Procreate - Getting The Freedom Back

Two years ago I was doing the washing up and everything was as standard as ever. Then everything happened so fast, one minute I was getting that little job done and the next I had a two and a half inch shard of glass imbedded in my hand. I knew straight away, aside from the fact I had glass in my hand, that something wasn't right and it had done some serious damage. I went to A&E to have it removed, ended up delirious from gas and air, panic, shock and unfriendly doctors, went to my local walk in twice over the next couple of days because I knew something was wrong and no one believed me. I was then sent back to A&E where another doctor examined me and told me I had bruising around my huge incision and that was that. I demanded another doctor, no one was taking me seriously. I hadn't been able to move my two farthest fingers along since the accident and they were drooped downwards. After another examination and another doctor who was lost for words, I was referred to Derby hand clinic where within 30 seconds of being sat in the referral chair, I was diagnosed with a severed tendon and 20 minutes later I was on the table and under the knife with a local anaesthetic to sew both ends of my tendon back together. I had a lot of resting to do after that and weekly physio appointments all the way over in Derby every single week and at the time I was a dog handler and was told to think about finding another job. That news was nothing compared to being told I would never draw again.

Three months of no work, just rest and plenty of Netflix, tea and biscuits, I had started to use my left hand to practice writing and drawing with. Then when I had 'healed' with my right hand, I attempted to draw again and as an illustrator, it's been one of the most frustrating journey's ever. I've had to build myself up to not being able to hold a pen, to working for 2 minutes at a time, increasing that to 5 minutes and then 10 minutes. I have not been able to draw for longer than 15 minutes at a time since it happened. Filling out forms at appointments is a nightmare, handling money at craft fairs especially when it's cold makes me incredibly clumsy, simple things like carrying the shopping in is now a huge task.

Then not too long ago, I spotted a lot of illustrators and artists drawing on an iPad with this magical looking pencil. Immediately I had to investigate and felt a sinking feeling when I saw just how much an iPad Pro along with an Apple pencil is. I held off, dreaming that one day I might have one of my very own. I saved up hard and then at the end of May after celebrating my old year of self employment, on a whim James and I wandered into Curry's at Fosse Park to just have a look at the iPad, as prior to this I had only seen other people using one and had no idea if it would be for me. I picked up the pencil and started to doodle there and then in the shop and could have cried. The sensitive touch and freedom this pencil seemed to give my hand was unlike any standard drawing pen or pencil I have been using since my accident. It glided along, so smooth and effortless that I couldn't quite believe how technology has come so far. 

I went and got one of the Apple sales reps just to have a chat with and he told me that the latest standard iPad hadn't been out long and that it was the first one other than the iPad Pro to be compatible with the Apple pencil. This meant, that as I didn't mind the size of the standard iPad, I wouldn't have to fork out for the Pro after all. I had in fact saved up enough money and it cost more or less half of what the total cost of the Pro and the pencil would have been. We went home with an iPad and pencil that same day and it has absolutely changed my life. Since I've had the iPad I have done some sort of drawing every single day and due to the way the pencil works and the comfort within my hand, I can draw for an hour straight which for me, is a miracle.

Drawing is something that I never used to be able to get through a day without doing, but after damaging my hand it felt like more of a chore and it was as though I had this huge space in my life that I could no longer fill. It made me feel so depressed to be held back in so many ways when it came to my job and it's been a very slow process getting the strength back. I understand that having an iPad is a complete luxury and I'm lucky to have had the work to be able to save up hard for one, but it really has given me the freedom back that I thought I wouldn't get ever again. I have found myself drawing for hours on end with it and I've taken it everywhere with me; to coffee shops, into bed so I draw whilst watching Netflix, to my Mums when I've gone up there to work for the day. I'm so happy to have discovered the app Procreate and I can't wait to see myself grow and develop with it.

Thanks for reading,

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