Analog or digital creativity?

A friend made a remark about artistic creativity, and suggested that an artist can be more free working with analog tools compared to digital tools. Many people have ideas about this, without really knowing what it’s like to draw and paint digitally. For me it’s not about deciding if it’s better to paint with real, analog watercolours or digital watercolours – every way to paint or create art has its benefits and way to be creative. To me it’s a matter of what one likes to work with and also, how the result will be used. When I know that a drawing will end up in print or digital publishing for example, then I might as well work digitally from start so that I can control the quality better. But, others have other ways to create drawings and I think part of the creative work is to find working methods that suits you and give you the result you want.

Anyway, I started to paint eyes with the purpose to show how I work digitally, but also with ”digital analog tools”. Note: I just painted my inner image of what eyes look like, I didn’t look at any photo.

Brown eye, I used any digital tool that I wanted to use and I worked with layers.

This is the first eye I painted. I used Tayasui Sketches on my iPad Pro. I had no limits to how I could use the digital tools, I used many kinds of brushes, shapes, layers and blending effects.

Green Eye, I used ”almost analog digital watercolours”. It was difficult to get an exact shape though, so in the end I just couldn’t stand the imperfection and used a circle shape so that I could erase the edges and get a better circle. I also added a black circle as a pupil.

I really tried to work in an analog way with Tayasui Sketches. I used wet watercolours and let the colours blend as long as the digital paint was ”wet”. Then I added some details on the dry paint. I worked in only one layer.

But, it was really difficult to get the pupil black enough and I couldn’t stand that the shape of the eye wasn’t a circle, so I gave up my ambitions and used a circle shape so that I could erase the edges until the eye became a circle and I added a black circle as the pupil. And yes that means that I added layer to this otherwise ”analog digital painting”.

Blue Eye, I used digital airbrush, shapes and layers.

I just couldn’t help myself, once I started to paint eyes, I had to do one more… This one is made in Tayasui Sketches using the digital airbrush tools, shapes and layers.

Grey Eye, using digital oil, pastel and chalk in ArtSet

I told myself that I shouldn’t paint more eyes, but then I got the idea to try to do it in ArtSet. ArtSet is digital of course, but it is so analog that it’s almost annoying. No layers. You can’t change the size of the brushes, except for the oil paint – there you get a set of brushes and can choose how thick you want the paint to be. The tools for blending the paint are a bit clumsy to use.

I really tried hard to paint this eye, but in the end I couldn’t stand the imperfect shape and also, the paint looked smudgy and flat. So, again, I decided to open the image in Tayasui Sketches, work on the shape and also use airbrush to soften the smudgy paint, add a black shape as the pupil and of course, to do all this I used layers.

So, would it be more creative to use analog tools? I did think the thought of painting an eye with real, analog watercolours, but, just the thought of it makes me feel trapped into something that I don’t like. I am a digital girl (eh, woman, I am 55 actually) and digital tools feel more easy and natural for me to use.

I think that every artist can release their creativity best with the tools they prefer to use. Simple as that.

Will Apple challenge the watch tradition?

The old watchmakers express themselves with power and confidence at BaselWorld in Switzerland; ”the Apple Watch is not a threat” and then they come up with arguments that obviously make sense to them, but are totally irrelevant to me.

”Can it be repaired in 1,000 years or can it be repaired in 80 years?” Biver asked. ”Can your children wear the watch? No – because it won’t work anymore! The technology will be gone.” Jean-Claude Biver, Tag Heuer

If I want a little piece of expensive watch technology, the mechanical kind, which has its beauty in the way the tiny cog wheels smoothly work together and the worth comes from tradition and history, then I would of course never consider buying an Apple Watch to fulfil that need.

The problem is, I’m not interested in that kind of watch. I have never been. To me, a watch is something that was a tool for telling me the time. Since about 15 years I don’t wear a watch, today I just use my iPhone, iPad or iMac to see what time it is.

Therefore it’s completely irrelevant for me if there are skilled craftsmen who put together those tiny cog wheels so that everything works like a, eh, clockwork, or if I get my time from somewhere else. I just want to know the time and I frankly don’t bother at all about how that little piece of information is delivered. I couldn’t care less.

Also, I don’t think of a watch as an item that will stay in the family for generations. Hey, the watch will be mine and I’m cool with that. The only ones that are interested in repairing 1000 years old watches are archaeologists! I’m not buying an Apple Watch for the future, I buy it because it’s the coolest watch I can get right now! (Well, soon…)

”A watch is not only giving time, it’s a status symbol and I don’t think you’ll get a status symbol in an Apple Watch with two billion functions that no one understands.” Walter von Kanel, Longines

Oh, oh, oh, BIG mistake! ”Two billion functions that no one understands,” I think that the watchmaker von Kanel might be looking at this from his own, narrow perspective because if there is something I have had severe difficulties to understand, it is digital watches… It doesn’t matter how many smart functions they have if you just want the watch to give you the time, and you don’t understand how to use the rest of it. The thing with Apple is the user experience and how they started out by making computers that were easy to use. Then they have continued to make devices that are easy to use: iPod, iPhone and iPad. We already know that the Apple Watch will be easy to use AND that we will recognize most of its features from what we have learned from using our other Apple devices.

For anyone who is used to Apple devices, it will become easy to understand how to use the Apple Watch.

I think that the Apple Watch will become a status symbol, but to show status is not only about showing how much money you have. Status is also about your intellectual capital, how modern you are and wearing an Apple Watch will send out signals that you are a smart, modern person, possibly with a little twist of ”who wants to take care of her/his body”. Smart, modern and healthy – many people want to be seen as that.

