Tara Stiles & Being Pain-Free


This is a little illustration of Tara Stiles, the coolest yoga lady on the planet. If you don't know her already, check out her YouTube channel! I was lucky enough to meet Tara in London last autumn, so when I went to New York earlier this month I made sure to take some classes at her yoga studio, which is amazing. She also makes cooking videos and she knits great hats!

This is a bit of a different post, but since I hear from more and more illustrators that they're suffering from RSI, I thought I should mention that yoga has helped me so much. When I started drawing for hours every day at university I started to have really bad RSI which got worse over time. For four years I was in pain every day to the point where even lifting heavy cutlery (!) was painful. I also suffered from migraines since the age of 16 or so. 

When I started doing yoga (and running and other gym classes) it slowly got better and I've now been pain-free for about two years. My last migraine was also two years ago. So I'm very grateful to Yoga (as well as running, Zumba and generally going to the gym). I'm not a big fan of throwing out advice, but if you're starting out as an illustrator I definitely recommend beginning to exercise before it gets so bad that you can't work. And it doesn't necessarily have to be yoga, find something you enjoy. The more you sit, the stronger you have to be. It's something I wish they had taught us at university.

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  1. The more you sit, the stronger you have to be. That's a great way of putting it. I hadn't thought about it quite that way before. Thanks!

  2. That is great advice, Anke! I used to make Pilates and it made me feel much stronger and my back was pain-free. Unfortunately, a neck injury made me abandon it and I've been doing very little exercise lately. Your post has inspired me to get active again. Thanks!! :D

  3. Hi Anke,
    I LOVE this illustration!

    Steffi kunstknaeul.blogspot.com

  4. SO on board with the "teaching that at school". I am slowly getting into working out, and have been doing yoga at a beginners levels semi-regularly for a year or so. I don't have any serious issues but a lot of tension in the back area. Sitting for the better part of the day also doesn't help with body/vanity issues starting in your 30s ;) When you started running did you just go for it and found your flow, did you have a running partner, any tipps for (wanna-be)-beginners