There is a particular art to going digital. The transition can be a bit of a trial of one’s artistic dedication. While I was introduced to Wacom’s products early on in my artistic career, it wasn’t until very recently that I became comfortable with tablets.I found it very difficult to draw on the Tablet and watch what was begin drawn on the Screen. I was always looking for the happy medium between digital and traditional drawing.
Wacom has taken that very step with the introduction of the Inkling.
The easiest way to understand the Inkling is it’s essentially a ballpoint pen that records your line art digitally. How does this fit into the day-to-day grind of an artist? Is this the happy medium between traditional and digital?
As described above, the Inkling is a ballpoint pen with the ability to record your line art digitally. What makes the Inkling so unique is the overall experience. Right off the bat, it’s clear the Inkling had the mobile artist in mind, since it comes packaged in a easy-to-carry travel case. The case includes a pen, USB cable, sensor and replaceable ink cartridges. The case also works as a charger for both the pen and sensor when plugged in via USB.
What was very impressive was just how everything folds up and fits together. Essentially everything you need is in the travel case. The case is also small enough to fit into any backpack, and it seems sturdy enough that you won’t have to worry about it breaking. I found it very useful as a more mobile artist, perfect for those late nights at Denny’s.
The Inkling is a breeze to set up. Package with the Inkling is the Sketch Manager software to import your artwork. It works on both Mac and PC and is simple to install.
It’s recommended that before you start working on some artwork you should charge the device. It has an indicator light on the case that will turn green once it’s ready. Then it’s time for some drawing. To get started you simply attach the sensor to the paper you’re using, turn it on and make sure it’s communicating with the pen.
After you are finished with the drawing plug the sensor into your computer via USB. The Sketch Manger program not only shows you the finished project, but you can watch a video on how you draw. I found this the most interesting piece to the Inkling. It really highlights the way you draw, an informative source for every artist. The Sketch Manger also can export to both Photoshop and Illustrator.
Like any piece of art equipment you have to be concerned with the feel. I myself do a lot of ballpoint pen drawings, generally with a Bic. At first the pen was a little larger than my preference, but the device had a nice feel and only a little bit of weight – not enough to feel heavy. It also has rubber grips on the side, making it comfortable to hold.
The only issue I had with the device is you aren’t supposed to block the signal from the pen to the sensor. You have to hold the pen a little higher then my usual style. Honestly it didn’t take me long to adjust to that standard and I was ready to draw.
I’m pretty impressed with the Inkling. While it might not be a solution for every artist, I think it’s more then a good start. Also the price tag isn’t to bad either. I think this is the start of something really revolutionary and I’m glad to see Wacom is going in this direction.