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New Jot Touch 4 Stylus for iPad Art


If anyone’s been reading Once Upon a Sketch for a while you’ll know that I’ve been looking for a way to turn my iPad into a drawing tablet. I’ve tried a bunch of different App solutions and styluses but nothing has seemed to make Apple’s tablet a good drawing device for me. Not to mention when you try to draw on the iPad you have to hold your hand at an awkward angle so that your hand doesn’t touch the screen while you’re drawing. Well the new Jot Touch 4’s palm rejection technology means no more hand hovering to avoid touching the screen and make creating art on your iPad as natural as drawing with a pen and paper. Or so says Kris Perpich, CXO at Adonit “Art is about expressive freedom, and artists shouldn’t feel restricted by their tools. The new Jot Touch stylus gives artists that freedom.” The Jot Touch 4 has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and has over a dozen drawing apps that are compatible. Apps like ArtStudio, Inkist, Inspire Pro, SketchBook Ink, Sketchbook Pro and many more are adding support soon. As I was looking through their of compatible apps I noticed that not all the apps are using Adonit’s palm rejection technology at this point. I’m sure the app developers just need to implement this new tech into their software but if you watch the sketchbook Pro video on their website the demonstrator never touches his hand to the iPad screen. Maybe this is just a feature that is in the works but only two of the apps that are specifically for drawing use their new technologies. The video below shows you what it takes to pair your Jot touch with SketchBook Pro.

When I first heard about this product I got super excited, but after doing a little research my hopes have come down a bit. The Jot Touch 4 has a lot of great things going for it. Pressure sensitivity with a stylus on the iPad is a dream I’ve had for a while now and it looks like its come true but at an $89.99 it comes at a price. Please don’t take this as a review. I’ve never use this product before. It’s just what I can glean from their site and a little research. I’ll have to continue checking back and hoping for a few more apps to add support for the Palm Rejection technology then I think I’ll be in. iPad artists were almost there. The Jot Touch is available today for purchase.


Questions for Adobe! What would you ask?


Hello Readers!

Norm and I recently hosted a roundtable podcast discussion about the changes with Adobe and Creative Cloud.

Well, we were contacted by Adobe and it looks like we’ll be getting the opportunity to interview one of their reps. We’ll be asking the questions you’ve wanted answers to. So we are soliciting that our readers send us the questions they would like us to ask during this interview. We’ll choose a selection of questions to use from your submissions. All questions submitted are not guaranteed to be asked during the interview.

Feel free to post your questions in the comments or send us an email. Also let us know if it’s ok for us to use your name when we ask the question.

The interview will hopefully be the next podcast we post. The deadline for question submission is this coming Wednesday, June 26. 2013.

Thanks so much and we look forward to reviewing your submitted questions!
-Norm and Wilson

Previous Posts dealing with this issue:

Adobe Creative Cloud Roundtable Podcast Discussion

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud VS Creative Suite (Infographic)

Alternatives to Using the Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe announces plan to switch to subscription service

Please check the Adobe FAQ page for answers to your questions that may already be answered.
We don’t want to ask too many questions that the answers to which are already available online.

Mike Krahulik Test Drive’s the Microsoft Surface Pro as a Drawing Tablet

Like most digital artists Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade fame had been looking for ways to do his drawings on the go. He tried an iPad and that just didn’t work for what he was trying to do. Next he gave the Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet a shot at one of the MS stores. After giving it a test drive he mentioned on Twitter that he was interested in the Surface Pro as a drawing tablet. Microsoft provided a preview unit for him to test out and he made this video of him creating a drawing of one of the Penny arcade characters.

