First time drawing outside since February 28, 2020!

Outside Cafe Einstein West Berlin July 17 2021 2 by Suzanne ForbesI didn’t go very far to make these drawings!

A wonderful event from Stella Ahangi, called The Walk of Glam, always starts right near our place. The Walkers meet at Cafe Einstein on Weitzstrasse. I arrived early, not knowing that the 2pm time was the meetup time, not the start time. So I had some time to warm up and see what it was like to draw people in actual space, rather than on a screen!

Although of course I’ve produced hundreds of drawings in the last sixteen months of self-isolation, it was very different being outside, with unmasked people everywhere around me.

I was rattled, and my hand control was very limited. As you can see by the loose, wobbly lines. Which I don’t hate, honestly – my drawings can be dry, because I am so highly trained, and I like it when I can be less technical.

Outside Cafe Einstein West Berlin July 17 2021 unfinished by Suzanne ForbesThis is the drawing as it was when I got home.

I brought my signature neon green eyeball pencil case- easy to spot in dark clubs!- which was a gift from Beloved Friend-Muse-Patron Clear Menser on my 50th. First outing for the pencil case in 16 months too!

I don’t know what was going on with these three people, other than that they spent some time mocking me for my mask and face shield. The woman definitely seemed pissed. Adding whites and solid blacks at home afterwards helped capture the weird mood of the group and the way the hot, humid day kept flashing from sunny to the threat of downpour.

Outside Cafe Einstein West Berlin July 17 2021 seated men by Suzanne ForbesBy the second one I was getting the hang of three dimensional space again.

It felt so good to draw SPACE and AIR! Drawing chairs around a cafe table, drawing the space between people as they move, was like running on a track for a racehorse who’s been cooped up! Just after I finished this one, the Walk of Glam folks began to arrive.

Those drawings coming soon!

I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making art as a Covid-vulnerable disabled person. With your support, I can work from home or safely outside and keep telling the stories of Berlin.

My Fantasy Wheelchair, Part 2!

My Fantasy Wheelchair Version 2 by Suzanne Forbes July 6 2021This is the wheelchair I need for the goth club.

And the picnic in the park, and the life drawing salon in the old mansion with no elevator. Rideable, stair-climbing wheelchairs are an absolutely necessary part of the future.

Probably this one should have a cup holder for the disgusting Red Bull (tastes like carcinogenic Gummi Bears! and I always get the diet kind cause it tastes even worse!) that I like to drink when I draw at a nightclub.

My Fantasy Wheelchair by Suzanne Forbes June 20 2021 detail 1Since it’s Disability Pride Month, I thought I’d share some info on my personal disability sich, at this moment.

Several loved ones have asked, what exactly is my disability deal?

I’m an out disabled person, and you can always ask me about my limitations and conditions. But that applies to me only, just this one disabled person who is me 🙂

Well, official diagnoses: Hashimoto’s disease, asthma, C-PTSD, PTSD, OCD, lifelong severe depression (in total remission the last eight years!!), a rare circadian rhythm disorder called DSPS, “medical obesity” and bum knees. Unofficial: crippling fatigue, dizziness, vertigo and a fair amount of muscular pain, caused by some kind of ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, ME or lupus. Working on that diagnosis situation.

But what really makes my daily life challenging?  Dynamic Disability, a term coined by Brianne Benness on twitter. Benness is also creator of the NEISVoid, a vibrant disability community formed around the NEISVoid hashtag. You can read/hear voices from the Void on and support Brianne’s Void work on Patreon.

What Dynamic Disability means is that my capacity to function fluctuates.

I have good days and bad days, and sometimes both in batches. On the bad days, I sleep 20 hours. On the good days, I can unload the dishwasher and load the washer, the same day.

And work on art!!!

No matter what my condition is physically, I am fine spiritually and usually pretty good mentally, in the eight years since my remission from depression began.

The disability community has given me a way to understand and accept my limitations.

My Patrons on Patreon have given me a way to work and keep working in ways that are safe and manageable for me. I look forward to increased mobility and support as assistive technology develops. Fantasy wheelchair version one is here.

I’m glad to be alive and happy to be here, Disabled and Proud!

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.