I moved into digital art from traditional art in mid-2020, mostly for the sake of convenience; I was/am a clumsy, absent-minded, ADHD-riddled mess, and shared space with a similarly ADHD-riddled five-year-old. Cups of used paint water, paint-laden palettes, and dirty drop clothes scattered about the place was not exactly helping the already chaotic landscape of my home.
So, digital. I got a Huion tablet and a digital program suite — PaintShop Pro and Painter 2019 — that my wife had bought me nearly two years earlier and finally made the move to making digital art.
I’m not going to sit here and bad-mouth the Painter/PaintShop programs. They got me through three years of steadily, increasingly more skilled digital art. Without them, I do not know where I would be right now on my art journey, but I can almost guarantee I wouldn’t be as far along as I am. They served a purpose, but even with my limited knowledge of digital art programs, I knew they were not really the right fit for me.
Enter Clip Studio Paint. My wife bought a license that allowed use on multiple devices, so I downloaded an iteration to my Surface to see how I liked it.
The pressure-sensitive variable weight lining. The way flood fill is about 1000x more intuitive than on the other programs (no more monochrome canvases because there was a two-pixels wide gap in a line). The way the blender doesn’t simply muddy everything up despite my newness to the tool. How stabilization actually works the way I want it to, and how much smoother my lines are.
The first night I used it, I was borderline angry about how good it was for me. How many pieces could have been, in retrospect, so much better had I had the proper tools.
That first night, I started a brand-new digital painting. I finished it the next morning. It took a fraction of the time it would have taken me in PSP to produce similar-to-better results.
Argh. I wish I could be just unabashedly happy about this, but I seriously keep playing instances of “what could have been” in my mind on a repeating loop.
Still, I have it now. I am anxious and excited to see how my art continues to grow from here. I have a major collaborative project I’m working on, and several zine apps still out in the ether, and I’m excited about what this development means for my art in the future.
And hey, nothing it stopping me from going back a re-doing some work if I really want to. I still have all the raw files, and given how much faster the projects move on the new program, it might be a worthwhile “down time” project, especially for the pieces I intend to offer for sale.
Anyway, how are you all doing? I’m on a sick day yet again, again because I am actually sick, but also again trying to get some chores done around the house to alleviate my anxiety (less anxiety about taking time off — I am sick, I’m making a concerted effort not to feel bad about being sick — but more general anxiety about the mess). Summer is fast approaching and we want to start looking to sell the house soon, and the better shape I can get it into, 1. the easier it will be to sell, and 2., the easier it will be to pack up and move.
I’ve been feeling less stressed, strangely, despite the fact that my major stressors have not gone anywhere — I think I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that there is, realistically, only so much I can do. That being said, my primary stressor will only exist for seven more weeks — we just crested the half-way mark! — and with some effort might actually work out to the best possible outcome, which is, I have to say, heartening.
I’m still never going to do this again, but still, this might be salvageable. Either way, when this is over, I will be going out to celebrate.
My wife and I have been doing a full re-watch of Red Dwarf — well, I say rewatch, but it’s really my first watch through (I’d seen a few episodes before, but never the whole series). Predictably, for anyone who knows me, my major Blorbo™ in Red Dwarf is, of course, Rimmer — a snarky, self-loathing, obviously closeted and neurodivergent abuse survivor? Foregone goddamn conclusions, folks, the boy is mine.
Also, shit, Series 5 Chris Barrie do be looking good. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks so:
Combined with the fact that there are 1700+ Red Dwarf fics on AO3 at the moments, and 1200+ of them are Lister/Rimmer, prepare for this is to be my hyperfixation for the next several months. Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much, most of the more egregiously fannish stuff will be relegated to Tumblr. You’re off the hook, guys.
Hope all is going well for all of you. Take care of yourselves, and each other.