A Wacom Welcome

A Wacom Welcome 

Welcome back folks.  Another computers and electronics installment for you today, mainly focusing on the world of design (a newfound passion of mine) and how I’ve recently discovered how through a bit of, or rather a lot of, trial and error, can take my skills and understanding of the whole topic to great new heights.  This is namely through the discovery of the Wacom tablet and pen. 

Over the past few years I’ve learned heaps of tips, tricks and skills, much of it through error and discovering alternative ways to achieve similar things (there are dozens, trust me) and while this has been a huge milestone for me and something I’m personally proud of, the recent discover of the Wacom tablet and pen has simply put me back on the very tip of the iceberg. Actually, that’s not strictly true.  It’s shifted me straight on to the bottom rung of the next ladder.  As painful and depressing as that can seem it also provides in an odd way, a rewarding sense of achievement if you will, almost like the whole challenge is whispering something profound like ‘Well done, you’ve graduated from that school, you’re now in first grade again but in this much more advanced school.  Keep going!’.

Wacom Tablet and Pen 

So while my inner encouragement is still mildly on the boil, knowing just what lies ahead in terms of the intricacies and vast amount of practice required to develop these new skills along with all the associated inevitable shortcomings, I know it’s going to be worth it 

The Wacom Hardware 

Some time ago I found a great deal on a second hand Wacom tablet.  Is was perfect for my skill level at the time, and still is, and should see me through the next year or so as long as I put in at least two to three hours a day’s work.  But I can’t start that yet as I need to get myself the right corresponding Wacom pen.  They’re often sold separately to accommodate the vast diversity of skill ranges among costumers: the final piece of the puzzle being the pen.  It all entirely depends if you’re more of a designer than an artist, or more of an artist than a designer.  Well personally, I’m not artistic in the slightest, in terms of drawing or painting, but with enough creative vision and design experience to know what I want to achieve and a little bit of how to achieve it – with a mouse that is.

Wacom Tablet & Pen 

Anyway, after much research I found the kind of pen that I’m pretty sure will suit my skills with a large enough window of time to grow into, again about a year or so.   The best I came up with was from a large online second-hand classified ads site: http://www.canada.for-sale.com/wacom-pen , and as with anything of this ilk, like design,  taking time now to research your purchases before you invest is absolutely crucial. 

Firstly, Wacom is a incredibly well-respected brand, which has stood the test of time and is tried, tested and proven amongst designers of all backgrounds and skill levels. 

Why Use a Wacom Pen Instead of a Mouse 

It’s pointless at this stage outlining the less obvious benefits of using a pen and tablet over a mouse, such as a vastly reduced risk of any RSI injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome, so I’ll stick with the more obvious ones.  In layman’s terms: if you have you ever had to put your signature on a document or email for the purpose of sending it back electronically, and you’ve give it your best attempt using a mouse, however good a job you think you may have done under the circumstances, you’d have to agree that it still looked like it was scrawled by a five-year old right?

Wacom Pen 

In other terms, once you’ve got use to using a Wacom pen and tablet – and it doesn’t take that long – you’ll realize very quickly that it suddenly furnishes you with a whole new level of speed, precision and dexterity, of which you never knew existed.  The size of the tablet is set at a 1:1 ratio to your computer monitor so referring to your tablet as a separate entity is absolutely fine.  But it’s the pen that really brings your skills to life.  With over 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity (meaning it will read your intentions for soft or light strokes), and tilt sensitivity (meaning it will read your intentions of colour intensity or use of opacity or any other combination of settings pre-determined for the design project you’re working on) the pen and tablet will simply eclipse a mouse in every conceivable way.  You just have to give it a go.  As for me, a few more days, possibly next week and my Wacom pen will be here, and I can’t tell you how excited I am, it will literally give me a new lease of life.  Anyway, thanks for dropping by folks, until next time..