Monday, November 26, 2012

Making Juices Flow

I have Hurricane Sandy to thank for finally enlightening me to the usefulness of an iPad.  Like every other Apple product, I wanted one as soon as they came out, but could not justify the price for something that didn't seem to have a purpose other than being a very large iPhone that can't make phone calls.  I asked people--what do you use your iPad for?  I got all sorts of answers that almost exclusively started off with, "I LOVE my iPad!".  Ok, but why do you love it?  What does it do that the phone and your laptop can't do?  I never got an answer that made me want to rip out the credit card, but during the storm, I came to that conclusion on my own.  We lost power for a couple of days and the single worst thing about it (besides the lack of heat and a fridge full of spoiled food) was not having access to the internet.  I very much realize how "first world" this problem is, but it's also reality.  I do almost all of my business online.  When the office was out of commission, I had all calls routed to my cell phone so I could speak to and help our customers.  Sadly, I couldn't do anything other than talk to them, which wasn't acceptable.  LAM commented that it would be nice if the phone was a little bit larger so that we could actually work off it and the iPad just sort of appeared.  Since it has the ability to run off of wifi or a cell tower, I could make it work no matter what.  Fast forward to iPad ownership, which of course fascilitated the really nice Tory Burch leather case.

I was lucky enough to find a black one, although the beige is also nice.  One thing that I learned while looking for a high quality case is that the higher the quality, the more they weigh.  This one seemed to have many plusses, not the least of which was the scrummy leather (it is buttery soft and feels great in your hands) and it was lighter than every other leather option I found.  And it was on sale.  As I left the store, I again noticed what I have come to refer to as the "Starbucks Effect", that is, the bag was beautiful.  Great logo, great colors, thick printed paper and long fabric handles so I could carry it on my shoulder.  I instantly felt a notch more chic.

As I spent more time getting to know the iPad, I realized the great wealth of free drawing apps that are available.  Of course, I immediately downloaded "Paper" and "Sketchbook".  About five minutes after I started playing around with these apps, I realized that drawing with your finger gets old fast and so started researching for a stylus.  I had no idea how many of these little suckers are actually out there on the market, but after weighing all the pros and cons, I settled on the Wacom Bamboo .
I think as a product, they are all limited in some way and I will always prefer drawing with an actual pen or pencil, but it's a WHOLE lot better than trying to draw with a mouse.  This stylus is fairly precise and I love the way you can do autofill, watercolor washes and airbrush techniques, which led me to my very first iPad digital project.  Every year, I search high and low for the perfect Christmas card--one that sums up what we are all about as a family which is NOT the traditional HO HO HO schlock that is peddalled in every retail outlet in the country.  LAM has been saying for years that I should design my own cards, and while I always thought it was a good idea, the whole digital medium seemed to mystify me.  Until now.  And so I present to you, what will hopefully be the first in a series:

The car is a '72 2002tii--the very beginning of everything.  We don't have ours anymore, but it will always be a part of us.  As you can see, Nick is driving--chomping at the bit to go faster, while Zoe braces her paws on the dashboard in terror.  I can't wait to see them printed up.



  1. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. I am glad I popped over to visit you and love your sketch. How sweet it will be printed.
    Wishing you tons of success with letting your creative juices flow.

    1. Wow--this comment came just at the moment I needed a positive nudge. Funny how one sentence can really change your whole day--thank you for your kind words!