Limited and Sustainable Creative Careers

The positions or actions, not always so comfortable – in front of a screen or creating illustrations and texts -, cause repetitive movements to create points of tension and, in the future, injuries that can cause discomfort.

Poor posture, fatigue and prolonged efforts will certainly have a significant impact on how and when you produce your work.

And, in most cases, we can only understand these injuries when they become a major problem in our routine , preventing our actions when it comes to producing, thinking and also generating discomfort.

The importance of taking care of the body

And it was thinking about these everyday situations that the illustrator and cartoonist Kriota Willberg recognized the importance of taking care of the body as part of a creative, sustainable and balanced practice.

She created Willberg’s comic book, Draw Stronger: Self-Care for Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists as a model of healthy routines and exercises for creatives.

His approach makes body care part of a creative process.

The idea is to transform the break times into equally necessary moments during the production of a creative, and no longer as something thought of in a “moment when we do nothing” .

Below we leave 5 tips on how to make your body a priority when imposing your creative processes.

Longevity as a priority

Working in front of a canvas or being an artist who sketches frequently, a sedentary day of work based on repetitive movements causes tension and, probably, exhaustion – both of which are detrimental to your ability to do your work, or may even close it early.

Consider your physical health as something creative.

In the same way that we are able to invest in skills to improve our processes, we can work our body to our advantage, laying the foundations for a comfortable and safe career .

When we change the focus to something long-term, we are able to respect our chosen paths and guarantee well-being during our evolutionary process as a creative.

Make exercise part of your routine

Meeting deadlines, setting financial goals or networking are some of the obligations we have on a daily basis, in addition to the production – sometimes in excess – creative that we need to do.

The commitment to the exercises ensures that you are more willing throughout the practice .

These practices should be part of your routine and work with your lifestyle, as they will occupy a significant part of your time.

Physical self-care in conjunction with muscle memory is the easiest way to prevent future injuries.

Illustration by Kriota Willberg

Mix specific activities with general activities that can keep your body up to date.

Martial arts, swimming, yoga or any other practice can be ways to take care of our body more generally.

No matter what your choice, the crucial factor is finding an escape valve that allows freedom of movement and a way to get rid of its limiting physical range.

New habits = good results

Breaking bad habits can be discouraging and confrontational. After all, repetitive movements arise from the idea that something is working well – while we are doing it and getting results – and that it doesn’t need to be changed.

However, who has never reached the end of a long day at work with mild tendonitis, back or neck pain from repetitive efforts without breaks?

Our posture when sitting is an example , when bending or when we fall, for many people it is a natural state of their body that causes temporary comfort to continue the practice of something recurring.

The first is, when remembering a wrong posture , to correct or make movements to stretch in the act. The greatest difficulty encountered is that our muscles need to remain erect and they are not always as developed by most of us.

Do not blame yourself!

It is difficult to find a job that is truly ergonomic , and that is why it is important to take measures during the creations and over the long term to accustom our body.

The result can be very satisfying when you realize that your old habits were getting in the way.

Use what you have

One of the reasons that prevent many creatives in these sustainable practices of the body is the tools or equipment for the exercises.

The purpose of all this is to literally exercise creativity , whether with the mind or the body, the idea is that you use what you have and make these exercises a habit in your routine.

Take time to look around the space where you spend most of your time and consider how it can be reused to meet your physical needs.

Is there any space that can be used while listening to your podcast in the morning? A balcony, which can serve to help you in this practice and at the same time to take the fifteen minutes of sun?

Being creative , even a door can be part of your exercise routine, as Willberg illustrated.

Illustration by Kriota Willberg

In his book Draw Stronger , many of the suggested exercises do not require any equipment or use accessories that are easily found in our space to help make this part of our routine.

By removing the barriers to a healthy and ergonomic life, we can easily incorporate these exercises into everyday life and make them as common as having breakfast!

You make your rhythm 

Sometimes, exhaustion from overwork and commitment to many projects, personal and financial problems, or psychological tiredness can be a deterrent to making this physical practice routine and ignoring our body’s warnings.

And we recognize that, for your livelihood and career, we sometimes need to endure some discomfort. 

Part of creating a healthy practice is establishing clear boundaries that allow you to maintain a sense of balance.