a digital sketch, drawn by me, from a selfie I took of me and my wife at our wedding. I'm on the left of the photo, in the red lace dress. Ami is on the right, with long hair and wearing a black dress

Last week, I bought a new iPad. My previous one was getting old, so old that it won't update to the next iOS version. I saved up a few months, and then picked up the iPad 10th gen. I didn't want to use it without a screen protector, because I get nervous that I'm going to drop and break it.

One thing I disliked about my old screen protector was the clicky sound it made whenever I used my pen. It was so annoying that I rarely wrote or drew using my iPad, and mostly just highlighted PDFs for class. I read reviews to figure out which one to get, and ended up buying Paperlike. They claimed it was easier and more natural to draw or write on the iPad, and wow! They were right. I'm extremely glad I got this one.

A Paperlike purchase comes with some goodies, like free Procreate brushes. Some artist friends of mine use Procreate, and their art looks amazing, so I assumed Procreate was hella expensive. But it's not and that surprised me. I had some credit in my Apple account, and downloaded it.

a digital self-portrait sketch, drawn by me, from a selfie I took earlier that day. The sketch is a dark gray color against a light olive background

I love it! I've only really done two sketches, but between that and the Paperlike screen, I'm enjoying drawing again. A long time ago, all I did was draw. I wanted to go to a high school for the creative arts, but my parents told me no; I could do art after graduation. I compensated by taking art as my elective all four years of high school, plus outside classes at colleges and collectives. I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. My art teacher wrote me a glowing recommendation for the art college that was my first choice, and I was accepted with a small scholarship! But again my parents told me I couldn't go. I was devastated. Even though they loved my art, they told me they wanted me to have a "real career" and not end up a starving artist.

I tried to keep it up, but my ex-husband was not only completely unsupportive, he thought it was childish and stupid of me to want to be an illustrator. Nearly all of my art was trashed, including a large self portrait done in chalk pastels that I made in high school. I gave up drawing for the longest time, and while I've been divorced for many years, and haven't spoken with my parents for a long time now, the feelings of discouragement still sit in the back of my mind.

I do have some great sketches I did last year for class, but that's a story for another blog post. My new goal is to spend more time with Procreate, and digitally sketch instead of using my old sketchbooks. My interest in drawing has been revitalized and Procreate is so much fun to play with. The drawing at the top of this post is based on a selfie I took of me and my wife at the restaurant after our wedding, and the self-portrait drawing above is the first sketch I did; both done in Procreate. I can't wait to find out where I go next with this.