So, one year later...
I've been neglecting posting art on my LJ for a couple reasons:
1. I don't really post on my LJ in general out of absent-mindedness
2. I spent a good portion of the last year unable to draw without pain.
As for item #2, my ongoing troubles with my rotator cuff/shoulder escalated somewhere around late October/early November 2007. I was becoming unable to lift my right (drawing) arm higher than about 90 degrees, and that was by using my neck muscles, not my actual shoulder.
I was also occasionally having what I called 'shocks' in that shoulder - if I made any quick or out-of-range movements with the arm (flinching from something hot, for instance, or taking off a shirt), I experienced dehabilitating stabbing pains in the front of it. The closest thing I can equate them to is as if a red-hot knitting-width needle had been thrust straight to the bone. Pretty flipping horrible.
So, I wasn't equipped to do any drawing, which sucked. I was in the midst of doing a series of illustrations for my friend Van's Sentinels sci-fi trilogy, but I had to stop after finishing the illos for book one. I also had to stop doing commission work, which was a bummer.
I went through a short series of attempts to get myself fixed up - first was an orthopedist, who was kind of a jerk and just shoved me over to an expensive new-age physical therapist's office. That did no good at all but cost me a bunch of cash. Matter of fact, after that's when I started having the 'shocks'.
Next I tried an acupuncturist at the recommendation of my sister in law - this guy was actually really cool, and I went to him for almost three months. However, try as he might, nothing really changed too much. From what I discovered later, I don't think that type of medicine would have helped much anyway. I will say that acupuncture is *really* relaxing, and he was not very expensive. It just wasn't fixing what ailed me. I told him that I really needed to find something else that would fix this thing, as I was getting extremely depressed about essentially having 1.25 arms instead of two. To his credit, he recommended a chiropractor friend of his.
So I visited the chiropractor, and good ghod, I've never had such a good experience and rapid recovery in my life! She turned out to be very familiar with what was going on - she felt around and jiggled some things for a few minutes and said "Well, your bicep tendon's slipped out of the groove it's supposed to be in, and all the other muscles are moving the wrong way in order to compensate."
She gave me instructions for a series of exercises to do several times a day. Nothing major, really simple quick things. Within a matter of days, I was able to lift my shoulder higher, and stopped experiencing the extreme fatigue just from typing on the keyboard at work. After a few more visits (spaced out over a couple of months - very reasonable!) and new sets of exercises, I've got probably 90% of my range of motion in the arm, where in January it was more like 15%. Plus, the 'shocks' are no longer, and I have ways to make/teach my tendons & muscles to behave. I just had my last visit ("You're free to go!") last week.
Anyhow, with these developments, I've been drawing again like a madman - essentially back to my 1 piece per week pace, for the most part. I finished the final ten illustrations for Van's books (available from Swarm Press!), plus a small series of illustrations featuring my 'Dal Goda' baseball comic character, and a three page lettered comic book commission. Whew!
So I'll be posting some of that stuff up here for all two of you that have me on your friends lists.