Sitting Disease

I was in a lecture a few Tuesdays ago, and the teacher mentioned sitting disease.

"Of course, we all have it. And we have to be very careful to move the body more," He said. "Now the next thing we can do to detox the body is...."

I sat there (not helping!) and thought about this as he lectured further. My hips were always tight these days. My metabolism had tanked since I stopped riding my bike to work a couple years ago and began freelancing, thus making it hard to loose weight. I don't have my standing desk any more, too. GOSH. I AM SITTING ALL THE TIME. No wonder things are going haywire.

Just this last week and a half, I took I took time off from work. Today is my very last of this "staycation". I didn't sit down much the last 10 days, instead, I walked along the beach, the pier, around museums, in and around parks. Although I didn't do a ton of vigerous exercise, I moved my body for the majority of the day, and felt amazing.

When I walked up the stairs in my house this morning, I felt a lightness that hadn't been there. My knees and hips didn't hurt! Whaaaatttt???

just-stand-annie-ruygt-illustrator

Since October of last year, I've had some weird issues with knee pain and weak behind muscles. I couldn't figure out why, with all the yoga and sometimes runnind, why my legs were breaking.

This brilliant infographic from juststand.org might shed light on why, if you sit for work all day, you feel crappy like I do. I'm commited to try and sit only 3-4 hours a day, rather than the average 7. My desk is taller as of one day ago (suitable for standing), my chair is a stand/sit combo chair (aka stool) which allows me to use it for support but not for sinking into, and I will march while I watch new episodes of Big Mouth if I must!

I love my hips and knees, and I'm so thankful to feel them loosen up after a crunchy 9 months. I must protect them!

Do you have a walking pracice? Use a standing desk? Take an evening walk every day?

Let me know!

IN OTHER NEWS...

Been working on a pattern for a podcast I recently joined about Disneyland attractions, called The Back Side of Water. In a past life I was a jungle cruise skipper and a mountaineer on Big Thunder Mountain with the other cohost, Alex Stewart. We're making some swag for the listeners. I love painting treats as they are so brightly colored and beautiful, and make my mouth water. Total sugar seduction.

Swag will be available June 15th!

 "Sugar Rush" print of treats found at Disneyland.

"Sugar Rush" print of treats found at Disneyland.

Rest and Digest

Underneight all of the paintbrushes, thick, rough, Arches paper, under the invoices, emails, sketches, digital comps, micron doodles... is nothing.

An artist is no different from the person next to them. Their gift is about constantly channeling from the cosmos and converting into a visual language. It's magical, yes. But so are many other gifts that rock.

We are all creative and have this incredible power to invent, solve problems, and express ourselves. But we don't create constantly. We consume information, download information, digest it, process it, then eliminate or express it. There are stages where we can't create, in fact, where we even need to rest. "REst and digest"- we've heard this before, right?

It's lke eating, digesting, pooping. It's like that.

Imagine, now, that you had to produce poop for a living. So you had to feed yourself and digest quickly in order to do this, alllll day. How fucking uncomfortable!

I feel like being a commercial artist is a lot like this. Some people are fine pooping art out all day. I envy those rare few. But I have a hunch that at times even they need a break.

And the others, like me, revered artists as a child. They were told they were very talented, and something there connected. The career path sounded glorified. Oh, to work on a movie like Aladdin! Oh, to paint like James Jeam! Oh, to illustrate a book like Shaun Tan.... Oh, to be as cool as they are!

In daily life, however, it is not glamerous and there is no glory. It feels unatural and forced. In order to keep up, one must consume at a higher rate, process the information timely, and constantly produce. Part of this is due to lacking expertise, and part of this is due to naivete. Because art doesn't HAVE to be held in this kind of cage. It doesn't have to conform to these rules. In fact, it won't. Even if you try to, you'll experience its power and own will.

So I come back to self care as I realize that I want a different path. And it's ok that I'm not a constantly pooping artist. I have my own cycle of consumption, digestion, and elimination, and I feel more whole and loved when I listen to it.

Happy New Year fancy pants people!

Rather than new years resolutions, I like to realign myself. Check in. Re-adjust. We're all perfect as we are, we just tend to get a little off from our preferred center points. Sometimes way off, but that's ok. Here's a little exercise that I did to welcome my hopes for the new year. It's more right brained than a resolution and it doesn't take much time or resources. Just an intention. It gives you room to breath and discover the message throughout the year.

Check out the video above for a walk through of the project. Please post your cards and share your beautiful artwork below, or via email! I'd love to see what your soulsays, and your spirit will definitely inspire everyone elses. Believe you me!

If you want a little hand-drawn template of an oracle card, download it here

 Here's what came out of me.  I used the loosest mediums I could: oil pastel, pencil, watercolor.  The goal is to  NOT  make it look good, but rather, make it  FEEL  good.

Here's what came out of me.  I used the loosest mediums I could: oil pastel, pencil, watercolor.  The goal is to NOT make it look good, but rather, make it FEEL good.

Sending you lots of warm wishes and here's to a KICK ASS year.

Annie