Technology Changing The Way We Do Art


Technology that is changing the way we do art...


technology changing art, interactive art, digital art, new technology in art,
Technology Changing The Way We Do Art

Every week I write a brand new article for members of our four wonderful art communities on Facebook, The Artists Exchange, The Artists Lounge, The Artists Directory, and The Artist Hangout. This week we look at some of the new technologies that will change the way we create our digital art and, we also look at a few technologies that will see changes for those artists who never use digital mediums at all. Things are changing, and we might have to change the way we do things too.

Digital Art…

The great thing about being a digital artist is that you do get to use technology. Shiny new devices are always an exciting prospect to look forward to. Over the years I have lost count of the number of devices I have had the good fortune to open up the boxes of, but just on the odd occasion, I have also had the misfortune to open a few of those boxes too.  

Being an early adopter of technology usually comes at a price. Three months after buying into new technology you either get slightly ahead of the game or you begin to wish you had been patient enough to wait for the next generation. My advice to anyone buying technology is to always wait for a generation and if you can hold out one more year beyond that buy into the 3rd generation when the technology and the glitches have become more stable. By that time there will always be a tonne of new functionality that will never appear on the much slower first and even second generation devices. Take the Apple Watch as an example, something as simple as wearing it while taking a shower wasn’t possible until the third generation.

There is rarely a time when I would ever suggest going all in with any first-generation tech. The exception for me was the iPad, at the time it was a game changer but compare the first generation model to the latest iPad Pro and there really is no comparison at all. The only familiar feel between the two devices is the Apple logo on the back. My Pro now functions as my main computer for 90% of what I need to do both as an artist and in running my business and for my personal entertainment.

My iPhone is the nerve centre where I keep and take many of my photographs, manage my time, and respond to messages, the phone option is almost secondary to everything else that it does. It has become a life organiser and communicator that also allows you to make a call and it makes me begin to wonder if we shouldn’t be finding a new name for such a device other than calling it a smartphone. Maybe a life-device!

My MacBook has been powered on regularly for updates and every week it is used to get the formatting of this website to look something like, but that’s all I really use a laptop for these days. I have a Mac Pro which I use to enhance my creations and do some video editing with and a Windows PC which manages some web based stuff that just needs the aid of a PC and for beta testing which I do a lot of. Beyond that, the iPad Pro is my workflow even for creating video projects, it’s quick, portable and it means that I am not tied to a desk.

But it has taken six generations and three generations of being available as a Pro-level device to get anywhere near becoming a true desktop replacement. iOS 13 or rather iPadOS which will be released to the public in September is set to raise the bar again and I have a feeling that I will use my other devices even less at that point. In three to four years’ time, I doubt that I would be able to do anything more on a PC than I could on a tablet device. Unless we start to look at the new Mac Pro which comes in at an eye-watering price. That piece of shiny new tech though really has to be justifiable and right now I couldn’t begin to justify purchasing it until the price comes down a little or a lot more.

It seems that life revolves around technology. Perhaps that is the true meaning of our existence on planet earth. Something I hadn’t really considered until I watched a Joe Rogan interview with Bob Lazar, the alleged Area 51 S4 worker who for more than thirty-years has told a consistent story about working on technology from another world in a secure military installation around 100-miles north of Las Vegas.

To paraphrase, Joe seemed to suggest that if and it was a big if, but if we were being observed by alien species we would as humans probably look to them seem to be some sort of species that makes stuff, and each time we do, we make it better. As a species, we develop technology and now we are even looking at advances where we are starting to get somewhere closer to the type of AI we see in science-fiction movies. At one point Rogan referred back to Understanding Media, a book written by Marshall McLuhan where the communications theorist wrote:

Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and to evolve ever new forms. The machine world reciprocates man’s love by expediting his wishes and desires, namely, in providing him with wealth”.  – Understanding Media (1964), p. 46

To an advanced alien species, we might look like we are like a colony of worker bees. We make stuff to afford more stuff, we make stuff that helps us to make more stuff so that we have more time to use the stuff. I’m not entirely sure when the passage above reads that technology provides man with wealth, mankind needs wealth already to be able to afford half the stuff that would make us more productive. Whether you subscribe to that theory or not, there is no denying that mankind does seem to have an addiction to technological advancement with the exception of those who say they have found the light and have gone off grid living a self-sustainable life in the woods. Perhaps they really have found the light and the rest of us are simply doing what we are programmed to do by advancing tech to the point that it starts to evolve itself and one day we will regret it.

