This is My Right
Illustrated by VICTORIA DI WOO
There is a story in every picture and I'll tell you about this one.
Before I get into what this piece is about, if you guys are curious on what this is, look carefully at the painting first. What parts do yo like? Do you realize anything? What feeling to you get from it? What do you think this article is going to be about? Just guess. Think about it... I'll give you a second.
Alright, now I'll tell you. This is a painting I've done using both hands. The left side is painted with my left hand and the right side is done with my right hand. What you may not know is that I am left handed. I wanted to show my struggle and collision I deal with in a world of righties. The strange thing is that I wanted to show my difficulties visually using a painting but it ended up not being obvious at all.
I have two separate texts written about the same subject and ideas said, but one is written formally and the other is informal. The reason I have two texts explaining the same things is to further express the same message I'm trying to convey. For right-handers (majority of the world), it is more professional, normal and expected to be writing in a formal matter. While, I, a lefty, like writing informally because it is more comfortable, easy and simple. This collision with formal and informal writing is another type of struggle in my life. What is properly written, is messed up for me and what is improperly written is way more clear to me, just like being a left-hander. The common (right-handers and formal writing) is being compared to discomfort and struggle. While the uncommon (left-handers and informal writing) is being compared to ease and comfort. (In my opinion).
So now I want you to make a choice. You can choose to read the Formal writing (right side of painting) or the Informal writing (left side of painting). Do you want to side with what is “right” or what is “my right”? (Or you can read the whole article and compare). It is your choice.
INFORMAL - My Right
This informal text expresses more of who I am. This is more natural for me to be using my left hand and more natural to be writing in this way.
It was a very strange process painting this to be honest with you. I thought my right hand would create these abstract scribble images because of the difficulty in controlling my hand. But really, the difference is barely noticeable. The picture goes against what I'm trying to prove!... Or maybe it actually proves my point even more than I thought but in a different way. It could have a meaning of how simple things can be looked over. But if you come and take a closer look, you might see that small struggle that expresses my discomfort in my artwork.
Right handers don't realize how different life is for left-handers. Sure, I'm used to living in a “Right World” but that little difference in hands makes lefties work harder. For the things I use my left hand for, such as when I'm writing, eating, or throwing a ball, I am grateful to be able to do those things without second guessing myself. Most everyday right-hand-things I got used to and don't have a problem with. For example, a computer mouse and opening a water bottle. The strange ones are tasks that involve both hands. For example, when I had to choose a left or right hand guitar. To make learning easier I have the standard right guitar, instead of choosing what is most comfortable for me. Another example is cutting a steak. Usually right handers would switch the fork to their left hand and cut their steak with the knife on their right hand. On the other hand (haha pun intended), I keep my fork in my left and use the knife with my right hand. Is that right or wrong? I don't know. It's my right! I create my own norm.
Another strange thing I realized is the amount of time I spent on each side/hand. The way I went about painting this is each step I took I timed it and repeated it on the other side. I found out that I finish faster on the right side. Either that is because I was repeating the same steps twice, so it became easier by the time I switch hands. Or because with my “wrong” hand I spent less time with details because it was too hard to control the pencil and paintbrush.
The majority of the time is planning and brainstorming what the painting is going to look like. So, that is why (I think) both sides look similar. Since I was just trying to put my image from my head onto paper, no matter what tools (or hands) I was using it became the best it could be.
If you want to get that same sense of my discomfort, try it out yourself. Just grab a pen and paper and draw a stickman next to a house with your right and wrong hand and see your own results.
I learned that being a left-hander effects my life less (physically) but is as mentally painful as I thought. I am surprised by my skills with my right hand and this experiment changed my perspective on what my right hand can do. Now I know it works just fine. But, I'll always be a lefty in a righty world.
FORMAL - Right
This formal text is written to show the discomfort from writing formally, equivalent to painting with my right hand. What is seen as more professional to the society is more distorted to my personal experience.
The process of painting this image was quite difficult. My assumptions were that my right hand would produce abstract images because of the level of difficulty in controlling my inferior hand. In reality the difference was barely noticeable. My experiment proved me wrong! Although, it can be perceived differently and prove another point. It could mean how simplicity can be overlooked. However, if one takes a closer look, one might see a small struggle that expresses my discomfort in my artwork.
Right-handers do not realize how different life is for left-handers. I am used to living in a world with the majority of right-handers but the difference in which hand is used makes work harder for left-handers . I am grateful to be able to use my left hand for writing, eating, or throwing a ball without second guessing myself. I am used to everyday right-hander objects for example, using a computer mouse and opening a water bottle. The strange tasks are the ones that involve both hands. For example, when I had to choose between a left or right hand guitar. To make learning easier I use the standard right guitar, instead of choosing what is most comfortable for me. Another example is cutting a steak. It is most common for right-handers to switch their fork to their left hand and use their knife on their right hand. In contrast, I keep my fork in my left and use the knife with my right hand. Is that right or wrong? I do not know. It is right to me! I create my own norm.
In addition, I realized the difference in the amount of time I spent on each side of the painting. The way I went about painting is as follows: Each step, I timed myself and repeated the same step on the other side of the painting. I realized that I finished quicker on the right side. The reason for it is either because of the repetition from one side to the other or because I spent less time concentrating on details because it was using my right hand.
The majority of the time is spent were from planning and brainstorming the elements of the painting. The reason why both sides look similar, is because it does not matter what tools or hands are used, but the preparation and thought put into the process of creating this piece.
I have learned that my identity as being a left-hander effects my life lower than I anticipated but is as mentally draining as I thought. I am surprised of my skills with my right hand. This experiment changed my assumption that my left hand is extremely superior to my right hand. Nevertheless, I will always be a left-hander in a right-hand world.