Eliminating my dream job based on vision concerns?
January 19, 2012 1:45 AM Subscribe
I'm worried about pursuing my dream job as a graphic novelist because of worsening vision. Can any severely nearsighted artists or others in vision-intensive careers speak to this?
posted by iadacanavon to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Since I was in second grade, I've needed glasses. Two myopic parents ensured this. I read and drew a lot as a kid. Now, at 27, I'm at -7.75 and -8.00 diopters, and my eyes are worse than my parents'. I'm between jobs, but for my previous job, it was 8 hours a day of computers, and then I'd come home and do another couple hours of reading, writing, drawing, TV watching, etc.
I've begun to train myself in graphic novels by drawing and practicing daily, reading a lot of different art books, and just going for it in general. But there's one thing holding me back... I'm afraid that I'm going to go beyond correctable vision/go blind or otherwise damage my eyes. When I immersed myself in reading and art a few months ago (along with a lot of computer usage), I was experiencing extreme eye fatigue and having blurry vision up close, and my eyes were hurting a lot. Quite scary, and I backed off. For this reason, I'm wondering if I need to choose a career that is not so hard on them.
I've taken as many steps as I can think of to help: I've now installed AntiRSI and take 5 minute breaks to shift focus every 20 minutes, with 20 second pauses every 10, using good light, doing some eye exercises. I've also installed Flux to change the color contrast on my monitor. I turn down the brightness at night. I try to get out every day and use my eyes. For my next job, I'm looking at one that won't be as vision-intensive so I can "save" my eyes a bit for after hours. But if I want to get really serious with comics, there's no avoiding a lot of very detailed work, drawing, reading and writing (also with some of it on paper, rather than computer).
I haven't seen a lot on choosing a career based on vision usage. When I've looked up artists and eyesight, I found things about Monet going blind which were freaky, but didn't explain the exact cause. Also a few on comic artists losing vision (eek), again no specifics. I'd be crushed if I couldn't do this seriously, but better to decide now if I need to shift directions. Anyone have experience with this, thoughts, suggestions? Thanks, MeFites!