Over the past few weeks, I’ve been debating whether to purchase a Cintiq-style drawing tablet, or an iPad Pro. I’ve used an entry-level Wacom tablet in the past, but I have found that it is more or less useless for real illustration needs. And I feel my ability to create illustrations has been a shortcoming in some of my work recently. So it was time for an upgrade.
The benefit of a Cintiq is that it plugs in directly to my existing workflows and apps as a seamless extension to my Adobe work, and obviously is designed for a professional experience with all the bells, whistles and features I don’t even know I want yet. The drawback is that it is not a portable, standalone unit. The utility of an iPad goes far beyond just drawing, and although it’s not quite on par with the professional qualities of a Cintiq, it has a cult following of modern illustrators and digital artists. So I went to the Apple store to check it out. I found that the latest model of iPad Pro & Apple Pencil, coupled with increasingly powerful apps, is beyond suitable for my needs. I was so excited I bought one on the spot.
My biggest concern was finding workflows to get between the iPad and my computer, since that is where the majority of the heavy lifting happens. To my delight, I found that with 2 quick taps, I can push illustrations from Adobe Draw (the vector drawing iPad companion app to Illustrator) directly into Illustrator on my desktop, using Adobe CC magic. I also have access to my cloud libraries that I’ve created for various clients, so have things like color palettes and logos close at hand.
I also have read up on a few apps, such as Astropad and Duet, that can essentially turn your iPad into a second screen to use it as a Cintiq. I haven’t played with these yet, but am looking forward to seeing if they live up to the hype.
I whipped up this quick inaugural sketch last night in Procreate. it’s not a particularly awesome drawing and I used only the lightest amount of knowledge that I have right now about this new tool, but it was downright delightful to play with. I’m stoked to see where this new tool takes me!