The Right Tool For The Task

We have a collection of power and hand tools. This includes numerous saws – each one has a specific purpose and works well in a particular situation. These tools have been around for a long time. It seems like whatever the wish, there is a tool that makes the task easier. I needed something to assist with cutting molding to fit neatly against another piece. The coping saw to the rescue.

My wish list extends to all facets of my life. Recently I wanted something that would allow me to sketch more naturally in a digital format. I considered using a drawing tablet but was not excited about another device connected to my computer. Sketching an idea happens quickly at the spur of moment. I wanted something easy; something that would not interfere with the creative process; and it would be really great if I could actually use the digital drawings as a starting point on the computer.

As it turned out, Adobe was listening to my requests and has a tablet application called IDEAS. The interface is very basic with options for pencil size, color, opacity, eraser, layers, and undo. It is completely vector so you can pinch and zoom. The application also allows a photo layer.

Now the best details. With an Adobe Cloud membership, the file automatically saves to the cloud. I am able to download it to my computer and open it with Illustrator. The layers stay intact and the file is vector with fill paths. Brilliant.

This is not a paint program. There are no options for brush textures, shapes, or multiple images. This tool is really about digitally drawing and providing it in a digital format for additional enhancement.

In the past, I would sketch on paper, scan or photograph the image, potentially redraw the image digitally and then integrate it into my work. Now, I draw; the file saves to the Adobe Cloud; I download the file to my computer; open it in Illustrator with all of its vector points and paths, ready for integration into other works. For me, this tool has simplified technology and appropriately placed it in the background of my creative process.

Images: Finished view from Mabell’s Zoo and original IDEA file.