Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Facing my fears . . .

True confession: I applied for an iPad because I am afraid of it.

I am a novice – no, really a neophyte – in the world of ‘apps’.  (Full disclosure: I still haven’t succumbed to the lure of the iPhone!)  My goal for my iPad, first of all, is to therefore challenge myself to ‘stretch’ beyond what for me (as a designer) has always been a love affair with my traditionally interactive ‘paper-and-pencil’ experiences and face my fears (or is it scepticism?) of 'digital substitutes'.  "How can any 'app' replace the time-tested experiences of drawing and painting?" asks my fear-filled inner voice.

After researching approximately 35 “design-related” apps – and selecting five as ‘starter’ experiences – I am realizing that my current challenge (besides overcoming that previously mentioned fear) is the potentially long-and-winding adventure of research: what apps ‘work’ for what I do as a designer, and then which of those might actually help my students get closer to my goals for their classroom experiences?  Will that experience be 'successful'?  Will they access their experiences as 'honestly' as the non-digital ones that I have offered to-date?  Will the iPad be more fascinating than the goals of the work?

What I am – cautiously – delighted to discover, as I begin to put these first five apps through their paces is that this adventure is ultimately challenging me to re-consider WHAT I ACTUALLY DO.  Not a bad way to start. 

Still, it’s very s c a r y . . .

Oh, yes - the five apps I'm currently exploring:
  1. ArtRage - a kind of 'finger painting' approach to doodling ideas
  2. iDraw - simplified drafting on graph-like backgrounds
  3. Sketchpad Lite - a drawing application
  4. SketchBook - a sort of 'illustration' app (drawing AND painting options)
  5. Penultimate - opportunities to doodle/take notes as if with a pen
All take a bit of start-up training, some more than a little.  I'm trying to stay open to the time investments needed to get to do what my pencil and paper has already provided for me: expressive freedom.

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