I stopped doodling in 2013 because holding a pencil was too hard for my finger joints. Now I’m revisiting new ways to doodle that put less pressure on the joints. By painting with ergonomic brushes , I re-trained my hand to hold the brush lightly and balance the end of the brush between my fingers. It turns out , that this is actually the “correct” way to hold a paintbrush. The lighter you can grip, the more control you have over motion.
Embrace Your disABILITY
I’ve also learned that I can draw or paint longer when my hand is in continuous motion. I have the most difficulty lifting the doodling instrument back off the page, so I’ve learned to create as much as possible from a single line. Because of my joint instability rhythmic motion is the most natural way to avoid muscle fatigue. I used to get frustrated when my hand would give out in the middle of an important brushstroke, now I avoid the motions that where causing the problem and try to focus on creating things within this constant rhythmic motion. Everyone has a different struggle to overcome. I think it’s important to embrace any differences and/ or lack of control. Instead of trying to cover these things up, or fix them, it’s best to try to find a way to use them to your benefit.
Support Inactive Joints
Another way to reduce muscle and joint strain is to properly support the body during the activity. It’s important to sit in a proper chair for your body type. Make the elbows are supported and in a neutral position by using a chair with an armrest and/or pillows. Make sure the neck is in a neutral position by using an inclined table or mirror glasses.
Check out my latest doodling method in action!