Recently, I’ve been looking back on my body of lettering work and pondering something—why is my work mostly upbeat illustrations?
Let me back things up for a bit.
When I (mostly) left graphic design, I made a deliberate choice to put myself on a very different track. I had been doing it for over 30 years, so I was ready for something new. While I had all that design experience to lean on, I wanted to put myself in a new frame of mind.
I’ve always liked the look of ink on a textured paper, especially cardboard. You will see this a lot on older matchbooks. The tiny artwork, ink bleed, print mis-registration and course paper texture gives it a real charm. There’s an easy way to add a textured background to your artwork.
Getting beyond things like developing a colour palette, or choosing brushes, is developing a concise layout that your viewers will understand.
I don’t normally start my design process on the iPad. I still prefer to push a pencil around on paper when I’m working up my initial concepts. I don’t want to fiddle around with colours, layers or brushes. I want to get my thoughts down as quickly as possible. When I use my sketchbook, the most I need to do is click my mechanical pencil for more lead, and turn a page.
I’ve been battling with lower back issues for years, but in the summer of 2018 they became quite bad. I started to re-evaluate how I was working. I knew prolonged sitting isn’t good, and is stressful on the lower back. There are a myriad of studies on the dangers of prolonged sitting. As my chiropractor put it, “We’re meant to move.”
More than any other app, Procreate has changed the way I work. I’m no longer shackled to my desk. It also replicates the classic drawing experience pretty well. Adding the PaperLike screen makes it even better.
I love Procreate, but there’s one nit I have with the app, and that’s the layer limitations.