I don’t know what the meaning of life is, but this is probably just as good as any other theory out there. There are only two questions that we as humans really ask, what the meaning of life is and what happens when we die. Unless you are an artist and then you will periodically ask why art supplies are so dang expensive and if you are a digital artist you might has how many pixels can that shiny new screen handle.

With so many advances in technology, it becomes inevitable that as artists we have to traverse into the tech-sphere even when we paint using non-digital tools. When we market our work we might use social media, when we scan in an original print we use scanners and cameras, when we sell our work online, we use e-commerce. It is increasingly difficult to avoid using technology at all, even when we try our best not to there is every chance that the materials we use have been developed using technology. Even when we do try our best to avoid using technology, it still impacts on everything that we as artists and a species do. All we can then do is to ensure that we are taking advantage of any of its plus points but first, we need to know what will be coming to the technology space that we as artists can leverage.

technology and the future of art, Mark Taylor, Beechhouse Media,
The Future

New ways to buy art…

Mobile first has been the mantra of many of today’s platforms for a few years now but this approach was taken by the Chinese long before that. The Chinese use smartphones and mobile devices far more than we do in the west, and they have been doing it for longer. In fact, China seemed to miss out the desktop era of personal computers and went straight to mobile. This gave them the advantage of being at the forefront of mobile app development for much longer than we have and they started their mobile first approach while many of us in the west were still tied down to our desks. Chinas major tech companies also invested in mobile first and this is why when we look at platforms such as WeChat.

The idea of introducing crypto-currency on a social network isn’t new. In China, buying anything if you are a citizen revolves around using the WeChat Pay platform to purchase anything from a taxi ride to pizza and now the platform can be linked to foreign payment cards and the service is also available to tourists. It was inevitable that the big blue book of Zuck would at some point want in. No longer content with simply knowing almost everything that you share with the platform, tying a payment mechanism to social media brings around not just convenience for both the platform and the end user, but also a heap of transactional data that can really begin to tell the story of the real who you are to those who suck in all of that data for whatever reason. 

Back in March this year I wrote an article about using bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in the future as payment for our art. You can read the article right here.  I wrote that piece with only a slight heads up that something pretty significant was about to happen in the world of social media and recently you will have read the news stories that indeed something significant is about to happen on the one social network that a majority of working artists seem to use, and that is of course Facebook.

I had a conversation with a tech friend towards the end of last year who seemed to know that something was going on with an, at the time unnamed social media network and the introduction of crypto-currency. As with all of my ‘tech-predictions’ that I write here on this website, I waited around for a few months to see what seeds would start to shoot and used that time to gather any possible evidence.

In around March this year, Mark Zuckerberg met with the Governor of the Bank of England and there was at that point, little doubt that they weren’t just meeting to discuss Mark Carney’s organic reach. Something else was definitely going on. That social media network was obviously Facebook. Nothing had been 100% confirmed even then in public, hence the article was born without expressly mentioning it, but it was written to give you a heads up.
Libra is the newly announced crypto-currency that Facebook wants to introduce and they are doing it at pace much to the dismay of those who want to regulate the platform. Along with the recent announcement came a flood of questions. Is Libra a real crypto-currency, how would Facebook and the many partners working with them build up a robust Blockchain infrastructure so quickly when the technology so far hasn’t realised anywhere near either the adoption or promises made, and how will Facebook prevent their new currency from being targeted by gangs of cyber-criminals.

Hence the meetings with Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England and I think maybe countless others in similar roles, there will have to be rules around consumer protection and oversight are some of the comments we have heard Carney say. Facebook still recovering from many data and privacy issues that just never seem to go away are all too aware that winning trust is going to have to be their number one priority if it is to catch on.

So what happens next and what does it mean for artists who use the platform. It is way too early to jump to any conclusions but if we take the examples from the likes of WeChat and other Chinese social platforms, there is a certain familiarity with Facebook's new intentions. It wouldn’t be the first time that Facebook have reused Chinese thinking and developments in their own apps and honestly, we should have seen this one coming for a while.

So rather than any firm conclusions at this point, we might have to at least consider that Facebook is looking at monetizing in a way that isn’t quite so reliant as taking data and selling ads and maybe it might involve more data collection in part too. Instead, they will take a cut of the transactions through Libra and the platform will essentially become the West’s version of WeChat. Before long we won’t just be ordering a pizza or hailing a cab with social media, we might end up with a scenario where we have another option to take payments for the artwork that we produce.

