little tune, full of heat and glaring orange light, this sound warms you through!

Topics and shownotes


Artist Karen Hillard Good -
Bravo1102 -

Featured comic:
The Sophomore -

Featured music:
The Sophomore - - by MrPenguin, rated M.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Tantz Aerine -
Ozoneocean -
PitFace -
Banes -
Kawaiidaigakusei -

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Ozoneocean at 6:18PM, June 9, 2022

That could be very crippling!

synwells at 10:26AM, June 9, 2022

I essentially have creative differences with myself.

synwells at 10:09AM, June 9, 2022

I can write something and then a week later I'll start overthinking the idea. That often leads to re-writes and ideas getting scrapped. I recently started writing a spin off of my current webcomic only 2 months later to find I wasnt happy with a few details. Because I couldn't find a solution I was happy with I ended up scrapping the whole project.

Ozoneocean at 1:24AM, June 9, 2022

@Synwells - in what way does it help or hinder?

Genejoke at 11:45PM, June 8, 2022

@synwells, yep but more of a blessing I think. Although throw in some other condition, such as bi polar and it's a definite curse. I speak from experience. I too have back problems, I'm in constant pain. Have nerve damage in both hands and a multitude of health conditions. Its fun... That aside this quackcast has inspired an idea for a story and has me writing.

synwells at 11:46PM, June 7, 2022

I have aspergers. It can be a blessing and a curse when being creative.

cdmalcolm1 at 9:31PM, June 7, 2022

@ usedbooks & Ozoneocean: I can’t do anything if I get a migraine. I just call out sick and sleep all day. Those are the worst when trying to do anything creative. Sometimes it stops me from eating if it’s bad. @ PaulEberhardt: I wish I was creative at woodworking to help out with sitting to long. I often try to stand and draw but I can’t after like 10 minutes. I end up sitting again. Sometimes I have to walk away and live to draw another day.

cdmalcolm1 at 9:18PM, June 7, 2022

@ usedbooks: that is crazy that you go through that. At least your realize how to compensate. So many ppl around me don’t know how to deal with their pains. I commend you.

cdmalcolm1 at 9:13PM, June 7, 2022

@ Coydog: that is awesome. Over ten years ago I was teaching my left hand how to draw. It gave me hot flashes, lol . I don’t know why but it was uncomfortable..

Ozoneocean at 8:09PM, June 7, 2022

@Coydog - That is a brilliant backup plan!

Coydog at 12:56PM, June 7, 2022

I'm about 75% ambidextrous at this point and practice regularly with my non-dominant hand. That way, if anything happens that I'm unable to use my regular drawing hand, it'll be less trouble to bring the other up to speed.

Ozoneocean at 9:12AM, June 7, 2022

@PaulEberhardt That's a pretty cool actually that you created that desk! Great way to adapt and work around stuff :D

PaulEberhardt at 8:14AM, June 7, 2022

I used to have back pains for long spells, having had slipped disks multiple times, which means it was often unbearable to do anything that involves being seated. One day I built myself a tilted wooden drawing desk that could be screwed on top of a normal desk, allowing me to draw (and literally do everything else) in a more upright or, if need be, even standing position. Yay for woodworking skills - the cause and the solution! It did the trick - I won't say I've never had back problems again, but way less often and not even remotely as serious or painful. These days, my main obstacle to drawing is most of my waking hours on workdays going into full-time teaching plus having to live in two places plus having to commute a long way, which effectively puts me out of order for the entire weekend. Bet they established that kind of workload solely to keep webcomics down and save bandwidth. It works very effectively anyways. ;)

Ozoneocean at 4:45AM, June 7, 2022

@Cdmaclom- ah, sleepiness and fatigue are the worst!!! It takes forever to do anything if you even CAN do anything like that

Ozoneocean at 4:43AM, June 7, 2022

@Usedbooks- I know that situation all too well! Every weekend used to be dead times to me thanks to migraine attacks. And the pills I took for them just made creatively even harder because they made me apathetic and depressed. But by LOT of lifestyle changes and better meds I've reduced the frequency right down. But I used to do the same thing- particularity just when the headache pills started to work. I'd have a brief window of euphoric creativity and before I knew the tidal wave of ennui was going to hit and smother me.

usedbooks at 3:34AM, June 7, 2022

I have extremely debilitating migraines with unpredictable frequency. I can go weeks with no symptoms or hit a patch where it's daily. It's mostly mental symptoms where I lose all short-term memory (I forget where I am and what I'm doing) and vocabulary. I write everything down to combat confusion. I also plan a lot around avoiding triggers. I avoid all flashing lights. My glasses have blue light blocking lenses. And I keep a cane with me in case I have another common symptom where I lose my balance. I can't actually do anything creative during an extreme episode (because I basically go blind) or often for a while after. So, I have learned to just be kind to myself about pacing and being flexible with deadlines. I take advantage of when my brain is working, and I write everything down.

cdmalcolm1 at 2:53AM, June 7, 2022

I’m dealing with high blood pressure and random pains that’s stays for weeks at a time then it migrates to another part of my body. What I do as a work around? I take my iPad with me when I pick up my wife from work and use the down time to get in some work when I wait for her. It’s one of the reasons why it takes me while to come out with a page. I also, not by choice, starting working 5 days a week from working only Friday, Saturday and Sunday for over 17 years. I’m always sleepy now and in pain. Sucks really.

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