Everyone loves to complain about living in the future. I'm no different; after all, I'm Gen X, and if we're good at anything, it's complaining. But then I get a bug up my butt to cull my files a bit, and I find a crapload of little inked layout elements on crunchy old tracing paper, and I remember the dark ages of TEN FREAKING YEARS AGO.
Remember 2007? George W. Bush was President, and Rihanna's "Umbrella" taught us all how to dance again, and my work took about five times as long as it does now because I was locked in a perpetual cycle of draw/ink/scan/clean up/draw/ink/scan/assemble. .
I have friends who can just whip out an art pen and go freaking ham on their sketchbook at the movies while waiting for the previews to start, bringing observers to tears at the beauty and precision and just all-around righteousness of their spontaneous linework. But I am not one of those people. (Dammit.) I have to bumble around with a soft pencil for awhile, and then a slightly harder/sharper pencil, and then maybe a brush or a pen on a separate piece of tracing paper so I don't lose details in my original drawing if I get a hand tremor or something. (I drink a lot of caffeine, shit happens.) Sometimes I would basically draw each element of a design separately and then collage my drawings together in a Photoshop nightmare born of nervous fingers and mild OCD. If you enjoy fighting with your tools at 3 AM, may I suggest scanning a big stack of wrinkly, slightly damp ink drawings on onionskin paper that is incapable of laying flat, while you pray your ancient iMac doesn't shit the bed before you have a chance to save your file? Good times.
These days I do a lot of my work from start to finish on the iPad, either in a drawing app or using my tablet as an input device for my desktop. No, it's not the same as the analog equivalent, but I don't care, because it's basically fucking magic that I have an enchanted fucking pencil that can emulate all my favorite materials at the push of a button *and* automatically scan every mark I make as I work. I've never really cared about the flying cars and jetpacks the future was supposed to bring us, but this is some Star Trek shit right here.