I’ve had several versions of Apple iPads over the years, starting with the first generation. My relationship with my iPads had always been one of mutual trust and utility. I basically only used them for development testing and maybe Netflix a time or two. When I look back, I realize we were never really good for one another.
So what do you do when a relationship becomes tired or expected? You try something new—or maybe even call it quits. Instead, I decided to look at the old standby with fresh eyes, reinvigorating a journey that started 11 years ago.
“Together, the Apple Pencil and iPad are my new favorite things. I take the pair everywhere I go—which right now merely means from one room of the house to another.”
At first, I decided to stick with it for the sake of the children—Websites, Apps and our youngest, Games. My expectations, set over ten years, were low when I decided to get yet another upgrade. While the iPad Pro with the 11-inch display is another beautiful Apple product, it seemed not to offer much that was new.
The Healing Powers of a Threesome
This time around, I decided to branch out and invite another player to the game—the Apple Pencil! What a surprise! I knew introducing a new player (or sometimes two—more on that later) might be a risk, but I was willing to give it a try. Not only did the pencil turn things around, but it also brought endless joy and excitement.
Together, the Apple Pencil and iPad are my new favorite things. I take the pair everywhere I go—which right now merely means from one room of the house to another.
Prior to this combo, I would spend a fair amount of my idle time drawing, creating some character or another with whatever tools were present. For instance, I’d scratch out a face with a pen or highlighter during a conference call and then forget about it. One of my friends began pilfering these illustrations and eventually convinced me to do something more with them. I started taking pictures of these odd doodles, pulling them into Illustrator or Photoshop to paint them and bring them a little life. Now, with the pencil joining the relationship, things have taken off with new passion and productivity.
Sketch to Digital
I draw when I’m watching TV and during phone calls. I draw late into the night to make my eyes tired enough to close. Even though this iPad is only a few months old, I’ve already gone through three pencil tips. I’ve finished over 40 illustrations and have at least 30 more in the works.
And, if it helps, these are some of the apps I’ve enjoyed using, starting with my favorites:
1. Adobe Fresco: Best interface and super responsive to the pencil.
2. Procreate: Super fun with a lot of cool brushes.
3. Astropad: This is the first app I tried. It allows you to use your iPad on your linked desktop, making our threesome a party of four.
4. SketchClub: A large community with frequent contests and member-created brushes.
I installed Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to complement Fresco and Astropad, but didn’t really need to. There are tons of creation apps out there—both free and for sale. Start with my list and go from there. Have fun creating!