Drawing On My iPad Air

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One of the things I missed, back when I owned an iPad mini, was having enough space to draw comfortably. Even with the great zoom integration on the Paper app, the mini still felt a little too cramped to really get anything done; so I told myself a few months ago that one of the things I really wanted to try on an iPad Air was to draw a little more often.

I’m not an artist, but as I’ve become more immersed in the world of product design over the past few years, I’ve really wanted to make a go of designing something myself. I started making a few leather gadget accessories last winter, and the ideas for these items were initially stored in a little pocket notebook. It’s a lovely little thing to keep around, but I found I didn’t use it every time inspiration struck, simply because it didn’t feel like the most natural tool to use. My iPhone and my iPad are always on-hand, but it’s things like paper notebooks that I tend to forget in my bag, or at my desk at home.

So one thing I’m proud to share is that the iPad, paired with the unbelievably awesome Paper app, has become my sketchpad over the last few months. Infinite easy erasure and an unlimited number of pages have helped me bring my own little designs to life. I’ve been using the Jot Pro and Jot Script styli, and the whole process of drawing on a screen is feeling more and more natural with every passing day. It’s really an amazing feeling to store and create designs on a device I’m already committed to carrying with me everywhere. It feels like bonus functionality.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the iPad has enabled me to do something I couldn’t do before. Pen and paper have always been around, and I’ve been curious about design for quite a while now. However, I think it’s fair to credit the iPad and Paper with making design — which was once a very daunting prospect — into something approachable, and incredibly fun, especially for a bright-eyed newbie like myself. I feel like I’m getting optimal use out of this tablet purchase, without forcing it to do things that just aren’t comfortable enough to do on a tablet. I’m surprised at how much fun I’ve been having while drawing on the iPad Air.

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2 thoughts on “Drawing On My iPad Air”

  1. I completely echo your endorsement of Paper by 53. It is as intuitive and fluid as it’s namesake .. and is the app I instinctively reach for when II need to get ideas out of my head and onto “paper” quickly. However, I must question your endorsement of the Jot Script stylus with Paper.,did you actually use the stylus with Paper? I have been looking for a fine-point stylus to use with Paper and was very excited by the features of the Jot Script; however, every review of the app (including the review you linked to) points out major structural issues (such as lines appearing in places far away from the stylus tip) with apps other than Penultimate — and particularly Paper. Can you explain how you were able to circumvent these known issues?

    1. I wrote that review of the Script, so I know of those issues. However, I’ve found that my other main stylus, the Jot Pro, has been acting up a bit lately, so I’ve had to use the Script as my second choice. Overall it’s more slippery than I’d like, but it’s actually doing a pretty good job as I get used to its off calibration, so I’m trying to continue to give it a shot. That’s not an endorsement of “buy it now”, but rather trying to make use of something I have around anyway.

      My first choice now would be FiftyThree’s own Pencil stylus, but I’m not sure I’m ready to pick up a third stylus when I have two that should work fairly well for now. We’ll see how that goes :)

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