Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Artist review - 40 days with the Wacom Cintiq Companion - Part 3: Quo Vadis ?

Page of notes from 'Bamboo Paper' running on the Wacom Cintiq Companion
You'll recall that the Wacom Cintiq Companion which I have on loan for test and review purposes turned out to have a dodgy audio chip and selfie-cam. The replacement Cintiq Companion (a.k.a. Wacom ) has now duly arrived, and happily all hardware tested OK this time.  I have to say although the audio quality through the headphone socket or via Bluetooth speakers is fine, the internal speaker quality is complete rubbish, a problem which has been remarked on by other reviewers.

Whilst I was awaiting the replacement, I've been messing with some apps just to get the feel of the thing, and now since the replacement arrived, I've installed a whole lot more, including ZBrush 4R6, Photoshop CC and Premiere CC, Cubase, and Microsoft Office 365. I've also got the Reactable music synthesis/sequencer system running under the Bluestacks Android emulator, of which more later, undoubtedly!  I've started working on some of the items in my test plan (above - written in Bamboo Paper with the Pro Pen - nice!).

In the meantime, however, playing with all this stuff has thrown up some odd adjustment stuff ... when Wacom asked me to review the Cintiq Companion I suspect they were not after existential musings, but ... the following is transcribed from a Bamboo Paper notebook page written this morning.

Maybe this is a restart of the 'Artist Pages' (blame Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way') which I used to write longhand on my original tablet PC using Windows Journal, or maybe it's just a brief note, but ... Artist's Block is a thing. :-( Hear that?  I have absolutely no idea what to do.

Pick a different colour maybe (note: pen changed colour here) ?  Anyway ... I'm feeling constricted by having to put a piece of computer hardware though its paces, getting more and more anti-tech as I go along. I'm not sure why this should be - I found using a tablet PC before was a liberating experience - being able to experiment with different ideas, styles, even media without wasting a lot of paper seemed to free up some creative impulses which had been bound up before.

This time, since I started using the Cintiq Companion, I feel restricted in how I use my time, having an obligation to evaluate and report, but also creatively, like I just can't bring myself to put 'pencil' to 'paper' for fear that I'm wasting my time - for fear, I think, that I will fail spectacularly at actually producing any meaningful art.

I should just pull myself together. If David Hockney can exhibit 'paintings' made on an iPad, then I should be able to make something useful on this platform which is, after all, specifically intended for artists. So ... here goes - time to fire up ArtRage and attempt something creative.

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