If you’ve read my previous blogpost, you’ll know that I am now drawing Tina’s Groove (and my Wednesday Six Chix cartoon) on a drawing tablet. Since blogging about it, I’ve gotten a lot of support and praise from readers congratulating me on “making the switch to digital.” Thank you, everyone. Even the nice folks at Wacom— the company that makes the Cintiq Companion tablet— sent me a personal tweet to say, “Nice work!” I got a thrill from that. I love my Cintiq, and I don’t plan on reverting back to paper and ink for the drawing of Tina’s Groove, or Six Chix.
A Surprising Result From Drawing Digitally One late afternoon, after several days of fiddling around with my new drawing toy, I got the biggest craving to do something with ink and paper. I mean, it was the biggest craving. I get cravings to pick up a pen every single day, but rarely a craving this big. I guess that when you’re always drawing with ink and paper, you never have occasion to miss it.
On this one day, I was working away on the tablet when I heard the cries. My real brush, the tub of ink in the corner of my desk, and a sheet of Strathmore paper, were calling out to me, “Rina,” they said, “Who’s this new kid in town? Don’t you wanna play with us anymore?”
I felt bad for them.
Truth is, I did want to play with them; but I was distracted by wanting to get to know the “new kid.”
As it happened, after a day of “inking” on the tablet, I grabbed a good brush, settled in with some good podcasts, and inked a six panel comic I had pencilled for the book I’m working on. It felt good. Like seeing a close friend I’d been away from for too long.
I’ve heard cartoonist friends of mine say that, sometimes, they just want the feel of paper. I know– me, too. But why do we look at that as a problem?
So I ask Why must we choose? Why do I get the sense that people think that an artist must be “digital”, or “old fashioned” — either one, or the other? Why can’t we choose to do our best work with the finest tools available out there— regardless of whether they’re digital, or not?
To Sum Up I am married to India ink, but I’m having an affair with a tablet. And guess what— they’re both okay with it, and so am I.
Thoughts? Cartoonists, illustrators, what do you think? Do you switch mediums for different jobs? Tell me what your experience has been in the comments section below!