For my first blog post, I thought I’d tackle a frequently asked question I get — what kind of equipment I use to create my work! It’s definitely gotten more complex over the course of my time as a designer, but I’ve learned to focus on those items that perform the best in my own workflow.
Before we get into it, I thought it’s also worth mentioning that equipment/gear/stuff isn’t everything! I worked with a lot of analog mediums for the longest time before slowly building up my equipment to where it is now, especially after really understanding how much I wanted to focus on digital work going forward. My setup has definitely become an investment, but it’s really a labor of love that allows me to tackle the projects and issues I’m passionate about as a designer. And I love what I do, so naturally I want to put all my resources into making my capacity bigger and better :~) Let’s get into it!
I use my iPad (12.9 inch) for everything from sketching ideas to creating finished works — so much so that 99% of my illustrations nowadays are done on my iPad. I’ve worked with other tablets somewhat in the past, and I love how easy the iPad is for quite literally any look you’d like to create. It’s a stand-alone product, so you really don’t need any additional things (not even a laptop) to create beautiful works.
Wacom Intuos 4
I don’t use this tablet a ton, but it’s worth including since I’ve found it necessary at points to have a tablet I can hook up to my computer. (The iPad can’t, unless you subscribe to a third party software to allow you to do so.) Plus, I got this for free (previous owner didn’t need it anymore) so that’s always a plus!
I tend to use my Intuos for heavy photo editing in Photoshop. Haven’t used it much for digital art, since I default to my iPad for that, but it’s useful in that capacity if I ever need to draw directly with my computer. It’s definitely a nice-to-have as opposed to a need at this point in my career.
…. & a lot of other complicated computer things
I’m not too strong with computer specs n stuff, but it takes a lot of power to be able to push these materials around through various programs. With the help of my computer guru pals, I’m slowly working on building up my own PC to get there :-)
(Before I started focusing on getting/building a good desktop this past summer 2018, I did all of my work off my 2016 Macbook Air - so it’s definitely possible, just a very painful process huehue)
I do most of my illustrations on my iPad, and Procreate is really the only program I use. Not much more I can say aside from how it’s such a simple and amazing program :-)
Adobe Creative Suite
While I use (quite nearly) every program in the Adobe Suite, I focus on a few for design work:
After Effects: creating motion design products
Premiere Pro: stitching together separate video components, such as different video clips or different After Effects files
Illustrator: creating vector graphics and static design products
Photoshop: manipulating photos, making gifs (my latest obsession), mockups
Invision or Adobe Xd
For prototyping, assembling mood boards, and drafting storyboards, I switch between these two. I’m not yet super wedded to one or the other, and still in the process of storming out what really works best for storyboarding. At this point, I really enjoy Invision for mobile and Adobe Xd for my desktop! Plus, Invision is free if you’re just getting into the field :D