Personally, I don’t think that we will see an uptake for at least the next two to three years following the currencies introduction and we are assuming that the tech starts to fly with those who are currently clearly against it. Firstly there is that issue of trust that needs to be rebuilt and then there will be the question around infrastructure and access but at some point, there will come a time when we do have to consider that payments in this way are going to become real, and viable, and then there will come a point when it becomes the new norm. Remember, in the words of Marshall McLuhan, we are a colony of worker bees and advancing technology is what we do.

What about the here and now…

For digital artists the here and now is that we are starting to see advances in technology that will eventually lead to a whole new kind of truly immersive art that isn’t necessarily even going to be classified as digital art, it will be simply known as art. Technology is blurring the lines between zeros and ones and real life more and more. Virtual Reality (VR) isn’t going to go away anytime soon but it will get smarter and better and more accessible. That opens up entirely new worlds quite literally when it comes to creating and viewing art and makes access much easier.

If we look at the kinds of things that are possible today then that doesn’t really come close to what will be possible on the technology of tomorrow. In a few short months, Apple will be releasing the brand new Mac Pro. For digital art, this is a game changer on lots of different fronts. Firstly it means that what once needed massive amounts of computing power can now be done with a single box and secondly, it is massively expandable. Despite that, it is still a costly piece of equipment for all but the most professional of power users who need that much processing power to be carried out locally.

Sure, Photoshop will run like a charm on the thing and it will never get to the point of freezing because the computer is struggling to keep up with the artist or the application. There is so much power that in fact, you could run tens of instances of Photoshop each with huge compositions on screen and each with hundreds of layers and the thing will hardly break a sweat even at the lower end of the product range. But that kind of power will be reserved for only those who can afford the outlay and the expansions that you will need to get the most out of it. In short, this is the tech that will be driving major studios rather than an independent digital artist or smaller studio carrying out freelance work. The options in time for some of us will be to look towards buying time on these machines and renting the systems as and when needed. Having said that, I would absolutely love to own one of these.

I currently have an older pre-trash-can Mac Pro and a MacBook Pro among the tools in my techie toolbox but this new Mac Pro is a real step up from the Mac Pros of right now. All we know right now is that it is a powerful beast with an eye-watering price of $5,999 for the 8-Core Intel Xeon 3.5GHz and 32GB of RAM, a 256GB hard disk (you are going to need to upgrade that from the off) and a Radeon Pro 580X graphics card, the latter is a surprising choice for the base level card.

But it is with the promise of the expansion features where the beast really begins to come alive. Upgradeable to 1.5TB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics and a 28-core Xeon processor. At this level, you will be dropping some serious cash down to obtain the equipment and you will also need to make sure that your home has enough power to feed it.

I kid you not, at the top end of the product range we are talking about 1.4-kilowatts of power, with 300 of those watts driving the CPU and memory alone. The remainder of that energy is available to PCI modules where it can then deliver 500-watts to something like an MPX module. To cool it down and because that kind of power generates significant amounts of heat, there are three impeller fans on one side and a blower on the other side that sucks air across the RAM, storage devices, and power supply. The cost of running this isn’t insignificant.

The other side of this is that you are going to want to take advantage of those crisp beautiful images produced by the powerhouse of a graphics card in the higher specification devices. This is where you need to drop another $4999 on to buying the Apple Pro Display XDR and while numbers don’t seem to be an issue at these price points, you might want to also add in a stand for the display that can also rotate between landscape view and portrait views. The display itself is 6K, 32 inches of joy and I have to say that the model I saw running at a demonstration recently, sort of had me thinking about selling vital organs to buy one.

Yes that display carries a premium price tag but compare it to reference monitors already used in the industry and it starts to look like a real bargain even when you add on the cost of a stand. Where this really excels is that it offers a 40% increase in screen real-estate from the previous 5K Retina display currently on offer through Apple and it runs at 218 pixels per inch. The 6016 x 3384-pixel screen has the vibrancy you would expect from this price point along with P3 and 10-bit wide colour support. It promises 1,600 nits of brightness with a sustained 1000 nits of brightness which for this price is remarkable.

