I’ve been an Apple Mac user for the past fifteen years, since starting college. During that time, Apple became hugely popular and the Mac / Macbook became much more widely used, especially in the creative industry. For a long time I said that I would never go back to Windows, yet here I am typing this on a Microsoft Surface Pro.
There are a couple of reasons I chose the Surface pro, one being price, but the main reason being that it’s a laptop with the full Windows operating system that doubles as a tablet. It turns out that these tablets are pretty good to draw on! The best alternative is an iPad pro that still runs on iOS rather than Mac OSX. For work I need a ‘proper’ computer running the full Adobe suite.
Getting to the point of this article, I’ve always been a pencil and ink on paper kind of guy. I’d scan in my illustraton and trace it with the pen tool within Adobe Illustrator using a mouse. This process works really well, to the point where it’s not been challenging for a long time. It’s a very comfortable space for me.
I’ve had this Surface Pro for less than a week and I’m amazed at how it has forced me to move outside of this comfort zone. I’ve started using an app call Sketchable to produce my Instagram sketches. I’m still getting used to it, they’re a bit rough and ready, but I’m already seeing improvements. Last night I created an character in Illustrator, but instead of using a mouse to do my pen tool work, I forced myself to use the tablet pen. It wasn’t the quickest, but it’s prompting me to explore different workflows and techniques. I’ve also just completed my first finished illustration with Sketchable, drawing straight into the computer with the Surface Pen!
Burn Your Boats
A whole new world of potential has just opened up for me and I’m not sure I would have explored this had I not forced myself to try something new. I’ve arrived on a new island and I’ve burned my boats. I can’t change my mind now as the purchase was made and I no longer have my Macbook, so I have to make it work no matter what. I have to learn new skills and explore different ways of producing my work. And I’m loving it!
Force yourself out of your comfort zone. You never know what potential you might uncover!