Those ”two billion functions” is what it’s all about. Apple, together with app developers, will deliver so many smart features that you can use with the watch and altogether this little jewel will become one of your most important helper in your daily life. On top of that, it will also be part of the Apple Ecosystem and Apple Pay will make it ridiculously easy to pay with just touching your Apple Watch. That’s a true coolness factor, but it will also make us wonder how we ever could cope with pulling up our payment cards from our wallets…

This is what the Swiss watchmakers have to compete with. There will still be a market for their traditional watches, but so many more will want to have an Apple Watch. Many of those have never had a watch. They are not getting the concept of a traditional watch. They want a piece of the future.

Same, same, but different, Mac-PC, iOS-Android… here we go again…

A long time ago, in the 90’s, we produced and sold teaching materials covering the subjects of typography and layout, together with how to use PageMaker. We taught methods and theory at a basic, but very functional level. We had customers all over Sweden and unfortunately we had to sell to PC-users even though we barely could stand it, since we were proud Mac-users.

When the customers called us for help, the PC-users most often had questions about their hardware which was not our responsibility. Mac-users asked questions about the subjects we taught. It was so frustrating to get those phone calls from the PC-users because we really wanted everyone of our customers to get a good experience from our teaching material, but if their hardware didn’t work – what could we do about it?

Yesterday I noticed that a woman complained about an app that she has on her Android smartphone. I have the iOS version of the same app and it works fine. She claimed that the app has totally crashed twice and she was mad at the company who has made it.

There are more than 3000 different hardwares that runs Android. Compared to what, hm, maybe 10 different hardwares that run iOS. That’s why it’s a lot easier to get control over the apps for iPad or iPhone, than the Android apps. That’s why iOS apps works better. Simple as that.

If you ask me, to buy an Android smartphone is to buy more problems. It’s impossible for me to look at in another way. Yes, they do get a lot more options – but at what price? If I had the time to play around and chase faults all the day long, okay, then it wouldn’t matter, but I don’t have that time, I want my apps to work. Simple as that. Call me crazy, that’s the way I am and that’s why I keep on buying Apple products and iOS devices.

Brain Wave – an app that actually works!

I have had migraine since I was a kid and it got worse during puberty. During my whole adult life I have had chronic, daily migraine. More or less migraine every day – except for during my pregnancy.
I have tried so many different medicines, natural remedies and treatments that I can’t count them all… I try anything no matter if it’s scientific or not – the only thing I care about is if it helps and there are very few things that I have tested that actually has worked.
For preventive purposes I have been helped from ear-acupuncture, a homeopathic remedy called ”Women special” (Kvindespecial) and capsules with extract from ginger. These have helped me to reduce the pain a little bit and the overall impact of my migraine and also they became less ”dramatic”, meaning that I didn’t have to panic and get medicine immediately when I felt the first sign of migraine. But I still get migraine every single day except for when I was pregnant in 1989–90.
For acute treatment medicine is the only thing that has worked: asperin + caffein and triptans (eletriptan is the type I have used most). During an ordinary day I woke up between four and six o’clock with migraine. Then I had to get up and take medicine. An hour later I would feel good enough to have some breakfast, but often with more aspirin + caffein. On my good days this would work until lunch, but very often I have had to take another aspirin between nine and ten o’clock.
Then it wasn’t unusual that I had to take aspirin and eletriptan around lunch and if not, I would probably have to take it some time around three o’clock. When I got back home it would be necessary to take another aspirin and quite often I would start to feel migraine on it’s way before bedtime, so that I would take eletriptan to not be disturbed by migraine during the night. This is a lot of tablets to take on an average, ordinary day and then I haven’t mentioned the really tough days…
A while ago I bought the app Brain wave and I guess that I tested it, but probably while I had too much migraine to make it work. In the end of May I saw the app on my iPod and thought that I should test it better. It has 30 different programs for relaxation, energy, concentration and much more and one of them is Headache Relief.

Now when I gave it a new try I soon found out that I seemed to get better. Could that be true? I also tested the programs Morning Coffee, Espresso and some more and yes, it felt like they had a positive effect and that I got less migraine, but one reason that it worked is that I have been very alert to do Headache Relief as soon as I felt the first sign of migraine.

Today I have a new daily routine. If I wake up with migraine I do take medicine but I combine with listening to Headache Relief and then the pain disappears more quickly and I feel energized in a way that I don’t get with only medicine. Then I don’t have to take medicine for many hours! Maybe not until the evening! Can this be true?

If I would get the smallest indication of headache during the day I listen to Headache Relief at once and it’s so EASY to do that, since I can do that and continue to work – it’s even possible to talk to others while I do this, because the brain waves keep working in my ear, maybe I turn down the volume, but the sounds bumps around inside my head and do their job anyway.
Yesterday was a real test. I took a walk that happened to get too long, I was exposed to bright light and I didn’t eat properly in the middle of the day – any of it would normally trigger my migraine. Then I had to take a nap in the middle of the day and I didn’t wake up with headache like I’m used to. After that we went shopping to IKEA and I was exhausted when we got back, including initial migraine. At that point I didn’t have the time to listen to Headache Relief because we were going out for dinner, so I took an aspirin with caffein and eletriptan, but I think that if I had more time to recover I might have been able to fix it with Headache Relief. Anyway, when the day ended I had only taken medicine once in the morning and once in the evening, which is like a record for me.
This gives me high hopes and I almost believe that the brain gets better and better to learn how to adapt to the brain waves, which makes me feel that it might be possible to get a day with no medicine at all. Even the fact that I allow myself to think like that is a big step.
I will of course continue to test the app Brain Wave. Check this blog and you will probably find a report about how it goes. I’m happy if you keep your fingers crossed for me, because this is probably the biggest progress I have experienced during my whole adult life! Imagine what it will be like if I don’t have to take any medicine or at least if I don’t have to take as much medicine as I’m used to.