Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Go with the Flow, by Mike Ciccotello

A couple weeks ago I spoke with an artist friend about why I work digitally. The short answer is, it’s practical. But there’s more to it.

I used to have a studio with three easels, a drafting table, a flat work area, and large desk with my computer. Technically I still have all of that, but it’s got a lot of boxes and stuff in front of it right now. Almost three years ago, our twins were born. I had to make a decision about my art, but I had some options. A: Was I going to stop making art all together? B: Was I going to sequester myself in my basement studio away from my family? C: Was I going to change the way I work so I could be present for my family, but also satisfy my passion to create.

I chose C. I decided to move a small table into our family room to hold my computer, and looked into a tablet that could serve as a digital studio. Coincidently, about 6 months after the boys were born, Apple came out with the iPad Pro. I researched it and purchased one. I haven’t looked back. 

Do I still use a sketchpad? Yes, but I haven’t done a full piece in paint or colored pencils in almost three years. Will I switch back at some point? I don't know. What I'm doing right now is working, so I don't have the need to change.

This isn’t the only time I changed the way I create. I used to commute on a long train ride, twice a day, for 14 years. I needed to make use of that time. I decided I could sleep, read, or sketch during that time. I learned how to draw on bumpy trains and created a bunch of work during those years. I read and slept as well, but in hindsight, I'd say, the bulk of the trips were spent drawing.

Many people run into this problem. None of this was a flip of the switch solution. It started off as a problem and over time, I figured out a solution that worked best for me. I’m not suggesting you switch to digital or start drawing in your car while driving. Definitely don’t draw and drive. I am suggesting, if your life has changed, giving you a new set of priorities, then go with the flow and change the way you work. The important thing is to satisfy your passion to create.

My Sketchpad and My iPad Pro

Represented by Rachel Orr
For more info contact 

Twitter: @ciccotello 
Instagram: @ciccotello 


  1. Looks like you found a perfect solution.

  2. Mike, this is a good philosophy with most things in life, but certainly with creativity. It makes me smile that it was your priority to spend time with your family that pushed your "flexibility envelope" :)