In this 21st century, everything has to be digital or digitalized. And each time while drawing in a notebook or on some loose papers you know, on top of my endless to-do list is that never ticked point … digitalise drawings. I know I have written in a previous post about Digitalising your designs, that you should scan all your designs and convert them into vectors or digital patterns. Although I have to admit… some of my designs are still on the to-do pile…. So once I read about the Bamboo Spark I took my laptop and googled it until I knew everything there was to know about this device.
Tablet or Paper?
There are probably two kinds of people, the once who can draw on a digital tablet and the once who can’t… I had, a long long time ago, a drawing tablet, but either I didn’t practice enough or I am just not capable drawing on one… I don’t know. But after a while, it was catching dust so I sold the one. I think my problem is; I do love to draw on paper, the feeling of the pen or pencil to the paper. You know the pressure of the pen on the paper will cause the same effect every time. You can erase the parts you don’t like and emphasise some details. If I have to choose between tablet or paper, I definitely will go for paper. The only problem is again, no digital version and an endless flow of drawings everywhere…
From paper to tablet
Over the years, there have been some great inventors who created pens with memories, quick scanners and the creators of the Bamboo Spark by Wacom. It is a pressure sensitive portfolio, with a real pen, real paper and just one button click away from digitalizing your design. To me, it sounded almost too perfect. But once I had the chance to buy it from someone who was a ‘tablet-person’ instead of a ‘paper-person’ I thought… let’s give it a try. So this isn’t a sponsored post but my very own opinion.
Pro’s of the Bamboo Spark
- JPG, PNG, Pdf, WILL, vector. These are all the extensions you can save your drawing in! WILL is an extension of Wacom itself to switch between different design apps (see some bullet points below).
- Merge or split images. You like the first part of your drawing but you have overdone it at the end you can split your drawings on you tablet afterwards!
- Multiple apps for design. There are two apps you can use, Inkspace is the main app to upload all your drawings onto the tablet. While Bamboo Paper is an app to design, colour and adjust your drawings directly
- It’s Portable. It is the perfect padfolio size between A4 and A5, so it fits easily in your bag! Besides that, the padfolio is also quite good looking!
- Use it offline. Not only is it portable but you can also use it offline. Whether you are at home, in your garden, on the beach or on the train you might just have the best inspiration, as written in this post. The bamboo spark can be used offline. It will save up to 100 drawings before you really need to synchronise it.
- Drawing to text! Sometimes those little notes of your last meeting, to do list, quick email draft ends up somewhere at the bottom of the note pile. Not only will you be able to save them all in the notepad but it will also save you time because you can convert your handwritten text into digital text! Isn’t it great!!
Cons of the Bamboo Spark
- Don’t forget to push the button. You will need to keep in mind that every once in a while you will need to push the button to save your drawing. It doesn’t see when you flip the page and start all over your previous drawing. Luckily you can split those pages afterwards, but with a push, before flipping the page your drawings are secured.
- Not super sensitive/accurate when speed drawing. Sometimes I miss some strokes or they merge into one when I sketch some quick strokes. So check whether you have all the parts in your image. Otherwise, go over it again and merge the two images togeather!
- One large vector format, so no strokes as a vector. I love to work in Adobe Illustrator, tough in this case the drawing will be one large vector instead of separate strokes, while they are saved in the Inkspace separately. So maybe an update in the future will make this possible. In the meantime, I will have to draw the design on the tablet and on the bamboo spark until satisfied before transforming it into a vector for the Florine Design Archives haha.
- Drawings are lost when the battery is empty… yep… this is true. Unfortunately, this wasn’t mentioned in the manual but I had to find it out the hard way. The only solution is to draw it all over again (trace it for example) or to never let the battery die…
What is your experience with drawing tablets, memory pens or maybe even with the Bamboo Spark? Overall think it is a great gadget. Although I still have to get used to it and doesn’t look as pretty as my DIY croco-cover notebook haha. But you might just see some more drawings on the blog from now on!