Why I Have Added the iPad to my Workflow
A comment I received on yesterday’s post, from Ellen, was a wonderful one because it gave me pause and made me think.
Her questions were:
1–How does an iPad add to your work?
Then she partially answered it:
Lots of experimentation, quickly modified or erased, no mess, when you’ve got something you like… move on!
2–Can’t you get the same results on any laptop or computer?
3–Does iPad offer a superior platform, or is it just a matter of portability?
For her, the fact that the computer is tied to a desk is a plus:
When I am using the computer I am tied to this big desk, but somehow that adds a much needed discipline of time and place, and my family doesn’t interrupt me here… both advantages I need and would lose with portable computing.
When the iPad first came out I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I concluded that it really couldn’t do anything more than a laptop or computer, and was thus redundant.
I had the opportunity to use one for an extended period because the school where I teach bought some and wanted teachers to learn how to use them.
An iPad so light, so easy to slip into the pocket of my purse, and the swiping aspect, which I first found cumbersome, has now turned into an action I try to perform on the laptop. It has made the keypad and mouse feel rather awkward.
The biggest boon, of coure, is the myriad of apps available. Many of them are capable of doing amazing things, and they are very affordable.
Here’s what I used to do when I went “out and about.” I would gather a few pens and some little pads of paper that were thin enough to trace through (tracing is essential to my drawing process). The pads could be tricky to find again, once I had used them up. That happened rather quickly as I perfected a design. Soon there were many wads of paper around me, along with stacks of doodles, drawings,and jotted ideas.
When I arrived home, I scanned the work so they were in a form I could actually organize and find again.
A recent doodle: fun & funky Musical Instruments
Now, I grab the iPad. It allows me to work in layers, erase, have tons of colours and different pen and brush types at my finger tips. Work I like can be emailed to myself (or sent to iCloud) instead of accumulating piles of paper.
The iPad artwork is not as high resolution as my former method, but I always retraced my drawings anyway. There was usually a fair amount of fixing I thought necessary to be satisfied, and I simply considered it computer drawing practice. Invariably, I reconfigured many drawings on the computer, coming up with new variations that took very little time once the original design was perfected.
The iPad could never replace my desktop computer, but I certainly can’t take the big guy on my travels. The two devices perform different functions for me, both of which are valid.