As a long-distance desk driver I have started to worry about my health. I sit hunched over my graphics tablet day in, day out. I try to get time out in the hills when I get a good dose of leg twiddling and airy lungs, but most days I'm working. My work schedule varies, and I am up and down looking after my elderly mum, but in the main, from waking 'til bedtime my tail end is firmly planted upon my chair.
So I worry and I read up about how my health will be affected...sooooo:
Sitting all day at my computer will apparently, slow my metabolism, which affects my body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat. I have learned that I am more likely to die earlier from any cause if I sit for long stretches at a time. And it really makes no difference if I exercise every day or not... still sitting for long periods has a really bad effect on my health. I increase my risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all way markers on the road to dementia . And then there's the deep vein thrombosis, that can be serious if clots break free and lodge in my lung! That's not all! Staying seated puts huge stress on my back muscles, neck, and spine, especially if I slouch...which I do! Sitting all day will make me prone to varicose veins, (this just gets better and better). I'm more likely to get osteoporosis. I'm more likely to develope colon, endometrial, lung cancer or breast cancer. This doesn't change if I'm super-active. What matters is how much I sit. So I need to stop sitting all day, but I still need to work... what should I do?
I splashed out on a desk-riser and anti-fatigue mat to stand on. I think the health risks merit the expenditure.
I've had the set up for a week now and I'm really happy with it.
The desk-riser has a gas sprung mechanism so it takes no effort to lift my work station up and drop it down again. The only downside is that the sitting height is higher with the desk-riser, so I've had to build up my seat a little to compensate. But that's no bother.
I'm completely in love with the anti-fatigue mat. It's such a pleasure to kick off my shoes and sink my feet into the squidgy comfort. It reduces the pressure on your feet, knees, and lower back. So if you stand a lot at work... I heartily recommend this too.
So now I sit, stand, sit, stand... I'm up and down all day long! I even dance and work sometimes... you've gotta get up to get down! (embarrassing, eh?)
So, lovely people, whoever you are, take care of your health... get up off that chair, walk about every few minutes, do a dance, have a stretch, get the cleaning done, stand and stare at a tree. Don't squash your bot... shake it!
My artwork has a very traditional, some might say old fashioned feel to it. As Petra Brown the illustrator I kicked off with 'If Big Can... I Can' using a style of working that I had developed whilst working for Gibsons, the greetings card company. Semi-realistic, line orientated and as correct (as I could manage) regarding perspective and structure. Thankfully, it was, and still seems to be, a popular style, so I stuck with it. Luckily I've managed to find a way of working digitally still keeping the same style- making life a whole lot easier.
But there has always been a part of me that wants to be like Jiří Trnka or J P Miller... Art Seiden, Brian Wildsmith or Alice and Martin Provensen... artists that create magical, imaginative worlds full of texture and colour and wild shapes. Illustration made free and expressive!
Well, I haven't quite managed all that but I did come up with the alter ego - Milly Teggle. As Milly, I set out to create a new style of working that was simple and full of texture, where the world was crooked and crazy and had no rules. That's how it started out... but when I landed three jobs as Milly, gradually things got a little tighter... a little more Petra Brown and a little less Milly Teggle. Nevertheless, I'm still very proud of what I achieved working this way. At the moment I'm very busy working as Petra Brown but I do hope to get a few more gigs as Milly in the future.
You can check out my Milly Teggle illustrations here>
Milly Teggle illustration from 'The Fox and the Stork' published by Collins
Milly Teggle illustration from 'Peter and the Wolf' published by Ladybird Books
Milly Teggle illustration from 'The Little Mermaid' published by Ladybird Books
'One handsome tiger' by Milly Teggle
It's been a long time, I know. I wanted to keep this blog writing thingy going strong. I wanted it to flow- relentless.... like a river of conciousness, or perhaps, my style- semi-conciousness. One excuse, and a very good excuse is that I've been mega busy... with illustration work, which is brilliant. But the other excuse, and this isn't a good excuse, is that I've been tweeting, yes I have- like a demented budgie. Now, there is your relentless river... Twitter! Twitter is like Tumblr but in a crowded room. I mainly tweet images... I use Twitter as if it is Tumblr... Twumblr, perhaps. Any way this is getting away from the thing... the subject of time, or rather the lack of time to keep this blog flowing. I made a scary decision today, to take a vacation from the big Tweet machine and actually get some bloomin' work done and perhaps write the odd blog post. Is this odd enough? So as of tonight, all the way over, across the vast seas of time until 20th of September, I shan't even sneak a peek at Twitter. It'll give my mouse wheeling finger a well deserved rest. I'm lovin' the Tweetage but it does become a bit of a time sucking addiction. Addiction, yes, I'm feeling the pull! Get thee behind me TweetDeck!
The randomly placed words above are my effort at writing a blog post about nothing. End of :)
I shall of course be tweeting this.
This is not an advert, but it sounds like one, and I apologise for that. It's just me trying to convince me that I've made the right decision. What decision? The decision to join the Adobe Creative Cloud. Access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom desktop, mobile and web, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite. I saw the special offer- just under £8.78 per month for the first year and I thought, hmmmm. Considering it's over £300 to buy a hard copy of PS Cs6 and around £100 for Lightroom, I don't think it's a bad idea. I guess it's like having a car on a leasing agreement. I'm getting a whole year of the latest version- PS CC with Bridge plus Lightroom 5 for £105, with immediate updates and upgrades.
Package also includes, PS Cs6 with Bridge, An, Co, In, Rf, Exchange Panel Cs6, Extendscript Toolkit CC, Extension Manager CC, Gaming SDK 1.3, Scout CC and Touch App plugins. You can download them all, or just as and when you need them. It allows you to download to two main computers, so Iain can have access to it all too (Iain is smiling).
True, the price on the second year will double, but when I reckon up how much we spend in the coffee shop each month- it's really nothing to pay £18 per month for a program that is crucial for my work, that I use every single day, that both of us use for our photographic hobby (tell me how many hobbies cost so little). Hell, I can add it onto my taxable outgoings! All these years I've been struggling with PS7, well, now I have the very latest and next year it'll still be the very latest! It feels pretty good :)
Ask yourself, how much do I spend on films, on my mobile, alcohol, on fuel for trips I don't need to take...
Right, that's me convinced ;)
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator of children's books. And I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain. I have kept and killed numerous blogs and websites over the years, joined several social sites and then left again, sometimes within a day. I am totally wayward in my web-ish ways. And here I am again blogging random stuff. Will I keep it going for more than a month? Do I care? No! Would anybody ultimately care? Definitely not!. But anyway here goes....
mydododied on Tumblr...