I personally have been looking for a mobile drawing solution and would love to find a great product to draw on. Krahulik said of the Surface Pro, “As a mobile solution for a digital artist I’d say the Surface Pro is a winner.” This is the second artist I’ve heard give their endorsement of this product. I first got excited about the Surface Pro when I heard that MS was using Wacom tech in their screens. One of the main drawbacks he ran into was Photoshop not supporting pressure sensitivity (at this point). So Krahulik used sketchbook Pro to complete his illustration. Sketchbook Pro and Manga studio five have pressure sensitivity available for the Surface Pro. Mike also said “Sketching with the Stylus in Sketchbook was awesome. It’s important to note that you CAN lay your hand on the screen while you draw without messing up your work. There was no brush lag at all and the pressure sensitivity worked perfectly. The stylus itself felt exactly like drawing on my Cintiq except that the Surface screen is smooth whereas the Cintiq screen has a bit of texture to it.” Being a Sketchbook Pro user this certainly has me excited. And trying to figure out how to trade in my iPad for a Surface Pro tablet.

Read his full article on penny arcades site.

The Return of Big Illustration Party Time Podcast


Last week the Big Illustration Party Time Podcast returned from a long two year hiatus. Kevin Cross and Joshua Kemble return as the fun and engaging hosts. They speak from their personal experience as they share practical “ins and outs” of the life of a freelance illustrator. From interviews to listener questions they discuss what it takes to make it as a freelance artist. Personally, when I started my illustration business I had been listening to their podcast and taking notes. I remember the first couple of episodes having a lot of good information, but I’m not sure about that because after 50+ episodes the information starts to all run together. Thanks to Kevin and Joshua for putting out such a great resource for all of us illustrators. And another thanks to  Mr. Cross for helping us get our own podcast off the ground.

Here’s the link to there site where you can find the episodes and valuable show notes. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Yahoo Buys Tumblr


There have been a rash of companies swooping in and buying out smaller successful organizations to help boost their brands. The latest acquisition is by Yahoo, who last week bought out Tumblr for a reported $1.1 billion dollars.



Full article here

“Yahoo! recently made headlines in the tech world by announcing its acquisition of blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion earlier this week.

For company CEO Marissa Mayer, it marks one of biggest moves of her still young tenure.

Mayer, a veteran of sometimes Yahoo-rival Google should know the important history of company buyouts. Why? She was at Google when the company purchased the young video streaming service YouTube in 2006 for the reported price of $1.65 billion.”

The times they are a changing and big companies are doing whatever they need to to stay relevant in a changing industry. Do these changes leave you with a positive feeling or a worrisome one? Let us know in the comments!

Adobe Creative Cloud VS Creative Suite (Infographic)

I’m personally trying to figure out what to do with my software predicament. I’ve been using Adobe products for years and know how to work them like a pro. Do I just stick with the standard software model and use CS6 for the next couple years or do I go to creative cloud. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately trying to figure out what the best option for me is. Well the good folks over at Digital Camera have put together an infographic that compares the cost of Adobe’s old model versus the cost of their new subscription service. Check out the full infographic at their site. The infographic has got me leaning towards sticking with CS6 for the foreseeable future.

Source –

Link –


Good Bye 2005-2013


Drawn!, one of the first illustration blogs I ever went to is shutting down. Started as just a hobby site by cartoonist and illustrator John Martz on March 4, 2005. In 2005 blogs weren’t as prevalent as they are today and Martz saw an opportunity to create something devoted to comics, illustration and drawing. Drawn! was born. Drawn was designed to share artwork and links when this concept was still fairly new. Drawn was a good way to find new artists and a way for artist to showcase their talents. With a large number of creators putting up a large amount of content the site quickly grew in popularity. Within a years time Drawn! was included in Time Magazine’s annual 50 Best Websites and became the top Google search result when searching for the keyword “illustration”.


Sadly on May 20, 2013 Martz has written a farewell post on his tumblr page called Drawn 2005-2013. In this post he explains the decision saying “Drawn was designed to share links and images when sharing links and images wasn’t easy to do. Eight years later, by the time I get around to posting something interesting on Drawn, it’s already made its way around the Twittersphere and been reblogged on Tumblr a thousand times over.”

