A new way to work

As most of us freelancers do, I spend most of my days tied to my laptop. And at the end of that day, when my work is done and it’s time to play and draw and have fun with shapes, the last thing that I want to do is sit back down at my computer to do it. So during my late night doodling time, when I work best, I would step away, grab a pen and my sketchpad, and draw by hand. And this is awesome. Until I see the piles and piles of sketches I’ve accumulated and have to figure out a way to turn them into beautiful, editable, digital artwork — which usually results in way more computer time, redrawing things with my tablet.

So I was absolutely delighted when iDiscovered there is a solution! And it’s called… an iPad. It was a huge splurge but so far, this smart little gadget is changing the way I work on patterns. I bought a stylus pen and an app called Inkpad (which is a lot like Illustrator) and I’ve been doodling away, away from the computer, but my sketches are done digitally and are therefore completely usable and editable and is making me about a million times more productive!

Here are a few patterns that I created using elements I handdrew onto my iPad.

12 comments

  • November 22, 2012 at 9:29 am // Reply

    What a great idea :) I downloaded Inkpad, but I have no pen yet. Is it hard to draw with a stylus pen, it looks so round?

    • November 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm // Reply

      Hey Anna! At first I just drew with my fingertips which also works. But now that I have a pen I really prefer to use it… it looks quite round, but you just have to touch the screen lightly with the tip for it to work. I highly recommend it! And you totally get used to it. It’s been so, so great for increasing my productivity. Now when I get an idea, I just doodle it directly onto my ipad, and voila — digital artwork!

  • November 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm // Reply

    Oh my goodness! Thanks so much for sharing. I downloaded it last night and immediately got the hang of it. So much easier than a stylus, in my humble opinion. Here’s to increased productivity! Hooray!

  • January 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm // Reply

    oh wow, what a fantastic idea! The final products look fantastic, too.

    Actually, I love all your patterns a lot!!! But this is inspiring me to find a suitable stylus and steal away my boyfriend’s ipad to try this out! What brand of stylus did you get?

    • January 10, 2013 at 10:33 pm // Reply

      Hey Emma! Thanks for your lovely words. And yes, I have to tell you — the ipad has seriously changed the way I work!! Over the past few months I’ve gotten to know it and we’re close now, I would hate to have to live without it for drawing. Anyway, I really don’t even think the stylus itself matters too much, but I have a Targus… It was just a standard one I bought at an electronics store, nothing special. I know that you can get fancier stylus pens for iPads, like the PenGo brush pen which comes with special brushes — I’ve heard good things about it. But if you just want to try it out, you can even just download the app and draw with your fingertips.

      For me it’s all about the app itself — I use InkPad and it was around $5, and is a lot like Illustrator so I found it extremely easy to learn. Plus, you can export your drawings as PDFs which you can further edit in Illustrator (some apps only let you export as rasterized images, not vector). I can’t say enough good things about this new way to work! Good luck!

  • March 14, 2013 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    is there any particular ipad that is best to buy Elizabeth, my brother lives in canada I did the same course as you this year with Rachael Taylor best wishes gwen

    • March 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm // Reply

      Hi Gwen, I didn’t buy any kind of special ipad — in fact, I bought an older version to save some cash and it’s been amazing. You don’t need the latest and greatest, I think any ipad would do! Best of luck.

  • March 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm // Reply

    Hi Elizabeth, I hope you don’t mind me asking you this, I went on the same course as you but we were never really taught how to position elements/objects, a lot of your designs are very intricate going in many directions say like your fushia design, how do you do this, I am an old age pensioner and am not as quick as someone younger kind regards

    • April 1, 2013 at 3:17 am // Reply

      Hi Gwen, thanks for your nice words about my work. As for how I work, I wish I could explain it quickly but I’ve worked at developing my style with trial and error. I did purchase a few books when I was learning about pattern repeats and found that A Field Guide to Fabric Design really helped me. But there are also lots of resources online, like Pattern Observer, and they do courses like this one: http://patternobserver.com/courses/repeats/. I think Design Sponge might have some tutorials as well. Overall, I’ve just played around and figured it out! All the best in your art.

  • March 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm // Reply

    Hi Elizabeth, I hope you don’t mind me asking you this, I went on the same course as you but we were never really taught how to position elements/objects, a lot of your designs are very intricate going in many directions say like your fushia design, how do you do this, I am an old age pensioner and am not as quick as someone younger kind regards gwen

  • March 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm // Reply

    I forgot to add your work is absolutely lovely gwen

  • April 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm // Reply

    Elizabeth

    Thank you !!

    Gwen

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