Last summer I started a little illustration project. Inspired by a workshop at GrrrlCon on zine making, I found myself with a refreshed interest and confidence in drawing. A couple of months later, a concept coined by my friend Rachel as we discussed life with a long term condition sparked my imagination and led me to doodle the idea – painspreading: for when your agony simply cannot contain itself. (Thanks, Rachel!)
Now, I know I’m no great artist and have had no training of any kind but I do like to think my doodles are at the very least passable (if not pretty decent, from time to time). I was really pleased with my painspreading doodle, and enjoyed the creative process, so I started to wonder – could I think of an entire A-Z of chronic illness experiences to draw?
It’s amazing how projects like these can help me to feel productive – I can doodle whilst resting in my bed and it makes that time feel better spent when I have something to show for it at the end. It was so much fun putting the A-Z together and, once I had them all finished, my first zine of illustrations was born.
This year I want to push myself more creatively – to try more things and to share more of what I do – and holding the finished product it felt like a shame to let it sit unseen on my coffee table. So, this week I decided to set up a shop to share my work beyond my living room.
At the moment it’s a quiet little page with just the one product, I have no expectations of creating a booming business from it (knowing your limitations is always helpful, I’ve found), but I do want to create and add more zines that might just help others to feel more seen and hopefully to make them smile too.
My ‘A-Z of being a Spoonie’ is on sale for a teeny £2, and 50p from every sale will go to Action for M.E. It’s the tiniest of projects but I’m pleased with it and I hope that somewhere out there others will be too.