My Life as an Artist with Chronic Pain


If you didn’t know, I’m an artist, and this year I’ve decided to take my art more seriously. But there are days when I remember that being a full-time artist was never in the cards for me. 

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was 17, and I’d taken a few art electives. 

Chronic pain was having an effect on my schooling at this point. But luckily I was able to type out my essays and exams (with supervision, of course). Then in Year 12 Studio Arts, we got to experiment with some different methods, one of them being printmaking. I sketched out my design, then used a scalpel to carve it into the sheet of hard plastic.

This process was near excruciating. My wrists felt like they were being torn with every bit of pressure I forced them through. Maybe it was foolish and impulsive to keep pushing through. I think I was testing my limits, seeing how far I could go. I was really happy with the result, but I don’t think it was worth the pain. 

People like to say that art is pain, but that takes on a bit of a different meaning for me. Being an artist with chronic pain means I can’t set aside a whole day to draw and be productive the entire time. Every artist should take breaks to stretch and rest their wrists, but it doesn’t take very long for me to reach that point. Sometimes I get so carried away with a drawing that I ignore the pain, then I’ll be out of commission for days afterwards. 

The designs that I sell on RedBubble are fun, and they don’t tend to take up too much time. But my real passion, what I love drawing most, is detailed character portraits. These can take me a long time to finish, but they’re very personal and become something I’m very proud of. The problem is, sometimes I’ll give up on a project if it’s taking too long. I’ll finish the sketch and be daunted at the thought of line art. Or I’ll finally finish blocking out my colours and decide there are too many little details to shade. 

I’ve been experimenting more, especially with my RedBubble designs. I want to challenge myself to draw more complex scenes, maybe with multiple characters. 

If you’d like to help me have more time for art, you can buy something from my artist shop! 

Don’t forget to check me out on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as well!

Fibromyalgia Care Pack – Buy Now!


Do you have fibromyalgia (FMS) and struggle to explain it to people? Are you tired of explaining yourself over and over? Or do you need some encouragement to keep going when your chronic pain is flaring up?

The Fibromyalgia Care Pack contains poster pages that you can print out and hang on your wall when you need a reminder. Pages include lesser-known symptoms; important statistics related to FMS; myths about fibromyalgia and the truths behind them; some self-care tips for those rough days, and some affirmations when you need to remind yourself that what’s happening to you is not your fault.

These are handy to give to people who are curious about the condition, or don’t believe it exists. It can give them a better understanding of what you’re going through so you don’t need to exhaust yourself by explaining every time.

They’re also useful to have nearby when you’re feeling low. The self-care tips and affirmations are a reminder to be kind to your mind and body.

I’ve had fibromyalgia since I was 17. It’s made me feel isolated and frustrated. If I had had someone else with FMS to give me advice and reassure me that I wasn’t alone, I would have been much happier.

This is a digital product, so you will not receive anything physical. Just print them out to make a little booklet; hang them on your wall, or keep them on your device to look at when you need it.

I hope this care pack helps you or your loved ones with fibromyalgia. It’s a lonely thing to deal with, but we have to remember that we are not alone <3

I’m Chronically Ill, Not an Inspiration


When you’re part of a minority, people expect you to speak on behalf of everyone in that minority. If you speak publicly about your experiences, they expect you to be a good activist, someone to point to and say: “See? If they can do it, so can you!” 

But that’s not fair. My experiences with chronic pain are different to someone’s experiences as a wheelchair user; just as my bisexual identity doesn’t mean I know what it’s like to be a cis gay man. Even other people with the same combination of conditions as me have vastly different symptoms, capacities, and coping mechanisms. I don’t need mobility aids and I rarely take bed rest, but I know people who do. 

I follow a lot of wonderful chronic illness blogs, like Kate the Almost Great and All That Jazmin. These bloggers are inspirational, and provide tips and routines to manage your pain better. They’re uplifting and helpful, but this blog will never be that. I see people discuss how they stuck to a rigid workout schedule and healthy diet and nearly eliminated their pain altogether. I know I’ll never be able to achieve that. These are real people with real stories, not scammers tricking you into buying their protein shakes. Nonetheless, these bloggers are incredibly resilient and dedicated to their recovery.

I’m not like that. I exercise when it suits me, but I give up too easily. I’m terrible at managing my pain; I lose track of time when knitting until I overexert myself. My diet is pretty terrible, even though I know that eating better would help me in so many ways. It’s never been a goal of mine to be medication-free. I just don’t have the energy to commit to the healthiest lifestyle for me, and that’s ok. 

I’m not saying that I’ve given up. It’s important to be healthy no matter what you’re situation. And I’m not trying to put down these other bloggers who should be proud of everything they’ve accomplished. I’m just trying to come to terms with my disability, knowing that expressing the pain I’m in doesn’t make me weak, or that I should count myself lucky that I don’t have it worse. My worth is not determined by how well I can grin and bear it. 

When I write about chronic pain, it’s to reach out to people with similar problems and help them feel seen. I’m not offering cures or solutions. I don’t want to be a role model, I just want people who can’t hide their disabilities to know that they’re not alone. 

Invisible illnesses are tough. Because of how society treats disabilities, it’s common for people to think people with chronic pain are “faking it” or overreacting. There’s so much pressure to “get better” and try to fit in with everyone else, but the people asserting that don’t understand the pain our bodies put us through every day. We are disabled, despite what imposter syndrome might tell us, and there should be no shame in asking for the care we deserve. 

Because our symptoms aren’t visible, we have to be our own advocates. We deal with people doubting our lived experiences, telling us to “just try yoga”, or just not caring. Sorry to anyone looking for an inspirational story, but I’m really just trying to get by in a world that continually tells me my problems don’t exist. I’m not “brave” for simply existing; I’m brave because I refuse to be silent about what I’m going through.

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