Since as long as I can remember I had always had a pencil in my hand. Apart from the infantile scribbling that we all go through with those mammoth wax crayons, the first time I remember well was when I was drawing images of E.H.Shepard‘s Winnie the Pooh, as I read the books by A.A.Milne. From that day the was a boosting of creativity afoot. I began to love the aspects of drawing and using pencils. Even to the point where the smell of the pine in the pencil was a great arousing aspect to getting me started. As much as some seek the drug thrill of caffeine.
Through the years my creativity got it’s boosting from several methods of upgrading. Whether I would upgrade from cheap graphite pencils to the more expensive Faber Castell ones, or, in the advent of the technology age, the purchase of graphics computers like the Commodore Amiga, etc. All of these steps took me a further movement forward to the status I am at at the present. No more so auto when I started using Mac technology.
I remember the day I walked into our faculty building at college and saw a room being fitted out with the Apple Macintosh. There was a tantalising aspect to this new beige creature sitting on the desk. From that day forward I was hooked. Even though it took over ten years before I managed to actually own one (a G4 I still have and working), I was in constant touch with them at work.
Most of my time with the G4 was by means of the cumbersome mouse. Which wasn’t the best approach to doing any creative work. Even so, I managed to do some art work with it, and it was a great way to actually improve my Adobe Illustrator skills. Some years later I made a leap and got a G5, then a iMac. Both ramped my level of creativity up no end and the boosting factor there was speed and power. That said, at this point the pencil was still my favourite tool and I was still rendering out my artwork on Bristol paper at A0 site, then scanning it into the computer.
A friend introduced me to my next power up (sorry for the game terminology). It was in the form of a Wacom Tablet, at the great size of B4. It was a start of getting the translation of traditional drawing action into a digital environment. Due to size and hand/eye coordination things slowed more than improved. It is a very difficult process to control a cursor that isn’t in relation to where the hand is and eye is looking. It took some time, but even so the cheap model was not cut out for professional use.
I eventually moved to the Intuos Touch Medium. This was my creative booster for the next 2 years, but at the back of my mind something was niggling me. After the upgrade to an iMac 5K I found that the artwork was great, and completely digital now, but I still didn’t feel like I was there. That the approach to drawing, like I lived all my life with a pencil was not emulated in the digital arena. This was also compounded by the fact that I had a lot of artist friend in social media who all worked on the top range equipment from Wacom, and I felt jealous. Working 20+ years in the industry, and still not able to have. true artist set-up.
Luckily, a commission opportunity via KickStarter gave me the opportunity to fulfil my dream. I have now upgraded my full digital workstation to a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD and a iMac 5K. If you would like to see the comparison of quality in my artwork, between using my old iMac and the new 5k, have a look at this post I did. Having the ability draw like with a pencil but on a computer tablet is a remarkable step for boosting achievements in my creative career. Don’t get me wrong; I still love pencils and do a lot of pre-work with my Faber Castells. But the speed and immediacy of the digital comparison is great for workflow and developed style creation.
If you are a professional and look to be working correctly, I can’t stress enough the importance of having the correct tools. Whether they are tactile or digital, they need to be of quality. I look forward to telling you more creative stories as I explore my new toy.
1 creative person, slightly matured
2 tablespoons aptitude
1 piece of aesthetic flavouring
6lbs hard work and sweat
4 ideas more than most
salt of the earth to taste
Take a creative person and stir in some aptitude, thoroughly from the start. In time, mix in the aesthetic flavouring with the most appropriate tool at hand, and then, fold into the mix as much of the hard work and sweat that the mix can take. Sprinkle in the ideas; the more the better. And finally, as all is cooking, a pinch of ‘salt of the earth’ to give it the necessary character. Leave to cook over time and serve when required. Tasty treat in a tasteless world.