Question for Professional Artists (esp digital ones) about wrist care :(

Blameless ClericBlameless Cleric An angel made of sapphires each more flawlessly cut than the last Registered User regular
Hello all~!

I'm an animation student in my 3rd year of college and at the end of last semester, I overworked my right wrist/hand pretty badly. I was making a 30 second (digital) 2d short, had roughly 3 months (subtracting sleep, eating, doing homework for my other 3 classes, going to classes... it adds up) and by the end was pulling weekly all-nighters and 12-18 hour days. By the end of it I was working for an hour, stretching an icing my wrist for 15min or so , then working for an hour, repeat, but by then it was really too late. I couldn't close my hand, lost a lot of grip strength, and was in a brace for the last 2 weeks of classes. As soon as I was done (this is beginning of May) I went to the doctor, who said 3 weeks of harsh No Drawing policy, 4-6weeks in the brace, and stretches twice daily. Lots of water, sleep well, take ibuprofen, etc.


I did all those things!! It's summer so my life hasn't been particularly demanding, I've slept pretty well, I did 6 weeks in the brace (At which point it seemed to be causing more pain than helping) and 3 weeks of no drawing, 3 weeks after that of really limited drawing, and honestly didn't start working for longer than an hour at a time again until a few weeks ago. I've been using a wrist compression sock thing a nurse friend recommended. I have only done like....... 2 or 3 large pieces all summer. I'm getting actually out of practice because if I really need the money that the commissions I do bring in, so I have to devote all my wrist/hand-energy to those and don't have much left for my own stuff or general practice work. I've done some (and it's been so nice to do) but not nearly with the frequency that I was able to before.

It doesn't hurt when I use a mouse, and it doesn't hurt from typing (neither of which I have done much of this summer, compared to other summers, again until a few weeks ago when I started working a desk job) but man is it still crippling my ability to do art. I am going to the doctor again next week, but I was wondering - what do you professional artist folk do about this? Are there tips/tricks of the trade?

honestly the worst part is that my left hand seems to have rapidly deteriorated in the same way (possibly due to having to take over a lot of right-hand duties)

I don't know what the doctor is going to say, but after nearly 3 months of babying it I still don't know how I'm going to both take notes in regular classes, art/animation for those classes, commissions, AND any personal work/general practice. I'm just looking for anything people have found that works for this in general art-making and college life

Orphane wrote: »

one flower ring to rule them all and in the sunlightness bind them

I'd love it if you took a look at my art and my PATREON!


  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    One thing that your doc might not have suggested is to make sure of is to set your Wacom to the lightest pressure sensitivity possible. It takes a while to adjust, but the less pressure you have to use to get your heaviest stroke the better.

    Other than that, keep following the doctors orders.

    Blameless Cleric
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Also see if they have any PT recommendations. Often doing stretching and strengthening will help give your tendons what they need to not lock up during drawing. I'd also see if you can record yourself drawing to see if you're doing anything weird position-wise, as if you're angling things the wrong way, it will absolutely cause issues.

    Blameless Cleric
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