It's arrived! The bosto kingtee - 19" MA...10 left hand side buttons plus a scroll button. A slim pen, slightly more weighty than than the cintiq pen, and much thinner.
I ordered it a week ago from Hong Kong, and within five days it was tracked, packed and delivered to my doorstep yesterday afternoon. I probably wouldn't have had installation issues, if I'd not put things in the wrong places, but it's all good.
Only thing I'd say at the moment, I had to uninstall the wacom drivers to get it working... hmmm, I don't think I can live without that. May have to see how my workflow changes. I'm already taking time trying to get my head around Painter, so this slightly complicates the process, but I'm pretty happy with the results so far.
Still early days, but I'll write more when I've been able to spend a week or so on it.
So, recently I started following an author/illustrator who blew me away. Mainly because I couldn't believe how 'fluid' is style was. He is a traditional and digital illustrator, and I absolutely loved his workflow. And decided to start working on mine. I've been working in Photoshop and Illustrator for years, but I looked at other software out there, and decided for the trial of 30 days, I would try out a new sofware until I found the one I wanted to represent my illustration style digitally. Corel Painter 12 is designed for artists by artists, and so the brushes, blending, and amazing features, such as moving the canvas around, just grabbed me completely. I have had the package for 2 days, and already I'm starting to see benefits....
Even the way you can select oil or acrylic brushes, watercolour or airbrushing blending etc. It's simply brilliant. Although I can clearly see a fair bit of 'mechanical hand' in there, I was pretty pleased with what I could learn in a night or two... I work in acrylic and watercolour, and already I felt the similarity between viscosity and the way the 'paint' felt.
There is palette customisation as well as being able to fill up a 'paint palettes' worth of colours. Of course now I find myself looking at tutorials and just being amazed at the difference between Photoshop and Painter. I use Photoshop along with Lightroom/Bridge for my photo and digital image processing, but something like Painter would definitely be suitable for my illustration style. The only thing I couldn't quite work is layers, the paint thickness and how I could blend collapsed layers... something to research in my 30 day trial, available on the Corel website.
Well, I've finally joined a children's illustration group, in hope of meeting more illustrators and possibly getting a bit more direction on my work... things are coming together, albeit very slowly... I'm not making enough time for my course work but still, it's all about having fun!
Mixing media a little more to get a richer outcome (watercolour, gouache and prismacolour). The paper is a fairly thick gsm watercolour paper, and of course I've realized I've been practicing on a cheaper but nicer paper... so I need to rethink that, or get used to this one... I even splashed out this week, and bought four new paint brushes!!!
Next is getting back into the digital illustration, which I've moved off in recent months for a more hands on approach... I look at many of my favorite illustrators, and they have managed to work across the platforms. Well, that's what I'm aiming for. There obviously is 101 reasons why digital is better, but I have to say, I'm enjoying this approach very much! Both are rewarding, and of course digital is less forgiving, so I'm going to keep working on both...
“Assiduity, it means sit down until you do it. Commit yourself to your work and study.” ― Lucas Remmerswaal, The A-Z of 13 Habits
So, we've rounded that corner - the finish line is in sight, and the studies 'may' be over... I'm talking of course about how every single student must be feeling around about now. Exhibition out of the way, final assessments due - too bad they're not my best work - but it's three weeks 'til the end and 'the brain capacitator' is fried. No, not freed, fried.
So how did we all fair. Perhaps life and studies has become so complicated that we weren't able to put in as much as we had hoped - many students feel disappointed by their attempts to juggle life, family and friends, physical activities, work, studies and such. At the end of the day, life's priority is to improve and maintain, so sure, they're all important. Probably not in that particular order, but all important, all the same.