Personally, I checked Drawn almost every day. I never went to the Drawn site but it was a part of my daily ritual every morning checking my RSS feed. It was a great source of inspiration right before I got started on my day’s work. A big thanks to John and the many contributors for many years of inspiration.

Adobe, Where Can I Just buy CS6?


Adobe, why did you hide the upgrade page for Creative Suite 6?

Ever since Adobe decided to switch their software to the Creative Cloud I have been looking to upgrade to CS6. Normally what I do with Adobe software is buy a version, wait 3 or 4 years then upgrade again. I’m sure people like me were one of the reasons they switched their model. I’m assuming this because those who don’t upgrade as often get hit with higher fees when they switch to Creative Cloud (introductory offers are only available to CS3 users and above). Personally I want to upgrade to CS6 and let Adobe work out the kinks with their cloud service and I’ll see them in a few years. Right now I’m using Creative Suite 4 and figured since they are getting rid of the traditional software model I should upgrade now and try to hold out for my standard amount of time. But it turns out that upgrading isn’t the easiest thing to do anymore on Adobe’s website. The first thing I did was went to their website and click “buy”. Thinking that this would take me to a page where I could upgrade my software. It did not. Adobe had changed all the links to take you straight to the Creative Cloud service. Well after a few hours of looking around and getting frustrated I decided to just ask Adobe where they had move this page too. The nice Adobe customer service representative sent me a link to where I could upgrade my software. Since it wasn’t the easiest thing to find I thought I would share the link with you. This link will take you to a page where you can upgrade your Adobe software. Once on the CS6 purchase page you will see the different software offerings and a price. To upgrade you have to click the buy button and then a drop-down will appear where you have to select “upgrade” then the price will adjust.

Hopefully this will save some people a few hours of their precious time.

Link –


2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards Winners

crystalkite2013The SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards recognize great books from the 70 SCBWI regions around the world. Each regional chapter was assigned to one of 15 divisions and the membership in each division voted for their favorite book published by an SCBWI member that year. “The SCBWI is pleased to reward excellence in children’s books,” President Stephen Mooser stated.  “These awards honor authors from our many regions and help bring worthy books into the spotlight.”

The Crystal Kite Awards are a regional complement of the annual SCBWI Golden Kite Award which are given in 4 children’s literature categories. Both awards are unique as they are chosen by other writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers. “Like the Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kites are selected by peers—authors and artists working in the children’s book field,” SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver commented.  “That makes them unique and especially satisfying to receive.”

Original post is here.

Neil Malherbe
The Magyar Conspiracy
Tafelberg Publishers

Australia/New Zealand
Meg McKinley(author)
Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Illustrator)
Ten Tiny Things
Fremantle Press

Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan
Harper Collins
glory be
Augusta Scattergood
Glory Be
the dark unwindng
Sharon Cameron
The Dark Unwinding
Middle East/India/Asia
Benjamin Martin
Samurai Awakening
Tuttle Publishing


Aaron Reynolds(Author)
Peter Brown (Illustrator)
Creepy Carrots 
Simon & Schuster


Jean Reagan
How to Babysit a Grandpa
Alfred A. Knopf
New England

Jo Knowles
See You At Harry’s
Candlewick Press
New York

Kate Messner
Capture the Flag

Ame Dyckman (Author)
Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator)
Alfred A. Knopf

Lynne Kelly
Farrar, Strauss, Giraud

Jennifer Lantheir
The Stamp Collector 
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

Dave Cousins
Fifteen Days without a Head 
Oxford University Press

Kim Baker(Author)
Tim Prophet(Illustrator)
Roaring Brook Press

Adobe announces plan to switch to subscription service


Adobe has recently announced that it will be abandoning the Creative Suite structure and moving towards a subscription only service called CC (Creative Cloud). What does this mean exactly?

