How long have you been drawing for?

Updated by Michael Rose

That answer depends. Drawing with traditional tools and materials — on and off for the last 20 years. Drawing with digital tools on iPad, the last 3 years.

20 years seems like a long time to be drawing, but in my case it really isn’t. First, there are some crazy gaps in time between draws… second, I’ve never really be all that serious about my craft. I got my first taste of drawing back in high school when I choose Studio in Art as an elective versus something in music.

After four years of high school art I kept at it when dual majoring in both Graphic Design and Illustration at the Rochester Institute of Technology — along with a minor in Fine Art. For several hours a week I had the privilege of drawing and painting live models on large pads of paper using charcoal, Conté crayons, inks, and watercolors.

After earning my bachelor’s degree, drawing took a back seat as I started a career in print and web design. Finding ways to incorporate technology into my life has been a passion of mine ever since playing with my first Apple IIe. Helps explain why I was attracted to digital design which relies heavily on technology and computers compared to the fine arts.

drawing with Pencil stylus on iPad

It wasn’t until I purchased my first iPad did I become interested in drawing again — after a 10 year hiatus! For me, the convenience of drawing digitally, on a tablet I can take anywhere, is extremely appealing. The luxury of being able to disappear into a studio and work by myself is not one I can afford these days, especially with two little ones running around the house.

Working digitally I can now sit in the living room with my family, sketch on iPad, and help keep an eye on the twins. It’s not quite the same experience as working with real pencils, paints, and inks, but Procreate and Paper for iOS help lessen that gap.