My Fantasy Wheelchair, Part 1.

My Fantasy Wheelchair by Suzanne Forbes June 20 2021I am very excited about getting a wheelchair.

As a person who has suffered from devastating fatigue for decades, the idea of assistance with the grueling business of walking is thrilling to me. Not to mention having my own place to sit, all the time!

I’m not gonna say any names, but I once bought a ticket to a Berlin event to draw, (even though I am usually guestlisted/VIP), only to learn it had been oversold and there were no seats left. I was about to leave myself, and head home bitterly disappointed, when a friend brought me a chair from backstage. Standing is not an option for many people, including me!

The idea that chair users hate being “stuck in a wheelchair” is an ablist myth.

I am on #DisabilityTwitter every day, talking to people who loooooove their chairs. Having a chair to be able to go places is a joy. People who have to measure and calculate their energy to get through the day, like many ambulatory wheelchair users, and me, need every scrap of energy they can save. Saving the vast amount of energy walking and standing takes is like winning the lottery!

The hardships of wheelchair use are generally caused by failure of accessibility.

With twenty million Long Covid survivors joining those of us who suffer disabling fatigue, vertigo, and shortness of breath, we might finally get enough #CriptheVote power to make an accessible world a priority. Certainly I expect market forces to drive chair and other mobility device innovation in the years to come.

What I really want is the “body bra” described in recent Kim Stanley Robinson books, or the “Frank” smart armature that beloved “Reamde” character Zula wears in Neal Stephenson’s otherwise terrible sequel, “Fall, or Dodge in Hell”.

Until I can have my smart armature to walk me around so I can save my energy to draw, I look forward to several generations of improving electric wheelchairs or scooters!

A note: when I found myself making this drawing rather in the style of artist Felix d’Eon, I leaned right into it!

Felix d’Eon is a former San Franciscan, a gay Mexican artist who makes drawings of queer love. Based in Mexico City and using his friends and community as models, he is an incredibly gifted figurative artist and designer. I think I styled my wheelchair picture like one of his pieces because his art gives me such warm feelings of inclusion and acceptance!

Please follow his new Instagram account, as the old one was unfairly suspended and he lost 114k followers! And visit his etsy store! twitter too!

I am incredibly grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making art as a disabled person.

Make Own Light: an embroidered anglerfish in the depths.

Make Own Light Anglerfish embroidery by Suzanne Forbes June 16 2021I can’t believe I never made an anglerfish before!

I love them and I’m so afraid of both the dark and the deep ocean that anything that has its own light source down there is my hero,

Make Own Light Anglerfish embroidery by Suzanne Forbes June 16 2021Glad I had this pretty oval hoop and some black felt to hand when I thought of it.

I feel like this is a theme I could work on a bit, experimenting with different ways to express the depth, darkness and pressure of the ocean.

Make Own Light Anglerfish embroidery by Suzanne Forbes June 16 2021As well as the luminosity of the fish!

I used some pale blue glitter thread, DMC Light Effects, around the fish’s light tentacle. Even though it is a pure absolute fucksicle to use!! It is worth the hassle in small, small amounts.

We are all under a lot of pressure, in the dark, this last year and a half. I am so grateful for my work and my Patrons, whose support has allowed me to keep making my own light.