In the previous journal post I mentioned how I don't want to get into the details of my frustrations, but in the end I do feel that I need to vent at least a little bit and I don't really have any other venues for that besides here (no way this whole thing fits on Twitter
). I did try to limit it to one topic of techincal issues and stayed as constructive as possible, but the post ended up being WAY more massive than I ever anticipated. Ultimately, it's not all that important, but I think it was more about me writing this rather than anyone actually reading this.
So, after working on a new tablet for roughly a month I think I can safely say that I actually don't like it all that much.
Naturally, getting used to it takes time, since the new one is a display tablet and that changes things significantly. You also gotta keep in mind that at this stage I'm still not at a particularly high skill level, so when changes occur, readjusting is extra tricky. However, after using the new tablet for what I consider a demonstrable amount of time, I'm still not even a fraction as confident in the most basic things as I used to be with my old Bamboo.
Don't get me wrong - the situaton isn't disasterous or anything. The tablet itself is perfectly functional, I can still work on it and still can finish artwork with it. The issue is - instead of feeling like a step forward it actually feels like a step backwards. I have to re-learn a lot of things almost from scratch, I have to drop some of my old habits (which is arguably a plus, although it sure doesn't feel like it right now) and figure out things that I thought I had figured out a while ago.
I do have to consider that the entire month I've been using the new tablet I've been going through a creative slump, which obviously affects how I work in a major way. The difficult part here is that getting out of that creative slump is extra hard when you're constantly getting reassured in your own incompetence by your clumsiness with a new tool.
What really brought me down was a little experiment I tried a couple of days ago. I un-hooked the new tablet and busted out my old Bamboo, which is surprisingly easy and fast when you know which drivers to install. I didn't really draw anything meaningful - just doodled for about 20 minutes. And even as awkward as it was to draw on that thing after a month of something different, and even though realistically I didn't draw that much better with it - what was different is that for some reason I felt much more confident that with a couple of days of practice I can do something solid on it again.
You can look at this problem from a different point though - that it's not quiet a fair comparison. I worked on a Bamboo for I think at least two years and before that I wroked for about a year on a Genius, which was pretty much the same thing. My old tablet was an extension of my arm at that point, so I do realise that it's possible that one month is not long enough of a timeframe to make decisive conclusions. Perhaps going through some difficult changes outside of my comfort zone is what will bring me to improvement eventually.
An important point I want to make is that in no way I want to discourage people from trying different things or switching to different tablets specifically. This is clearly a personal issue, caused by preference, attitude and perhaps a bad timing. I do know that people work with those types of tools and find them extremely useful. I know a lot of people (not personally, obviously), who prefer this sort of tablet to the one I'm used to, among them - very skilled artist and professionals. Those are the reasons why I originally decided to make a switch and was (still is, admittedly less so) so condifent in it.
My natural instinct after running into pushback was to instantly drop out of this endeavor and swicth back, but that's the tricky part - would that be giving up or would that be a sensible approach? If I go back, is that just a refusal to leave the comfort zone? If I keep trying to make it work, is that just a waste of time I could be using to actually improve my artwork? As with most things, there's no way to tell and the answer is lying somewhere in between anyway, most likely.
And you have to rememeber, aside from questions of perseverance or determination there's always a more materialistic side to things. The main reason why swithing back is such a difficult option and why this whole thing is even an issue in the first place - obviously I don't feel great about spending 300 USD on a second monitor I'm not going to use anyway. Returning it is not an option - return policy only covers malfunctions and the tablet itself works perfectly, the issue lies in the user error. There's always an option of re-selling it, but that would be the last ditch effort and I don't think I'm there yet.
The conclusion to this stream of consciousness is that I am going to keep trying to make it work. As frustrated as I am with the situation, I do realise that there is a very high chance the issue lies within me more than within the hardware.
I'm not entirely sure how many of the people who read my journal posts are artists, but I would appreciate any input on this topic.
If you made it this far - thanks for reading. I do feel a little better