For the non-techies this display alone will give you all that you need to make sure that the colour you select remains the colour you see on the display and in digital art, that is critical. The High Definition Range (HDR) is phenomenal with the appearance closer to real life and there is also the option of reducing glare with a $1000 extra upgrade to a nano-coated screen. It might sound expensive but I really haven’t seen anything else even come close to this level of wow at anywhere near the price and my eyes aren't getting any younger.

Is this a system for the majority of working digital artists, well, probably not. The price point of this is simply out of reach for most people and I am as yet to be convinced that unless you are working on huge animations or creating films that there is any merit in buying this over a top end custom built PC which might still come in at half the price. But take a look at that 6K screen and if that doesn’t convince you to sell a couple of vital organs to get one then nothing will.

Having said that, there will be a time in the not too far distant future that this level of technology, power, and speed, will feel like a Gameboy in comparison. I can remember going to my local PC World store back in around 1999 and the sales assistant said to me that the 5GB hard drive included in the high-end PC I wanted to buy, would last me forever. There was no way I would ever fill that drive. Today, I work on projects where a single element of the final output can be twice that and an entire project can be as much as 5GB and frequently more.
mac pro, 2019 Mac Pro, power, Mark taylor, Beechhouse media,
You will need some power to power the new Mac Pro!

Digital Art is Evolving Much Faster than Ever Before…

Technology has consistently changed the way we create art for centuries. The Impressionists would have struggled had it have not been for the invention of the tube to hold the paint, and without the emergence of silk-screen techniques, would Warhol have been so popular?

Art and technology have become increasingly intertwined, whether that is through the advances in digital media, the range of materials and projects digital can be applied to, or just making things slightly easier. Digital art has opened up the possibility of almost infinite creations with canvases so much bigger than you would ever be able to afford to purchase in your local art supply store. As a viewer, there are no limits, there are infinite opportunities to consume art that even just a decade ago would have seemed incomprehensible.

The changing technology is also making the creation of art more accessible, and the advent of social media means that anyone can get an art fix, discover new talent, and explore historically significant masterpieces, or even take a virtual walk through a gallery on the other side of the world and we are now able to print in 3D, bringing the manufacturing of tools to space and even sculptures which would have once been costly or even impossible to create.

There are more advances coming and with a creative workforce which is packed with freelancers the role of mobile creation is significantly becoming more and more important. Adobe is now entering the pre-release beta testing stage for Photoshop CC on the iPad. This has the potential to improve the workflow of many creatives who need the power of a desktop leading application to be presented on a mobile device. This will not only improve a creators workflow but also opens up significantly more access to professional level tools which might hopefully even inspire a new generation of artists and creatives and a whole new body of artwork for the world to enjoy.

Adobe’s announcement in 2018 that it was working hard to bring the full power of the creatives goto application to the iPad Pro came to some as a surprise. Photoshop is the industry standard for many digital artists and photographers which would usually demand the specification of a desktop computer. Sure there have been some dabbling’s from Adobe in the past with Photoshop on the iPad, but it has never got to the point that they have ever been able to get even remotely close to offering the full experience on such a device.

The interface and power restrictions of the iPad have forever been its simplicity and its enemy. At the time the creative world who owned iPad Pros gasped in awe, those who didn’t own iPads went out and got one. Many people, in fact, have spoken to me recently and said that the promise of Photoshop was the reason they chose the new iPad Pro over portable solutions such as Microsoft’s Surface. At the time of the announcement, few could believe that something that craves more and more power than you can usually afford to give it could even be considered on a hand-held device.

Even I took the plunge and upgraded to the 2018 iPad Pro when it came out and part of the reason to move away from the older generation was down to the promise of Photoshop. The device is no longer just a high-end tablet, it is a device that has replaced 90% of what I usually did while chained to a desk. The introduction of USB C rather than the bespoke to Apple Lightning connector has meant that I am finally able to connect my camera straight up to the device and bring down photos without having to bother with uploading them to the cloud or firing up a desktop first.

This September the iPad and iPad Pro will receive a new version of iOS called iPadOS and this along with the promise of Photoshop has the potential to really change how and when art is created. iPadOS will also see, at last, the ability of the iPad to be able to connect to external hard drives, and there are already a number of low-cost external multi-port hubs available which allow the iPad to be connected to a 4K-display read from cameras and SD Cards, and some even bring back the traditional 3.5mm headphone socket and pretty much all of them have the pass-through charging capability. Add one of these to your iPad running iPadOS and suddenly there becomes only a little distinction between a MacBook and an iPad. In fact, if you have a MacBook you might want to invest in one of these devices too. They start from less than $30 for a decent one that often also include the ability to handle an RJ45 connection so that they can be directly plugged into your home network if your wireless is patchy.

