I am first and foremost a writer. Have always had the skill, the urge, and the drive (or is that the same as urge?)
Recently, out of the blue, I got this strange craving to try to make handwritten posts for my blog. Something to add a personalized touch, I guess (but really the more likely story is I had discovered the world of tablet styli, and I believe nothing revitalizes a hobby like buying new toys for it).
After shopping online for a stylus, I realized Walmart sadly had the largest selection (sadly because I am not a fan of theirs; however, they are open 24 hours, and I’m a big fan of shopping after work at 4 a.m.) I stopped in after my Friday night shift and, sadly again, realized their store stock was only a tiny percentage of their online selection. I really, really hate this. Because I know I can get what I want on Amazon (cheaper and exploitation free), but sometimes I just don’t want to wait for shipping. So what’s the good of checking online before going to the store if 90% of their stuff is only online?
As I drove there, I envisioned a large, beautifully organized peg hook section with a dazzling array of styli. The reality was maybe ten hooks, eight of which were the same item in different colors, scattered hither and yon in a variety of larger, barely related categories of products (Mobile Accessories. Computer Accessories. iPhone Accessories. GET IT TOGETHER, WALMART). Plus one stuck on a clearance end-cap. And another actually stranded in the back-to-school pens (this is how desperate I was).
I bought one, and returned it the following day when I realized how disappointing the experience was. Tablets, it turns out, are not very handwriting friendly. Had I been more devoted to the idea, this post would look something like this:
I think we can all agree that’s pretty horrid. My handwriting is much nicer than that in reality, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Then I realized I had been looking only at note-taking apps, ignoring the slew of sketchbook apps. Maybe that was the secret? It wasn’t, but after trying nearly all of those, I stumbled on the app that would change my life!
Sketch N Draw Pad HD. Look for it on the Android Market; I think it may be one of those gems we have that Apple doesn’t. This app is nothing short of magic, people.
I tried art in high school but, while it was a very relaxing activity, it never matched the image in my head and that was too frustrating, so I turned to writing. Words would be my brush strokes, my canvas the minds of whoever read them. That was before. Welcome to my after:
Hmmm. How did that come out of my hand? So I moved on to a character that’s never far from my mind, Severus Snape.
Try again, using different tools:
I posted some of my halting beginnings on Facebook (all about as sophisticated as these) to scurry up some praise for my fragile developing talent. What I didn’t expect was enthusiastic requests for more. My friend asked for CATSSSS. I was happy to oblige, after finding a stylus at a computer store that worked much better than the crappy Walmart choice.
I‘m crazy proud of both of these.
Then my other friend asked for a turtle. I had no idea what to draw, so Google Image searched and found something I thought I might be able to do. I swear to God, I scribbled this out before running to the airport to pick up Tery:
COME ON. I swear, before this I could barely play Pictionary. Now I’m ready for a gallery opening.
Then my sister made a couple of requests for my 4-year-old niece, and please copyright people don’t hunt me down:
She has very eclectic tastes.
At this point, just to be sure, I tried the same thing on an app that seems to be a big deal in the sketch app world:
Good. I was starting to fear I had an awesome artist hidden inside me that I’ve been ignoring for 20 years. Wouldn’t THAT be tragic? (Tery calls me Grandma Moses)
Once at a party, my neighbor asked an odd question: Do you think your soul comes from the past, present or future? She always felt she was born in the wrong time, would have fit in better back in the 20’s or something crazy. Without even thinking, I answered I was from the future. The more I think of it, the more I think it’s true. I’m always looking ahead, eager for the new technology or the next big thing. When I’m about to die, my sadness will come from missing what’s still to come. My talent was apparently just waiting for the invention of tablets (and this app).
Once again, the app is Sketch N Draw Pad HD. As a caveat, you might have to sell a tiny piece of your soul to make it work, but that seems a small price to pay. You know that Progressive insurance ad where the wife is mad at Flo because her husband thinks he can juggle chainsaws now? Now everywhere I look I see things I imagine I can draw.