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How Procreate App and the iPad Pro changed my workflow

How Procreate App and the iPad Pro changed my workflow

The estimated reading time for this post is 5 minutes

One day I woke up and Photoshop and Illustrator weren't cooperating. Or maybe it was my computer having its days. It was that day that I said "enough" to depending on just one device. If I really have to depend on technology, I might as well have a backup device, right? You've gotta be prepared.

Having multiple devices saves time. And time is precious. If one doesn't work, you jump to the next and think about how to fix the other later. Or you know, ask someone to figure it out.

I am an Apple maniac (no, this is not sponsored). I watch all the keynotes. I read all the blogs. I am hooked about the brand and the way they do marketing. The choice, then, was between an iPad Pro and a MacBook Pro.


Why the iPad

Little did I know. After a little research I found the Procreate App. I was blown away. I found a device and an app that would change my workflow and help me depend less on buggy apps (sorry Adobe, it's true).

Moreover, I can go around with just the iPad. No more thousands of sketchbooks. Traveling light? YES! I am not saying, however, that you shouldn't use regular media to work with. In my point of view, it does save a lot of paper, pen and pencil. I am still fascinated by paper, even if I use it less in my workflow.

In truth, the tool you use doesn't matter much. It all depends how it fits in your workflow and how much time it saves you. If you are like me, and you do a bunch of sketches and you need a backlit table, than maybe having a tablet like the iPad is a good idea and it will save you some money and time on the long run.


Designing

I love to sketch on the iPad using Procreate. I even developed my own brushes to sketch my lettering works, ones that makes it feel more natural. 

Talking about natural, let's talk about the Apple Pencil. The weight, the material and the overall design make it really intuitive and seamless to handle it. It just feels right. As a Visual Identity Designer, I depend heavily on my pencils and I was a bit skeptical with it substituting the regular pencil, or if I'd adapt. It's more precise than all pressure sensitive styluses I have tried and seen. It's a no-brainer for creative Apple Pro users.

There are many great other apps, but Procreate is my to-go, specially because the price and value don't match. That's right. I would have paid way more for that app. So good, almost as good as chocolate.

Anyway, it allows you to create your own brushes (much like Photoshop). You add a brush tip and a grain and all the dynamics. It also allows you to create and store sets of brushes and color palettes.

In the latest update, it has also added the possibility to stream and record the screen (it has always made a cool timelapse of your works automatically).

 

Procreate has sped up and cleaned my process, as well as made it easier to document it. I can now make cool videos for my clients if I wish to. It has many other great features.

All in all, the iPad Pro + Procreate combo has made my life as a roaming Designer lighter and faster.

Writing

That's right. Writing with the iPad Pro is awesome. The Smart Keyboard has an awesome key travel. The flow is there, you don't need to apply too much force to click. Right now, I use iA Writer both on iOS and on the Mac to write most my content, and Day One for journaling. There are many other great apps, like Ulysses, that work seamlessly between devices.

And then there are apps like Penultimate and Journal that have made my meetings with clients seem "cooler". In reality, it became more interactive. We get to draw and write our ideas as we go. Yes, much like with real paper and pencils but without wasting tons of material or losing important papers while commuting (I had that issue!).

Photography

I sometimes go around photo-shooting bands. It's just a side hustle, but, on the road, you've gotta edit. I have found it is extra handy editing on the iPad. I have a 760D from Canon, that connects with the iPad allowing me to edit with Adobe Lightroom and Pixelmator.

Even tho I could have gone for the Mac Book, I'd still would have to carry a bunch of papers and the Bamboo Fun for editing.

In fact, I have shown iPad (not necessarily the Pro in this case) + Camera + Adobe Lightroom combo for a photographer friend/client of mine and she was amazed.

Now I am down to one amazing device + one single pencil and a bunch of awesome, powerful apps, like Procreate.

Reading

Reading is a passion of mine, and I must say I was excited to have thousands of books on the iPad as I was with Procreate.

I mostly use Scribd and iBooks, but for example, my mom uses Amazon's Kindle and there is also Bluefire Reader.

I read a lot, a medium of 50 books a year. Some of them more than once. I sometimes cannot figure out what I have read where. The iPad has made it easier to hightlight, annotate and find passages and quotes in books. It's a very complete and seamless experience, even if you a night reader like me. I only read before bed, so reading with a backlit device is not a good idea... However, you can fix the light within the reading app's configuration and within the iPad's configuration as well use Nightmode.


Quick wins:

  • having multiple devices is a back up;
  • the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil + Procreate app is a great sketching /painting combo;
  • The tool you use doesn't matter much, as long as it saves you time;
  • The iPad Pro + Apple Pencil can be an amazing asset to graphic designers, illustrator, painters and even photographers;
  • Writing on the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard is just as on a computer, or even better considering the quality of the keyboard's build;
  • Reading on the iPad is quite productive as well, since you can highlight, annotate and search quotes within books;

Bonus: List of my most used apps + a free brush

Graphics

Writing

Reading

Free Procreate brush - gone marker

Free brush for Procreate - Gone marker

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