Early this past April, I was exploring a derelict building with a friend, and I fell from about 12 feet. It was a bad fall, and I had a number of injuries, including a fractured spine. Luckily, my friend got help. I was airlifted to hospital. I passed in and out of consciousness for some time. I was singing a lot in hospital, to keep my spirits up.
I thought I was going to be laid up for ages. One of the problems with that was that I needed to keep my mind busy. My sister brought me a sketchpad and pencils in the hospital. Apart from that I was reading fantasy novels. I was creating a space for my mind to escape into my imagination. When I was beginning to recover, I kept drifting in and out of consciousness. When I was asleep I was in a comfortable space, and when I woke up it was uncomfortable. I couldn’t use my right hand because it was in plaster, so I started trying to make a channel for this unconscious space by drawing with my left hand. And it seemed to work, strangely. I had to be quiet, and patient. At this time I was still being fed and having to drink through a straw. But it was a nice space, when I had mental energy, to actually do something. I was practicing drawing with my left hand. Every time I did, my mind started to drift, and I started to nod off. I’d wake up and find I was still drawing—a little like reading a book when you nod off. Eventually I found my eyes were getting heavier, and then they’d just be peering at what I was doing. Then my mind was awake enough to see what I was doing. I started to practice. I thought it was a good space for my head. Then after a few weeks, doing loads of drawings, I’d feel like part of my mind that usually governs my right hand wanted to pounce on my left hand and take over. But it couldn’t, of course. But it happened more than once. I like the emerging style of my left hand.
I’ve been drawing storyboards for a graphic novel with my left hand. It does access my imagination more easily. I was trying to do graphic novels before this happened, and I was getting hung up about wanting it to be in a certain style. I’m used to being very much in control of it. I’d become a bit unbalanced, just using that half of my head. I think it’s good to just let go of that. Any craft uses both hands. I hoping it evolves so I can use both.
We are grateful to the newly-renamed National Lottery Community Fund for their recognition, generosity and encouragement. For information about the funding Roaming received before 2019, please see Support for Roaming.
Company number 8506060