iPad Pro First Impressions: Digitizing, Streamlining, & a Free Printable

iPad Pro First Impressions

Hey y'all! This week, I wanted to talk about a product I'm sure you've seen everywhere by now! Since the iPad Pro was released, and with it, the Procreate app and Apple Pencil, many hand-lettering artists I follow (and admire) have given their brush pens a break, in exchange for this awesome piece of technology. And I've just been drooling over it all.

I've been pining after the iPad Pro for months and months. But, I was super hesitant to make the purchase because money doesn't grow on trees and I've become Frugal Frieda in the last few years. Also, buying the iPad felt like such an indulgent expense, especially with the holidays coming up! However, I knew this purchase could be for the betterment of my business, so I did it. And I've been the proud owner of an iPad Pro for a week. 

Yes, one week. Not nearly long enough to have learned the ins and outs of Procreate, but long enough for me to know that my first impression is: GOOGLY-EYED LOVE.


Digitizing. Digitizing! DIGITIZING! This product has totally streamlined my lettering process. As much as I love hand-lettering with a real brush pen, I was getting very bored and frustrated with the rigorous digitization process. 

For me, digitizing my hand-lettered pieces in Illustrator was not only time consuming, but unrewarding. Though my digitized lettering always looks good, it is nowhere near as clean and crisp as I want it to be. This is a huge deal, considering I make and sell digitized hand-lettered products. I could always spend more time at my computer, obsessing over every corner and curve, working on it until it's absolutely perfect, but there are not enough hours in the day when I am the CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of this ship. 

I don't have to give up coffee to save my lettering. Ok, so I'm being a tiny bit dramatic, but if you ever saw me letter in person, you'd know I have a mild case of the caffeine shakes pretty much 24/7. That's actually why I quit recording hand-lettering videos! But, how does using the iPad fix this? The magical 'streamline' feature. I learned about it months ago from watching this Instagram Video:

I mean, her caption says it all! This incredible feature totally evens out every line and curve. There is no need for touching up or correcting. It. Is. AWESOME. 

The possibilities are endless. I've planned to expand the line of products I sell since the beginning. Now, with with this amazing tablet, I have the exact tools I need to begin creating more of the artwork I enjoy... like custom portraits, house illustrations, logos, etc. Yes, I could have (and have) done all of those things the Old-Fashioned way, but it will always go back to streamlining for me. Not to mention, I have saved I-Don't-Know-How-Much paper. 

My creative juices are FA-LOWING. Changing it up was just what I needed to rejuvenate my lettering.  As with anything, doing the same repetitive tasks (aka: digitizing) over again can get stale. This stale feeling has seeped over into all areas of my business, because my business revolves around lettering and digitizing. But, for the last week, I've been on creative FIRE while using my new toy. Printables, greeting cards, custom monograms....it's like I've been touched by the Creativity Angel. 

My favorite aspect of the iPad pro is the ability to work directly on top of images. Previously, I had to hold up some tracing paper to my computer screen and roughly sketch out the area where I wanted my lettering to go. Then, after finishing the lettering on paper, I had to scan it into the computer, then spend at least half an hour digitizing it. Lettering directly on top of images is not a convenience that every hand-letterer needs, but I happen to be collaborating on a line of hand-lettered photographs with January June Photography. The amount of time Procreate has saved me in this respect is already invaluable. The photos above are some I have done just for fun before bed. All together, they may have taken me half an hour! 

Buuuuttttt.....Mixed Feelings.....

As much as I love my new baby, and I do not regret a single penny I spent on it, I still have some mild reservations...mostly, about letting myself get too attached. 

I never want to stop using a real pen! In the past week, I have not picked up my brush pen but once. Before the iPad, I had a few brush pens in every room in our apartment, because I was constantly using them! I can easily see myself slipping into Apple Pencil Dependency and I do not want that to happen. Obviously, that's something I control...not the iPad, but you know! TECHNOLOGY! IT'S SO COOL AND AMAZING AND ADDICTIVE!

I still need to use Illustrator. Though this is technically a 'downfall' of Procreate, I am thankful there are still a few things it can't do for me. For one, the resolution isn't perfect. I have found that I still need to transfer the work I've created in Procreate to Illustrator in order to fix up the resolution. I use the Image Trace (Sketched Art) Feature to digitally trace my piece. But, thanks to Procreate and it's amazing-ness, I don't have to do any smoothing or correcting once the image is traced. It looks almost EXACTLY like what I created in Procreate. 

Now for a FREE Thing I made on the iPad!

Right click and save image or read below for download/printing instructions!

Right click and save image or read below for download/printing instructions!

The leaves are really starting to change here in Southern Illinois, so I wanted to do an Autumn Printable for y'all! This golden color is my absolute favorite for this time of year, and I turned my 'streamline' setting all the way down so it could have a more hand-written feel! Who needs perfect all the time? It's certainly nice, but it isn't realistic. 

I printed mine as a 5x7 and it's sitting right beside me in a sweet little gold frame. If you print yours and hang it anywhere, make sure to tag me @kileyinkentucky AND my new Etsy Shop Account (that hasn't formally been announced yet) @shopkileyinkentucky (both on Instagram). I would love to repost any pictures you all take with this cute print! 

Simply right click and save the photo above, or click here for a hi-res download! Then, print just as you would anything else. I didn't put my watermark on this piece, so please be respectful when sharing, and give credit where it's due!

Ok, if this seemed a bit scattered, that's because it was! Ha! Today has been crazy. Some cyber hackers took Etsy down for a few hours, and I had a mild panic attack, as I was in the middle of confirming some custom designs with 3 different clients. But, all is well now! I will be back next week with another hand-lettering tutorial! I think I'm going to show y'all my semi-solution for when I have those caffeine shakes I was talking about.... 

Let me know what you think in the comments below or hit me with an e-mail! I love to hear from you all every week! Have a fabulous weekend!