People have used tools for artistic expression for millennia. Relatively recent is the use of digital technology to afford the creation of art. However, many draw into question digital technologies conduciveness to creativity during the artistic process. Recent developments of digital technology for artists have lead to the creation of a graphics tablet from Wacom Technologies. It is claimed that the graphics tablet is more favorable to creativity than other existing digital technologies. This chapter addresses this issue through a qualitative study of five artists using the Wacom graphics tablet, in particular the artist’s own experience using the graphics tablet is explored. The outcome of this study indicates that the graphics tablet is a useful tool. However, there are still several improvements required to advance the graphics tablet to a stage suitable for fine artists.
The graphics tablet (by Wacom Technology Inc. n.d., Figure 1) is at the forefront of the movement towards computer supported fine art creation. It is one of the leading technological tools that enable the artist to create art. The graphics tablet has been designed with the artist in mind, and is mainly used by graphic designers, cartoonists, architects and artists. The tablet has a flat surface that allows the user to draw an image using a stylus pen similar to drawing on paper.
An artist using a Wacom graphics tablet
Key Terms in this Chapter
Multimodal: Having two or more modes of interaction
Fine Art: Fine art is any art produced or intended primarily for beauty rather than utility (Collins English Dictionary).
Somatosensory: Related to the sensations that involve parts of the body not associated with primary organs, for example, light touch, pressure, pain, and temperature.
Stylus: A pointed instrument used as an input device on a pressure sensitive screen.
Graphics Tablet: Computer peripheral that allows hand drawn input using a stylus pen rather than a mouse.
Cross-Hatching: Marking or shading with two or more sets of intersecting parallel lines.
Proprioception: The sense of relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing and balance by which we perceive the outside world. Proprioception is a distinct sensory modality that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally.
Haptic: Relates to the sense of touch.
Technology: Any computer related digital tool.