I bought my first drawing tablet a few months after finishing college. For weeks prior to my purchasing it, I had drooled over vendor’s websites comparing models and prices. Unpacking it made me feel so cool, like a whole world of artistic possibilities were opened before me. I had been scanning drawings and coloring by mouse up to that point.
This same tablet has stayed with me all these years. I have used it to draw every single digital work, including all 300 pages of the Final Fantasy 6 comic. During this tablet’s life, I moved 4 times, got married, went to art school, started my freelance business.
The past couple of years it’s been acting up. The pressure sensitivity isn’t what it once was, and I know my hand doesn’t produce lines THAT shaky. Double clicking doesn’t always take. The lasso tool sometimes completes a shape before I tell it to. The shortcut “undo” and “zoom” buttons are unresponsive. You can see the condition the stylus is in by my drawing.
But I am the sort of person who resists change, and I put off switching tablets. Recently I noticed myself fighting with the tablet more and more. It’s begun to gnaw on the corner of my mind while I work on a picture. And I figure, once you start worrying about your tools more than you’re worrying about the piece in front of you- well.
So yesterday I finished the picture I was working on and took a deep breath. The Bamboo I have to replace it is secondhand from 2010, and only a 6x4″ drawing surface. Not too excited about it. If it doesn’t work out, my Graphire does still work, I can always switch back. What I really want is one of those Cintiqs that lets you draw directly on the screen. I never did get over the disconnect between drawing on the tablet and looking up at the computer screen. But that’s a purchase to work up to.
Treasured Wacom. We’ve been through so much together, and you’ll receive a place of honor among my possessions. Now I say: Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come share your master’s joy.