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.
If I’ve captured your interest, you can go to my shop directly by following this link or visit my new shop page hosted on this site.