Arty Advice for Lefty Creatives

Annie Pancake // Tips for Left Handed CreativesNope, this is not a post for labour-supporting folk, but for my comrades in art who suffer from the affliction of using both sides of our brains at once. Yep, I'm talking about the left handed arty people amongst us. It wasn't until I became really interested in illustration and began working with paint more that I fully realised the affliction that is being a left-hander. Eternal is the curse of smudging everything you write, seconds after writing. Hands get covered in paint, then blob that paint over your other paint, ruining your work. We even need our own scissors so we can see what the heck we are cutting. It's a hard life in the art world. Here's a few tips.

Get a Drawing Tablet

If you're an arty person who scans their art into the computer and does any kind of rubbing out/touching up on Photoshop, a drawing/graphics tablet is a great idea. A lot of normals use these too as they give you a lot more control, but most of us lefties have grown up using a right-handed mouse, and rubbing stuff out with your wrong-hand is twice as difficult. A graphics tablet is just a pen that acts like a mouse, and so gives you a lot more control and stops you rubbing out the wrong stuff repeatedly. They come as cheap as £25, so as someone who uses it less for drawing actual pictures and more for just retouching, it was a bargain.

Just Always Start From the Right Hand Side

It sounds obvious but until I got into the habit I would continually work from left to right out of habit, then dip my hand in the wet paint and end up blobbing it all over my painting, ruining it all. It's not our fault - in our western world we're taught to do pretty much everything left-to-right (read, write, etc) so to most of us the left side is the logical 'start'. Doing as much as you can right-to-left prevents many a broken heart and smudged painting. (Fun Fact: When I first learned to write, I wrote in mirror writing without even realising I was doing anything wrong because I'm a crazy leftie)

Annie Pancake // Tips for Left Handed Creatives

You're Going to Suck at Using Those Cool Calligraphy Pens

Yup, they work better for right-handers. I don't personally use one of the cool bent ones, I just stick to a plain straight one, though I confess I don't practice my Calligraphy as much as I like. Maybe one day I'll step up my game to the cool-bent-calligraphy-pens. (Why yes, that is  the technical term.)

Paintbrush Script is a Whole Other Ballgame

So I wanted to make a print of some song lyrics that I loved. I figured I was pretty good at hand-drawing type and I wanted to recreate the beautiful, flowing, freehanded brush-script that is so very popular right now. Boy was wrong. As a left-hander you are pushing the brush across the page instead of pulling, so the script can come out less flowing and more scratchy. I remedied this by drawing out the type first, and then painting over my pencil, yup, right-to-left, letter-by-letter.

How'd you like these tips? And do you have more to add? (Left) palms up for the plight of the lefties!