I like code but I also like design so this post will be about design, specifically drawing. I have problems with (fine) motor skills which affect how I am able to control my hands. Gross motor skills are about controlling the whole body which is something with which I struggle too, unfortunately big body equals big problems. Problems with motor skills are generally called dyspraxia.
I draw almost all the time and it doesn’t matter whether it is design or code. When I draw as a support for coding I draw diagrams, flow charts, classes, etc. I could do it in programs for drawing UML diagrams but learning how to use one is not at the moment on my list of skills to learn. It’s too complicated for the things I need. If I were part of a team it would be necessary to learn the dialect they are already using. When it comes to manipulation of DOM my needs include animations and actions from the user. Both are faster to draw on paper and then scan into the computer if necessary.
In the design part of the work I draw on paper wireframes because it is faster compared to tools like balsamiq. It is a good tool but I need to get the ideas out of my head quickly and constant searching for the right element is not compatible with it. May be as a second stage tool before opening the Sketch, may be, but at the moment I am not convinced that I can justify the price. Both coding and design sketches are ugly with no straight line. I can’t do that to save my life.
And we come to the side projects. One of the active side projects which I recently started are illustrations for my blogs. This post will be the second to get an illustration on this blog and third if I count a post on my other blog, Blog on a paper. First post to get one is Units: fonts. The illustration is about my state of confusion before writing that post, recommended ems are simply weird. The second post in that series will use the same or similar illustration.
Second side project is in a state of hibernation, Lone Wolf Comic, and to be honest I am thinking how to resurrect it. It is hard for me to draw and every day when I don’t draw my skills are getting worse. At that time I drew it on paper. First pencil sketch, then I made an outline with a black marker. As the last analog step I colored it with Copic markers. Because of my dyspraxia I couldn’t just crop it and upload it right away. After scanning I had to open graphics editor and fix places where I went over the black line. This part is the most frustrating and exhausting because fixing something over and over, week after week is demoralizing.
If I am able to to decide whether to use anthropomorphic characters or keep it as is, I am definitely going to resurrect the the Lone Wolf Comic. But I am not sure if I am going to use those Copic markers. I will use them probably for some concept art and when I want to draw without looking at screen. For the illustrations I am using my iPad and Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 and SketchBook app with Copic markers swatch, I had to buy an upgrade to be able to use them. It’s a costly solution but I need tablet for other reason, so the decision between 10-20 Copic markers and stylus wasn’t hard.
I live with dyspraxia and I accept that I will, probably, never be able to work as a professional illustrator but that doesn’t mean I can’t try and draw my own web comic or make my blog post more unique. As long as it is fun I will do it.