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Creative Spotlight: Paul Kercal on Adobe Touch Apps

For some time now, Paul Kercal (@Kercal) has been sharing his Adobe Ideas creations with us. Whether they have been doodles from a bus ride or sketchnotes from interesting events he has attended, we’re always excited to see what he will send us next. So, to pay tribute to this devoted Adobe Touch Apps fan, we decided to feature his work as our next Twitter background.

In our exchanges with Paul on Twitter, we were able to learn how our Touch App has changed his creative process and workflow for the better. Read what he had to say by checking out the full Q&A below.

Are you working on an Adobe Touch Apps project that you would like to share with us? Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below!

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Creative Layer: When were you first introduced to Adobe Touch Apps?

Paul Kercal: The introduction to Adobe Ideas came at the hands of another talented mobile digital artist, the marvelous Mr. Stefan Marjoram (@stefanmarjoram). We met at a conference I had organized on behalf of my college. Since then I’ve followed all apps with more interest, the variety of tools available on tablet devices is staggering.

What was the very first creation you made with Touch Apps?

It’s difficult to point to the first picture as, with any new app, I’ll create three of four pictures quickly to get to grips with the UI and canvas. The first thing I remember creating is this image, which introduced me to a lovely way of working I hadn’t used before, zooming in, drawing a face and zooming out to add another, then another until I ran out of zoom. It was either the second or third piece I worked on as the UI to Ideas became familiar and natural very quickly indeed.

How much of a difference has direct touch input made to your creations?

Touch input has made the world of difference to the way I create imagery. My primary tools had been pencils, inks and desktop computers but these have faded a significant amount from my daily efforts. Now it’s all about the glass screen and the speed at which my fingers can dance on it.

When I’m doing youth work or working in schools, I often talk about the difference between a tablet and a piece of paper. A piece of paper is wonderful and I certainly don’t want to see traditional art ever disappear, but a tablet will allow you to undo, expand and edit in ways that traditional art cannot achieve and, most importantly, it’s all about the speed, the flow and the lack of resistance you are confronted with. With all forms of traditional art, you are faced with pushing something against something else: a chisel collides with stone, a pencil is scraped against what is basically softened sandpaper. Clay is pushed and pulled, canvas strains against a frame. A mobile device? When speaking to children I often say the screen is like the surface of a very still pond. All you have to do is touch it to coax a variety of beautiful pixels, swimming and dancing around your gestures like koi carp. It’s a very poetic process.

How have the Adobe Touch Apps changed your creative workflow?

Speed…glorious speed. Between a computer and the image is a mouse. Maybe a screen mimicking tablet and pen, rarely a distance than you can reach across. With a phone or a tablet, the brain and the screen you are accessing is a hand clap away. With a slight slice of computer power you can create artwork as good as the largest of drab boxes, just quicker. I love it.

Of the different Touch Apps, which one is instrumental to your creative process and why?

I LOVE Adobe Ideas and find it’s the first app I reach for in everything from meetings to life drawing sessions. It is an app that truly feels written for the glass screen and makes me happy in the second between icon and loaded app and happier when I get into the drawing process.

Touch Apps gives you the freedom to create anytime, anywhere. Where is your favorite place to create?

It’s an honorable tie between the number 34 bus between Guildford and Camberley and the Chin Chin Labs ice cream parlor in central London. I can happily create artwork in either venue, but only one offers me ice cream as a reward for my doodling.

Take a look at some additional projects that Paul has created by visiting his Adobe Ideas dedicated Flickr album and blog, The Librarian’s Tangents.

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