There are a lot of iPad artists out there. Some of them make a rather decent living from their work. The thing to realize is that digital art is still art. It takes all the skills required by any other form of art. A medium is only a tool. Some artists work with wood and chisel while others prefer ice and chainsaw. Whether you prefer the brush or the stylus, the creative impulse is the same, as is the level of skill it takes to successfully pull it off.
iPad artists are a special breed because they are taking a well-known medium or charcoal and paint, and transforming it into something digital and less understood. If you want to join those on the frontier of digital art, grab your iPad and add the following:
1. A Good Storage Solution
The thing about being an iPad artist is that at some point, you are going to want to print some of that art on a large-format medium. If you make blueprints on your iPad, you will need a good blueprint storage system because eventually, those digital blueprints are going to make it into the analog world.
The same is true for artwork. If you draw something that is destined for a poster, you are going to need someplace to store those posters. Having the iPad means you don’t have to maintain a room full of mounted canvases for all the pieces you are working on. But you will still need the storage for all your finished works that you want to keep. Be sure to secure the proper storage before you have your next creative explosion.
2. A USB-C Hub
If you are trying to get all that you can out of your iPad Pro, you are going to have to deal with the limitation of having only a single port. The best way to deal with it is by getting a USB-C hub that will give you enough ports you need for productive work. You will probably want to work while your device is plugged into power. There goes your one port. You are also going to need to be able to plug in some type of SD card to get images on and off of hard drives. Did you want to see your work on a large, external display? You are definitely going to need a hub.
3. A Stylus
Styli are not all created equally. If you are using an iPad Pro, you are very likely going to want to use the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. However, that will not work on an older generation of iPad with a Lightning connector. Suddenly, the tablet stylus market opens up to you. This is the moment when you realize that some styli are better than others for certain tasks. If you ink, draw, and color, you might need an assortment of styles.
4. A Screen Protector
The average iPad user doesn’t really need a screen protector. The screen is beautiful and very durable. But if you are doing a lot of drawing with a hard tip like the Apple Pencil, you are going to want an extra layer of protection. More than protection, some screen products are specifically made to give the iPad a more paper-like feel when drawing and inking. They do detract ever so slightly from the screen’s natural vibrance. But what they provide in feel could be well worth it.
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5. A Protective Case
Apple’s case solutions might not be the best option for maximum protection. You can’t afford to be without your iPad. And you will be taking it with you all the time. Drops are going to happen regardless of how careful you are. Protect your investment with a proper case and not just a lightweight sleeve. Sleeves are tempting because they are thin, light, often made from premium materials, and come in tempting colors. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to one of these sleeves as long as you keep the whole package in a protective bag. Otherwise, skip the sleeve and go for a case.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what device you use for your digital art. Your workstation is not complete without a storage solution, a USB hub, a stylus, a screen protector, and a protective case.