Previously Adobe sold their programs individually. You bought Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. separately. As Adobe moved forward and created newer applications that applied to the diversifying field of Creative arts they began to sell their programs in suites. Suites were package sets that combined the most useful programs based on the specific job or discipline of that user.  For example a web developer would generally use a different set of programs than a photographer might. The suites were set up and specialized for the needs of their individual fields. These suites could cost in the thousands of dollars depending on the number of programs included.

The programs were released in versions; 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, etc. Every couple of years the programs would update or change. These updates weren’t mandatory but if you did choose to update and had a previous version (within two generations) you could update at a discounted amount rather than having to completely rebuy the set of programs.  The upgrade cost was generally around $200-300. With the addition of the Creative Cloud, Adobe dropped the upgrade cheaper option in favor of customers being required to buy the suites at full price regardless of whether they had the previous version or not. Now even that model has been dropped in favor of a subscription only model.

With Adobe abandoning this system and going to a cloud format, you will essentially be renting the programs from now until perpetuity rather than being able to buy it outright.  The average cost being $30-$75 dollars per month. The advantage at this point will be that with this subscription you will have access to any and all programs that Adobe has to offer. (Depending on the model you choose.) You’ll also automatically get the latest versions of the programs immediately upon release. You also get 20 GB of storage space online for your files.  Please see payment formats below.

Upgrade to Creative Cloud Membership – save 40%

For existing CS3* or later customers

  • Full new versions of every Adobe creative desktop application
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Full access to services
  • Requires annual commitment and CS3 or later serial number*
US $29.99
per month
Complete — annual

For new Creative Cloud members

  • Full new versions of every Adobe creative desktop application
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Full access to services
  • Requires annual commitment; billed monthly
US $49.99
per month
Complete — month to month

Month-to-month membership to Creative Cloud

  • Full new versions of every Adobe creative desktop application
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Full access to services
  • Can be canceled at any time
US $74.99
per month
Single app — annual

Full version of one desktop application

  • Full new version of Photoshop CC
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Limited access to services
  • Requires annual commitment; billed monthly†
US $19.99
per month
Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition — save 60%

Special education pricing for individuals

  • Reduced price through June 25; normally US$29.99/month‡
  • Full new versions of every Adobe creative desktop application
  • 20GB of cloud storage
  • Full access to services
  • Requires institutional affiliation and annual commitment; billed monthly
US $19.99
per month

So why is Adobe doing this? They have stated that it’s to stay on the cusp of new technology and it’s evolving formats. They’ve also cited that it’s a way to help them counteract the high levels of piracy that occur with their products.  With the programs being required to check in monthly and confirm that the owner has a subscription, piracy would become a thing of the past.

This announcement has created a lot of controversy. Many artists don’t want to be forced into a system that forces them to rent the integral software they need to run their businesses from day to day. Especially without the option to buy the programs they need outright and only upgrade or change their software when it becomes necessary and affordable for them.  They also balk at paying for a large assortment of programs that they don’t need and would never use and being forced to pay for software updates that may not be relevant or impact-ful on their specific industry.

Others think the new format will be great. They feel that the cost of the package offered is comparable to what they would have paid had they purchased the full programs themselves. This tends to be the kind of professional though that updates with every new release and uses the majority if not all of the programs that Adobe offers.

So where do you stand? What concerns do you have if any?

Many are starting to look hard at alternative programs that can substitute for Adobe products. Many expect this move from Adobe to actually fuel their competition to come up with cheaper and more affordable alternatives for consumers. Others plan on buying the latest version of the Adobe programs that they use. (Adobe CS 6 is the latest version and it is still available to be bought outright. But future versions will not be.) And use it as long as they can until they have to buy into the system with the hope that better alternatives will surface in the meantime.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Some other articles on this subject;

Adobe is killing Creative Suites and here’s why

Some Photoshop CC Mathematics.

Frequently Asked Questions Adobe Page for more details regarding Creative Cloud.

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