Friday, August 19, 2016

Then There's THIS Regarding Board Artists

The craft meeting last Tuesday covered a lot of workplace issues, but it didn't cover one hugely important subject, raised by a veteran board artist:

... I decided to take my pension. It was a hard decision. Who wants to leave their career?

I had well over 60,000 hours, so it was doable. I have also segued into teaching.

Here's what pertains to our industry and me personally:

For me, this was a stress and eye related move. Storyboard has become untenable. It's been mentioned for years. And I know that nothing will change.

With the advent of cintiqs, board artists are ruining their eyes, [staring endlessly at computer screens]. I have gotten letters from so many artists, a number of them from Pixar. They are having retinal detachments.

Wacom says the cintiqs were designed for four hours of work a day. Staring into an LED blue light is the light that damages the retina.

I called UCLA a while back and asked them if any studies had been done on the effect of cintiqs/LED light. I explained that artists stare close to the monitor for eight hours. The research/clinical trial person told me there would be no trial unless wacom paid for it.

We are canaries in the coal mine and I am hearing more about it. Artists will not speak up about it because they do not want to rock the boat.

-- Sharon Forward

We should point out that while wacom tablets are terrific, innovative devices, artists' faces peer down at them from inches away. It's like sitting a foot from your wall-mounted flat-screen tv eight or more hours per day.

So besides damaged, misaligned backs and blown wrists from repetitive-stress injuries, artists need to watch out for eye damage:

... A 2015 report from The Vision Council, "Hindsight Is 20/20/20: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Devices", found that 61 percent of Americans have experienced eye strain after prolonged use of electronic devices — nearly 2 out of every 3 people. Long-term damage or not, we have an outbreak of eye strain. ...

One difficulty for artists in the business is, there's not a lot of long-term research about eye damage from sustained viewing of computer screens. even so, it's good to take precautions. Industry veterans have told us:

1) Wear yellow-lensed glasses while working to reduce blue light;

2) Take rest breaks; walk around and stretch your back;

3) Don't put your nose too close to the cintiq.

Paper storyboards are over. Artists must do what they can to proect their eyes and physical well-being.


Tom Ruegger said...

Great post -- and thanks to Sharon Forward
This is a disaster that is happening.
Wacom says 4 hours a day max
Need to alert the studios and have it enforced.

Red Tango said...

How do you enforce a 4 hour work day? Most of us board artists work 8-10 hours a day and are still behind schedule...

Stephanie Bourbon: Writer, artist, actress, creative consultant said...

Yes, such good advice!! Since I switched to the Cintiq, I take a lot more breaks and I walk around, and or I also have a TV on to the side a few feet away while I work and then I shift my eyes away from the Cintiq to focus on it. It does help. Also, I don't sit too close to it. This said I can't even imagine doing the hours I used to on paper, 12-16 a day, on the Cintiq. I'm working from home now doing mostly illustration so I'm cutting the hours down a bit. I also write though so I do have to watch it.

Stephanie Bourbon: Writer, artist, actress, creative consultant said...

Wacom says 4 hours max?? Hahaha yeah right. Everyone I know usually works 8-10 and then does personal projects at home.

Fidjeridodu said...

This little software might help a bit ^^

Ray Pointer said...

Well? I understood this to be a problem from the very start, but no one believed me. I guess it matters who says it, even if it comes so many years later.

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