I drew Sassa in my small Emilio Braga notebook with Bic ballpoint pens. It’s always a little strange seeing a scan of a small portrait write larger on my iPad or laptop screen – my pen strokes look so much larger and every error is magnified. Sassa’s ear, which isn’t right in my small drawing, is so much more obviously wrong here. But I remind myself that it doesn’t really matter – sharing is simply what keeps me accountable, what makes me keep drawing. It’s the process that really matters, not the outcome.

This is just the fourth drawing in my Emilio Braga notebook and already the notebook is starting to come apart at the seams. I love the paper – it’s a great surface for drawing on with ballpoints. But the notebooks are just that, notebooks designed for writing in, not drawing in. They are clearly not designed for the fairly heavy handling of my ballpoint pen drawing. It seems to be way that I keep turning the book when I’m hatching that is pulling on the stitching. I’m quite frustrated anyway that it doesn’t seem to be up to the job and I might have to abandon it.

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I love drawing things. These days I am rarely found without a pen, pencil or stylus in my hands. In my working life I spend a lot of time in meetings and classrooms, reading papers and strategies, so my home life provides a creative antidote to all that! I also have chronic pain, lots of it. I have scoliosis, fibromyalgia and CRPS, so my life is a balancing act, trying to balance work, which make me feel part of the real world, with pain, which is ever present, and art, which soothes my pain.

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