I’ve been learning Procreate on my iPad Pro for about two years. Yes, two years. You’d think I’d be further along than I am. I haven’t made much progress because my creative time was a low priority in 2019, with work, family, and fitness taking the lead.
That is changing for 2020.
My success with my 2019 fitness goal taught me a lot about setting attainable goals. If I could quit my day job and work on my books and illustration full time, I would, and I may have that opportunity in a few years. For now, I need to fit in creative hours where I can, without sacrificing my other priorities.
For 2020, my modest goal is 10 hours a week at my drawing desk. Stay at my desk for my scheduled hours, either writing or drawing, or perhaps researching subjects for the story or testing items for the art. It’s all good as long as it’s connected to developing my creative projects.
In other words, my goal isn’t results-focused. My goal is process-focused. That’s the key to changing habits and priorities. If my process is consistent, results will follow, but I can’t say exactly what I’ll produce and when. If I focused on getting a particular thing done, I may or may not succeed, but what will likely happen is stress, some poor quality, and little improvement. My goal this year is about learning and improving, while creating the world of Darklaw in a digital medium.
And there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. In the past, I would have been all about learning how digital brushes work, how to adjust and create my own, becoming an expert on the tech. But damn, I don’t have the time these days. What I really want is not to create the tech but to create my world using the tech.
This is where imports come in handy. I ran across Jingsketch on Instagram and looked into his brushes and palettes. The anime style and colors are different from mine, but I wanted to try some different things. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve already favorited some of the sketch and paint brushes for particular tasks and have dozens more I haven’t even touched. One of my favorite brushes even seems to lay down a color and echo a nearby color. It’s a cool lighting effect. Another brush has a subtle texture, and since I’m not fond of smooth looks, I’ve been using this a lot. Still experimenting.
The Jingsketch brushes pack was ten dollars on Gumroad. Totally worth it.