I’m a huge fan of Danny Gregory. I’ve read his books, taken an online course at sketchbook skool and follow him on social media. His sketches are amazing and over the past year or so he has been drawing/sketching/painting using his iPad.
I’ve always battled with drawing using tech whether that’s using an iPad, Wacom or my favourite toy as a child an etch-A-sketch (hope I don’t sound too old!). I question whether using tech to draw makes you a fake and actually true art is drawing with ‘real’ materials – involving a pencil and paint. And so, in my vision to be a ‘real’ artist, I drag my millions of pens, paint and my sketchbook around with me, no actual sketching ever happens and I end up suffering from back pain as I’m lugging around that extra weight!
Recently, whilst mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I read a post by Danny that really resonated with me. Here is a snippet of his status written in July, “I decided that I would do most of my drawing on my iPad during this trip and it’s been interesting to see the response, especially from hardcore urban sketchers. It’s sort of like I decided to draw in crayons or hold a brush between my buttocks or just take snaps on my phone……Even more interestingly to me, I don’t really care.”
This made me think why set so many restrictions on yourself? Because, for me it’s never just about the end result or the materials you use, but the process and that moment where you’re lost in just creating, and simply being. Whether you’re using a pencil, pen, stick, stylus or even your finger it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you’re observing your chosen subject, and watching your mind slow down as you connect.
I brought the ReMarkable, a very expensive gadget to take notes at work, which also has a sketchbook feature that I’d held myself back from using. But, after my morning train to work was cancelled (for the 4th time this month), I pulled out my tablet and started to draw. And, I LOVED it! It didn’t matter it wasn’t an actual pen or paper as sketching on the ReMarkable still felt the same as using my actual pen and paper. The real positive is that it’s light weight, and I can access different types of pens, pencils, paints and shading – all from a click of a button! There are limitations as there is no colour, but this is also a good thing as I’m just focusing on drawing and not worrying about how to bring colour in.
If it means I will sketch more I will definitely be pulling out my gadget more often. I don’t care if this makes me a fake, all that matters is connecting to the world around you through art. And remember, it doesn’t matter how you get there!