Oh, Give Me Strength

Anyone else feeling that end of Week 5, beginning of Week 6 (aka two weeks from midterms) burn?

I was talking to my brother — a college freshman this year — the other day, and we got talking about motivation. I made the comment that once you’re infected with senioritis, it never goes away. You get it, squared, when you’re a college senior.

“I’ve been in school for nearly twenty years,” I’ve said frequently over the course of this semester, lamenting my lack of habits of organization and time management. “But when will I learn?”

(Tune in next time to find out)

Please do not model Lazy College Senior or myself. For the record, this does not reflect my academic philosophy (100%, anyways). [Fairly sure memes are in the public domain]

What is going on in my Independent Learning Project this week?

Last week I mentioned that I intended to gain some experience with pixel/background art, but that ended up being the wrench thrown into the project. From the beginning I’ve had an idea that I wanted the main character to be a detective. However, I’d neglected world-building before character design and, thus, when I went to sketch out ideas in my sketchbook in practice for the setting, I learned that what I began to envision (and get excited about) did not fit my current designs. And so it was back to the drawing board. And back to the animation software.

But I think this (relatively minor) setback is going to produce something that, in the end, is going to be a lot more fun to work on. This is a part of the process of creation, after all; a lesson I’ve learned over the years is that you have to embrace it. Sometimes concepts have to be scrapped (or, as I’d rather phrase it, stored — just because something won’t work in this particular instance doesn’t mean it won’t ever work).

So now I’m working with this:

That’s right. Black and white, noir, detective theme. Simpler design that’ll fit the envisioned art style better.

Aside from that, however, I did make sure to learn something.

One topic that I’ve stumbled into talking about these past few weeks in relation to my Project is habits of self-care for those of us who are, by circumstance or nature, more sedentary and also more inclined to overwork ourselves.

Those of you who are artists, crafters, or writers might be familiar with the ache in a hand or a wrist — and in your back, if you’re like me and your desk chair is overflowing with stacks of books at the moment.

This past week I hurt my wrist a little while putting together furniture for a friend. And I thought to myself, “Look, this just proves what you’ve been thinking about the past month — you have to take better care of yourself.” Because I’m first-and-foremost a writer, and it’s a lot easier to write when you have use of both of your hands, especially the dominant one (which I injured). So having my hand is important, to say the least.

It’s better now, but it reminded me of techniques I’d once seen shared in an online artist community, about wrist exercises that are designed to help relieve pain and prevent repetitive strain injuries and carpal tunnel.

I couldn’t find the original video, but I did find one I found that seemed to be just as good, and demonstrated stretches that I recalled from the original video:

It takes time, but it’s really only 2 minutes, so it’s time well spent. It’s a great habit to get into, and given how long I spend typing and drawing, it’s better to start now and get ahead of any future issues, than have to try to make it up while dealing with something more severe.

Hopefully you all find this helpful too!


6 thoughts on “Oh, Give Me Strength

  1. I found your video very helpful, I have horrible typing skills and I think that attributes to my sore hands and wrists, because most assignments these days are electronically submitted. I’m very jealous of your learning project mainly because I am not very technologically literate, so most of what you are doing is very impressive to me! I don’t think I could get through making a digital character or story board without throwing my computer into a wall so kudos! Can’t wait to see how this progresses.


    1. Thanks! I’m so glad those videos were helpful to you — I know my wrists and fingers are thanking me right now! 🙂
      And I actually think you could do something like I’m doing — I’m a firm believer in that people can teach themselves (or learn) almost anything. You might not be able to make exactly what I can make, and that’s okay! That’s how it should be. But if you start small, it’s far less intimidating. I like to remind people that I can only do this because I’ve had years of culminating all the small steps, and that same amount of time of practice and guidance. If you ever want to try it out for yourself, I’m always willing to offer advice/resources!

      (And to be honest I have my fair share of resisting throwing my computer against a wall)


  2. I love the nod to film noir. She’s like a clever, bad-to-the-bone Humphrey Bogart (Maltese Falcon) only a lady too, so she’s even more awesome. I can practically see the red lips and calculated poker face. Very cool stuff. I love reading about your project. Eons ago my older brother worked at a call center for magazine subscriptions, and he had to lead his team in carpal tunnel exercises twice a day. Another family friend was employed by a huge company, he’s a PT who helps their employees with carpal tunnel issues, he also helps them with ergonomic work spaces. Funny all the ways you can make a living. It’s no joke though when it’s your nerves getting mad. That hurts.


    1. Thanks! That noir-ish theme hit me square in between the eyes and I got so excited about it.

      It’s somewhat surprising that, with the amount college students are expected to type, that hand/wrist exercises aren’t frequently mentioned or shared. Especially since the solution is relatively simple, for such a high reward (like not permanently messing up one’s hands). These are exercises everyone should probably be doing. I used to scoff at ergonomic lessons in middle school, now I wish I would’ve taken it more seriously (ah, the follies of youth).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m 98% convinced that senoritis must be the cause of so many problems in adulthood; we never recover. The question then turns to, how do we inoculate young people against it? Is it inevitable? Can we chalk it up to burn out? I’ve never fallen this far behind in my entire academic career. Maybe I’ll look into that…tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that…


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