The Genie is Out of the Bottle

Digital illustration (BW): Grinning Genie 1It would be hard to imagine a person who is less the early adopter than I am. Newness frightens me even under the best of circumstances, and I am intimidated beyond words at the idea of trying to learn anything. Worst possible example for anyone’s edification when it comes to scholarship, growth, adventure, futurism, daring, and tireless commitment to progress of any sort. I’m the one you’ll find huddled somewhere in the shady corner as far back of the starting blocks as I can manage to be, while everyone else is already sprinting gleefully into the turn.

Chalk it up, pretty succinctly, to fear. My self-diagnosis, summing up my own observations and experiences with the insights of better educated therapist and doctor supporters over my lifespan, is that the recipe made by my own ingredients of personality, health, situation and resources tends to combine into a person who’s timid and easily defeated. Add a dollop of laziness to my already potent blend of anxiety, dyslexia and other perceptive and receptive oddities, and my lack of physical strength and grace, not to mention of any sort of courage, and you get an unwillingness, even a very stubborn one, to set foot into new territories, whether actual or metaphorical.


When I feel I can experiment safely and without anyone else observing me at work, I may occasionally delve into something new with a surprising (to me, at least) sense of play and eagerness. Though I’ve resisted the idea of learning to use any new forms of technology, at least until they’re far from new anymore on a general scale, even these can be both useful and entertaining if and when I finally get up the gumption to try them. So here I am, finally, fiddling around with the iPad as an artistic medium. On our recent week’s jaunt to Puerto Rico, the iPad provided a convenient way to reduce the weight and size of my baggage from the old laptop I have lugged around for the last five years, and while I found it slightly irksome to peck at the tiny integrated keypad on it to write posts, it did work for that, and as long as I used newly made images or ones in my stream of digitally stored photos, I could plug in illustrations as well. Photos taken on my iPad or iPhone do not impress me much, and I find both a bit awkward to use at this point. But with a new set of digital drawing/painting toys, I’m distracted from any such photographic and textual shortcomings by the process of teasing out the secrets of each art-related program.Digital illustration: Grinning Genie 2

Once introduced to this plaything, of course, I loosen up and lose my inhibitions gradually. Knowing that after years of such untutored play with various iterations of Photoshop, I still only use a hundredth of the possible functions and tools it offers—and those, probably, in wildly incorrect and inefficient ways—I can only imagine that there will be exponentially more things I can learn and do, as well as fail to learn and do, with these newer tools and toys. But at least I’ve managed to wiggle my recalcitrant self into trying them, for a start.Digital illustration: Grinning Genie 3

12 thoughts on “The Genie is Out of the Bottle

  1. What an amazing transformation from black and white to final draft! He is incredible. I remember the first time I found your blog – it was one of your images that captivated me. I am delighted that you have found an outlet for your wonderful art.

  2. You’re ahead of me with the iPad – this is cool. I must get motivated and explore a bit ( in my vast amount of spare time…it’ll be too hot to go outside soon, so maybe then)
    I think dyslexic people may tend to be a bit more analytical, observant before jumping out there….you have to make sure the word/situation isn’t going to snap and change all of a sudden? Deal with that a bit myself, but didn’t realize others didn’t see like that for a long time.
    Enjoyed the progressive art

    • Thank you! I will look forward to seeing if you take off with any iPad adventures as well.

      Yes, I do suppose there’s an element of wanting to be overprepared for things we can’t even really have been prepared for when we feel less than ideally equipped in any way (dyslexic or otherwise!). As if any of us is ever truly in control of anything. 😉

      Let’s all enjoy progressing in our art together!

  3. I have the oldest version of an iPad and as much as I would like to travel with it instead of my heavy MacBook, it just doesn’t work well with WordPress. Love what you are doing with yours.

    • I think I may be headed toward experimenting with a compact add-on keyboard for the iPad, to see if that makes the difference. It’d still be much lighter than a laptop, even a MacBook Air, and smaller, too, and I’m used to enlarging the image stuff to work on it no matter where, so we’ll see if that is enough of a boost or not. I’ll let you know! 😉

    • So far so good. As you know, every step forward that I make just shows me how much I have yet to learn, but what the hey, it’s better’n standing still. 🙂

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