Archive for May, 2011

May 27, 2011

Matthew Watkins was never good at soccer (um, football)

Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Watkins. Check out his fantastic mobile art site @

Sometimes a tool is as much about what is left out of the release as it is what is included. The fundamental design of a hammer is unchanged over the centuries. You pick it up, it feels right in your hand, and it gets the job done. Adobe Ideas may not be a Swiss Army Knife app, but it’s a hammer as far as sketching applications go.

I reach for it when I want to create in a hurry, when I want to quickly comp an idea.  I was undecided at first I about the line correction, but the more I used it the more I realized that this is one of the main attractions of the app for me.

Adobe Ideas is a vector software, but without the complications of Bézier curves, anchor points and levers like the Inkpad app or Adobe Illustrator on the desktop; although you have a virtually unlimited canvas, great for presenting a concept. You have layers and the possibility of importing photos, and you have excellent export options. Adobe Ideas permits you to email the current Ideas screen visualization, if you are only interested in a particular element at iPad screen resolution in .png format, or you can email the whole sketch as an editable .PDF to be opened in Illustrator, or in Photoshop at the desired resolution and edit them as you prefer.

Artists and designers have never had so much creative power in their hands.


On a flight from London to Milan, in that awkward moment where they make me turn off my mobile devices, I started drawing a comic about my total incapacity for soccer as a child. After a couple of sketches the unfasten seatbelt light came on and I was curious to see just how different the creative experience would be drawing my comic on an iPad with Adobe Ideas. The result turned out to be entertaining for the person sitting beside me on the plane, and enlightening for me.

I found that even over the turbulence I could perfectly draw what I saw in my head, all in smooth snappy lines, different from the pen strokes. More finished, and more camera ready. I took advantage of the app’s ability to create and manage colour palettes to sample some greys from a previous drawing.

So there you have it. After all these years, my soccer ability is perhaps even just a tad worse now, but I feel my creative capacity is undiminished, and that I have powerful new tools to help me get my job done.


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