With Adobe products you can already download RAW images from your camera via Creative Cloud and these can be also stored in iCloud too. A real downside is if you are on a long flight and need to access anything stored in the cloud from your iPad then you often have no choice other than to pay the extortionate fees charged by the airlines or waste hours crossing the Atlantic or wherever when you could be using that time to convert into billable client hours. iPadOS will make it possible to connect up a portable hard-drive mid-flight and carry on creating art. Some of my best ideas have come to me at 36,000 feet, and as my intention is to get back into the skies at some point soon, I really can’t afford to have eight and a half hours of creative downtime and I am sure many travelling artists and designers will appreciate this functionality too.

What else will change how we create art?

Back in 2013, I remember reading a paper on the overall impact of technology on the arts. I managed to find it again and you can read it right here.  The arts organisations involved in the survey for the paper tended even back then to agree that the internet and social media had ‘increased engagement’ and made art a more participatory experience and that the internet has made the arts more diverse. I think we can all appreciate that today when we take a look through the many social media art groups including those I founded. We now have almost a combined membership of twenty-thousand people, mostly artists and art buyers and there is no typical member or typical region those members come from. A decade ago, we were limited to what we could see even online, we had to go to a local area to see local art, today we can scroll our way to it in the comfort of our own homes.

There is something else that is as obvious today as it was when the article was written and that is that the internet has exponentially broadened the boundaries of what is now considered to be art. Without technology, we would still be looking at the old Masters in academic books, and before anyone says it, I don’t think the advent of the internet has done anything to reduce numbers visiting art museums. Last week I visited one that had only ever had 75,000 visitors since opening in the 1970s and I found the little gem on the internet. 

Whilst some would think that the opposite has happened and that the arts have been watered down, or that performances are too frequently disrupted with mobile device streaming and the expectation that anything delivered digitally over the internet should be free, the reality is that whilst some of this has inevitably crept into the arts in some areas, on the whole it has had a much more positive impact and is able to be monetised with relative ease. In my case, compared to a decade ago, my own business has rapidly begun to develop further since moving more towards an online business around five or six years ago.

using a macbook for art and design, mark taylor, beechhouse media,
Mac and Technology In Art

Does new equipment make a difference?

Many artists say that having better equipment doesn’t equate to necessarily making better art. I totally agree with that, you can get great results from using a kitchen fork instead of a brush when it comes to painting lines, but when it comes to digital art I would challenge that theory at least a little. You can make different art more efficiently and you can afford to experiment just a little more.

If you know how to use technology then having better technology will help you to create better digital art. You still have For some the results will be bounded by the technology they have access to or the skill level that they have, an artwork produced on an early version of Microsoft Paint might be better than artwork created using the latest version of Photoshop, but if you know how to use each of the tools you can make something that looks completely different and you can go bigger, much bigger.

Even using an application such as Procreate on the iPad Pro is completely different from using it on an iPad Air, the tools are the same but the canvas sizes are much bigger on the Pro which allows you to create higher resolution work with a higher dpi whilst giving you a sufficient number of layers. Just to digress a moment here because layers are really important in digital art. But if you are just beginning to use digital for the first time either after coming from traditional painting or stepping out for the first time in art, try to limit yourself to a single layer and use that in the same way you would use a canvas and use the eraser rather than undo. It builds your traditional painting skills and your confidence before you progress onto more elaborate pieces with multiple layers.

The reason I am only challenging the statement of having better tools doesn’t necessarily mean better art is because you can have the most advanced tools and still create something that doesn’t look great, just as you can take a dollar paintbrush and create something just as beautiful as if it had been painted with a hundred dollar brush. It all comes down to knowing how to use the tool and how to get the most out of it.

I meet a lot of artists who want to get into digital art. The reasons are always very different. Some of these artists just want to expand their skillsets or want to create different art, others because they mistakenly believe that digital is easier, or quicker, or heaven forbid, cheaper. That latter point is definitely not the case, my last work cost me in the region of $7,000 in materials and resources to complete and took me more than a hundred hours. At other times I can create my own creations and it has cost me the price of whatever I have spent over the years which to be fair, being such a geeky, geek, isn’t inconsiderable much to the dismay of my wife!

