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.