Like an Orange

By Wallis Eates

A collaborative graphic novel about brain injury survivors incorporating their words and pictures.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Do you know what I love?


Hello everyone

Yes, I do. The infectious joy of Submit to Love studio is alive and well in my memory bones. But I'll be honest, there can sometimes be an element of anxiety involved. The other day I saw a tweet where someone had retweeted the BBC about the paralympics, and they'd written 'Disabled people don't exist to be your inspiration', and I must admit, I felt a quease. I am indeed inpired by the people I met at the studio. I had to think about it...

My immediate response was to delve in and do some work, not to let this doubt ensue. By all means, think it through, but don't allow a freeze from the quease. Engage and evaluate. As it happened, the next thing I had planned to do was to start a strip about one of the members, Tirzeh. The first thing I did was draw the back of her, reimagined from a sketch I'd made of the front of her. I kid you not, I felt that anxiety lift almost physically! Why? Well I'm sorry for the cheese, but it was because that anxious feeling got oofed out by love. I looked at the back of Tirzeh's head, that I'd drawn, knowing she's somewhere right now without a single clue that I'd just done that, but I do know I just did that, and all I could think was 'I bloody love that woman'. 

My creativity is inspired by warm feelings I have for people. It's not because they've battled the odds or anything like that, it's because I met them, because they shared parts of themselves with me - it's connections that are made, all different, all unique. Pure and simple. We live in a time of much welcomed nuance and sensitivity, but if there comes a moment when your head gets a bit dizzy checking itself, then listen to the heart, and if possible, do some art.

Submit to Love, like the studio says.

Attached is some work in progress. Said picture of the back of Tirzeh and new panel of imagined younger version of her at a disco, with her own artwork providing the disco dancers and the love interest!

Finally, thank you to all new supporters - if I don't have your contact to send you a personal thank you, please do know that I really appreciate your pledge.

Here's to oranges and electric dreams!



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