Aside from the risks it poses in itself, the coronavirus has led to a host of secondary health problems by confining us in our homes. Recent months have seen a spike in reports of anxiety, poor sleep, and — of particular relevance to artists — physical strain caused by new makeshift work setups.
Back pain, aching shoulders, tingling fingers: these are common complaints among anyone who spends their days hunched over a tablet, monitor, or keyboard. But for many, the crisis has exacerbated these issues, as people suddenly find themselves stuck in environments that may not be optimized for work. Enter Draw Stronger: Self-Care For Cartoonists and Visual Artists, a graphic novel that is designed specifically for artists suffering from physical pain and stress.
Published in 2018, Draw Stronger offers illustrated advice on everything from stretching to breathing exercise. The author is Kriota Willberg, a cartoonist with experience as a “massage therapist and health science educator.” Her guidance is intended as a complement to medical treatment (if necessary), not a substitute for it. The book comes with high praise, including from cartoonist Scott McCloud, who calls it “a life-saver.”