Everything you need to make some digital artwork!
If your computer or laptop does not lag and runs software or games nicely, then you don’t need to spend money on a brand new one. Got a gaming computer? That’ll do! If there are minor issues, consider upgrading some parts. I understand not all artists are tech geeks so I will break down what these parts do. You can also do digital art on an apple iPad with some drawing software!
You’re an artist, I get it, not a computer wiz! Sometimes building your computer really helps make running your softwares perfectly. Here are a few resources to build or purchase your computer!
Micro Center is like the toys r us for computers! if you are really new to computers or lost on an issue, talk to one of the employees there, they are masters and are always down to help you! You can also custom build your computer on their website.
There’s a Best Buy everywhere! It’s another great place to ask some experts about prebuilt computers or specific issues, and a place to pick up some parts for your computer. Thanks Geek Squad for all of your services, we’d be lost without you!
Desktop vs Laptop
The ultimate battle! Really its with your preference. Desktops invite you to custom build the inside of your computer; need more ram, buy it, need a new SSD, buy that too! With a laptop however, its pretty much you get what you get, but the portability is awesome! If you can afford it, get both! If you are a traveling artist, bring that laptop with you! If you are a stay at home pj wearer, station yourself at your desktop computer.
You need to store all of your stuff don’t you? The memory on your computer is called RAM. They’re these long chips that are actually pretty easy to install. Another is getting some drives. Solid state drives can hold up to Gigabytes or Terabytes of memory so these are very good to install in your computer. Having a flash-drive (aka. memory stick) is helpful to store some projects and even take them with you.
Online storage is your best friend! In case you lose the physical drive, and if computer gets into wacky situations, its best to have your work backed up on an online drive that you can access on any computer with your private login information. These examples are very similar in terms of storing files such as word documents, videos, psds, pngs, zips, and more. You can even access your cloud storage through your mobile phone and share with others!
Ah yes… the tablet, the ultimate tool for a digital artist. There are different types of tablets you can choose from.
Graphic Tablets are more affordable, where you can draw upon and your creation shows up on your computer monitor.
Example shown: Wacom Intuos
Display tablets you can draw on the screen and your creation shows up on the display, but needs to be hooked up to a computer.
Example shown. Wacom Cintique
All-in-one tablets you can bring around with you with no need for a computer.
Example Shown: Microsoft Surface Pro
Microsoft Surface Pro
The really cool thing about tablets is that the pen is pressure sensitive, so the harder to press the bolder your lines, and the faster and lighter you draw and press, the gentler your lines. This will give you a realistic drawing experience as if you drawing with physical pencil and paper materials.
Now some digital art don’t even require a tablet, such as simple video editing, web designing, etc. Basic 3D modeling involves a lot of clicking around too. However, if you want to 3D sculpt, a tablet would be a good idea. If you are doing any of the type of digital art I listed earlier, a cheap tablet might be a good idea just in case you want to make your own assets and drawings.
Time to get your first pen tablet! Here are some popular retailers that sell some great products for digital artists. There are more tablets out there, but these are the most popular retailers that you may know of already.
Printers are great too if you plan on making your work as prints, stickers, posters, and more. 3D printers are the most expensive, where you can print your very own 3D models and paint them by hand! If you are planning to sell your art, research some printers!
Printer Retailers and Brands
Basically check your local Walmart, Best Buy, Micro Center, Amazon, etc for these printer brands! Scroll through their sites, compare printers, and read reviews. Most of their printers look the same but some companies may have some better deals than the other. All companies pretty much have the same “about us” section and goals… to give their customers a great experience with their printers. Some cool examples of printers are wireless, inkjet, all in one and portable printers.
3D Modelling and Animation
Tip: Try to avoid pirated free versions of art software. Protect yourself from viruses and illegal action! There are always a way to get software at the most affordable price, so please follow your research!
Then just practice!
You got everything you need, just brush up on those art skills and learn to draw and create! Practice everyday, draw something, watch videos, familiarize yourself with your new tech. Soon your fingers will remember all those hot keys, menus, and eventually your own art style! You won’t be a master right away, so understand everyone learns at a different pace. Take your time, and have fun too!
Improve your figure drawing techniques! Draw during a time counter, challenging yourself to capture a readable moving figure on your paper. Practice from nude models, animals, expressions, hands, environments and more!
Reference from a variety of 3D models. Each are their own character with their own pose styles. You can even change the perspective of the 3D model when you subscribe to special memberships.
Duh, I had to list Youtube! Learn from other artists around the world, watch tutorials, comment and look toward to new uploads. Simply just search what you want to learn about … “how to draw”… and poof! Psst.. and also make. a playlist of your favorite tutorials.
Now if you’re really serious about digital art…
School! Look up online classes; there are some out there for free. Even your local tech school or community college may have some programs you can sign up for. Learning from a professional who experienced working in the digital art career field and has years of experience definitely helps. Plus, you will be around other students who are willing to learn like you. Plus, school is fun, and the chance to make professional connections!
Digital art is very do-able with the most affordable equipment! I started digital art by drawing in Microsoft Paint and animating frame-by-frame with Windows Movie Maker… that’s all I had access to when I was like 8 years old. Eventually I upgraded to way better software like Paint Tool Sai and Adobe products. I took a digital art course in high school that introduced me to many different software that I still use today. Also, I personally had my first tablet for over 12 years and I still use it (Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch)! I did buy a new affordable tablet since the driver of my old one does not work for my new MacBook for school… it was time for an upgrade anyways!