One of my favourite old YouTube series was “Pro Tog, Cheap Camera” by DigitalRevs. The premise was give a pro photographer a terrible camera and watch how they overcame those challenges to still create better photos than you or I could.
The really interesting part was their mindsets and explanations for how they overcame or made use of the cheap tools they had.
It was a fantastic example of both how creative constraints can lead to impressive results and the role of tools in creation.
To be clear, the photographers could have created more technically superior results with better tools, but the skills, styles and mindsets they brought were MORE important than the tools and transferred across.
This is my attitude to tools now: Pro tools can help produce certain results, but the skills are more important and relevant even with cheap tools. Cheap tools can also encourage certain styles.
After being a procreate advocate for a long time, I’m using paper by wetransfer for my sketchnotes again. It’s not that Procreate is bad, but I'm enjoying those extra limits.
In a week where there are tons of messages to buy stuff, I think it would be good to appreciate what we already have and look to make the most of the tools we have at hand.
Creative challenge: Show your tools!
Although the tools don’t matter, it’s fun to geek out about them from time to time. I’ve been working on adding a new tools page to learn create share (hopefully up when you read this) and I’d love to see your tools.
Share them online with #MyToolBox and I’ll do my best to comment (you can mention me too).
The Reason Zoom Calls drain your energy - BBC
It’s not just use, Zoom fatigue is real and there are some good reasons for it.
we have to work harder to provide non-verbal communication clues
we fear silence due to the technological challenges
we are more aware that we’re being watched
the pandemic and lockdowns add on top of that.
Keep Calm and Make Ugly Art - Austin Kleon
As someone who notices every imperfection and failed aspect of every picture I draw, this resonated with me a lot. I know I’m not the most technical sketcher but I now feel more comfortable with these rough pictures (you may have noticed the newsletter now includes them). My process can be rough, and the final product is unrefined, but I enjoy making them.
As the newsletter has hit 30 and we’re about to go into the crazy Christmas season, now seems like the perfect time for a little break. In truth, I’ve needed to reduce what I’ve been doing for a while but kept on regardless.
That wasn’t the right decision. Despite reading the accidental creative and appreciating the importance of whole life planning, I failed to implement it.
I’ll be back in the new year and I have some new plans for then.
Take care of yourself.