Technology in the arts isn’t solely about digital art. There have been many advances on technology that have moved and shaped the way we create art using other mediums too. The single most important thing that any digital artist can do is to understand traditional arts, historical painting techniques, materials, and studio practice. You can find a brilliant e-book about just that right here

Those very same traditional techniques and practices can be massively enhanced with technology, making artworks more interactive and accessible, even opening up visual arts to those with visual impairments. The change of artworks very nature along with the shift in how the public is now beginning to interact with the arts are reshaping museums and exhibition spaces are beginning to encourage a new generation of art lovers and it is critical in reaching that all elusive millennial market.

Art has historically made itself so exclusive that it has often left behind the most exciting elements where art becomes central within society. Art that gets sold to the super-rich is useful to super-rich people. It increases their power, social, and financial status, it gives them something to talk about at dinner parties. The accessibility that technology is driving in the arts brings with it those new generations that aren’t in the super-rich bracket, it gives communities something they can embrace and become involved in. That’s exactly where we are going to witness a seed change in the way art is looked at, presented and used. Technology isn’t just about the computer, it is bringing fresh and new materials to the art world and making the art of the impossible, possible.

how technology is changing the way we create, beechhouse media, Mark taylor
The future is still now!

Inspiration…

Rain Art and More…

The Rise of Technology In Art was a guest blog on the Bare Conductive website and covers technological installations including a video of Rain Room, and you can view the blog and the video right here

Interactive Art…

Still, Life by Scott Garner is an interactive art project that fools people into believing it is an ordinary oil painting. Instead, it is a digital masterpiece that responds to the physical movement of the frame. If tilted to the left or right, the entire work tumbles in the corresponding direction. You can see the work in a Huff Post piece right here

Scott Snibbe…

Scott Snibbe is a pioneer in interactive art, augmented reality, gesture-based interfaces, and digital video. He is the founder of four creative technology companies in the augmented reality, video, music, and social media spaces, including the social music video startup Eyegroove that was acquired by Facebook in 2016. He has produced several bestselling mobile apps, including the world's first “app album” Björk: Biophilia, which was acquired by New York MoMA as the first app in its art and design collection. Snibbe began his career as one of the early developers of After Effects (acquired by Adobe), and at Interval Research Corporation working on interactive music, automated editing, computer vision, and haptics research projects. You can see his work right here

As always!

Hopefully, this week’s article will have inspired you at least a little to become more and more engaged and accepting of the technology that goes into art whether it is traditional, digital, and interactive or anything else. All that is left to say is, remember to get in touch!
Has technology shaped the way you now view and create art, does it help or hinder in your creative process, or are you a complete technophobe? We would love to hear about your own experiences with technology in the arts and even more if you have ever gone as far as using something like artificial intelligence. Leave a comment below!

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger and live in Staffordshire, England. You can purchase my art through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here: https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com  
Any art sold through Fine Art America and Pixels contribute to the ongoing costs of running and developing this website. You can also view my portfolio website at https://beechhousemedia.com

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia where you will also find regular free reference photos of interesting subjects and places I visit. You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/beechhousemedia

If you would like to support the upkeep of this site or maybe just buy me a coffee, you can do so right here

Comments

  1. Most people don't know how much I dig this geeky stuff Mark. Right down my alley with great informative geek talk. I am nearly drooling over the thought of a new Mac Pro but the ends don't always justify the means you know. A new iMac is on the horizon for me & I think I'm sold a new ipad pro or maybe an iPadOS. I must explore the options first. Thanks again for all this info!

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    1. Thanks Colleen, deeply appreciated. The Mac Pro is a beautiful thing but it needs to be thought through, as for the iPad Pro, the 2018 Pro’s are the best yet and they will run iPadOS in September. The 2018 models need the second generation Apple Pencil which has double tap (for switching between tools) but with iPadOS, you can go for the smallest version of the Pro and still connect an external hard drive to it in September. With the full photoshop about to be released, I don’t think I’ll be using the MacBook for much at all, everything is now pretty much done on the iPad for me, even my illustrator based work using Affinity Designer, one of the best vector apps ever with no subscription, just a $20 download! But that Mac Pro... and that screen, not seen anything that good for a long time. The nearest to the screen is a $40,000 Sony Reference Monitor! Have fun and always here if you need any help! X

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