Initially I thought I'd call this entry 'studying and how to get your sh*t done', but as it's three weeks later than expected, I think perhaps my studies have also invaded my writing space. BUT, that is my choice - I re-prioritised and decided blog entry wasn't going to finish a chapter of my studies. So, I guess the first suggestion here is prioritise your work and life. Everybody needs to work - especially if you're paying your own way for the studies - but perhaps if you had more buy in from your work colleagues, friends and family, it wouldn't be so awkward to ask for time out to complete a task, or skip a night out to get yourself back on track. Again, its about priorities. If you acknowledge that you have committed (financially and emotionally) to your studies don't feel so hard done by when you have to say 'no'. And that's another one, learn to say 'no', you'll be very surprised when your realise just how many people would love to pursue their dreams, retrain or just respect your 'space'. Take that day off from work every four weeks to catch up - can you REALLY not miss one day? Really? And plan that one day into your studies. Trimesters are 14 weeks, that's about three days a trimester. If a day is too much, how about half a day? Now, if you were really clever about it, you could switch everything off for a Saturday afternoon, and get it all done then.
Active study doesn't always mean reading, and writing, and lectures, and reading some more. Some times it can be in the form of reflective study - read it, discuss it with some one (who cares, of course) and talk to yourself about it. Did you ever learn to skim read and focus on the more important parts of a topic? Perhaps you should learn how to do that. Don't skim read everything - word of caution - just because you're skimming, doesn't mean you're taking any of the topic in, which is why reflective study is good - passive study is bad.
Set goals - that old gem. You know you've got x amount of lessons per week - don't not go - even if you're behind. Nine times out of ten, something important is discussed in the class that enhances your chances of success. Those people who come to class and zone out - you know who I'm talking about - perhaps you have the right idea... even though you're not entirely there, hopefully you're absorbing some part of the discussions. But on that note - why go to the class, and not participate? If it's a practical class, you're going to be doing practical things - do them along with the class (after a double shot of coffee), keeps you from asking the same questions the following weeks.
Which brings me back to the setting goals - you know how many classes you have, you know how many hours you're expected to do outside of class, so set 2-3 hour blocks for study outside of class and do the deed. Home time should be quiet, away from distraction (if ONLY we could turn our facebook switches off!). This study time could also include video and podcast tutorials and perhaps a blog or two. Set time for planning when your assessments are due and how they're going to fit into your week - and for goodness sake, read the assessments. Work towards understanding what academia may be asking for. That's why they're written.
On the priority plate - pressure cookers: you know the students who love to leave everything last minute, because they work well under pressure. Yep, I'm guilty of this too... but, never underestimate how much time something is going to take you. If you're going to read and do an assessment last minute, remember: a. the person marking it, probably knows when something took you 30 minutes, instead of 5 hours.... it's not that difficult to spot. And b. what have you gained from it? Did you do the readings and understand the texts, or problems? Did you do the preliminary investigations and reflections to be able to say, I know why I did this and the next time I do it, it'll be better and (THEN) take me less time to do? c. You're probably going to have to rewrite it anyway. And that's not fun.
Automate your learning - so what I mean by this is, have a daily feed sent to your email on a subject you're studying. If you're studying typography for example, get a font site's daily update of 'font of the day', or governmental updates if you're studying Environmental Sustainability. It all counts. How about electronic calendars, social networking with other students and lecturers? Online portals and such.... a word of caution: what you find about all of these, is they are the digital clutter you receive as 'beeps and pings', unless you keep to the routine of reading and maintaining them. It really doesn't take long to set up a routine, but it does take a lifetime to maintain it. Some students learning a subject actually finish a prac in class and then post it directly onto social media sites, such as facebook - very cool, now they don't just have family and friend buy in - they have potential clients in the making... yep, you know what I'm talking about.
So, one last point - meet with your fellow students, get to know them, relax at home with your family, take time to stay focused and calm. At no time during the study should these things be neglected (oh the irony!). You're not disappearing from the world for 1-5 years while you slog through studies, you're developing a range of new skills which make you a. hirable b. happy and c. to a degree, envied. So, stay calm, have fun and look at the big picture. At the end of the day, you chose to study further, and you're going to reap the benefits.
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.