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From Southampton to Bali: how medical illustrator Sarah Clifford makes a living drawing with Pencil on her iPad Pro

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Southampton to Bali
Southampton to Bali

“We are very happy to present you another new accessory specifically for the iPad Pro. It looks like this, and it’s called Apple Pencil, it’s absolutely amazing, and it has a low latency level that makes you feel like you’re drawing directly on the screen. It took an incredible effort and collaboration between our design teams, hardware and software, they have done a remarkable job and the users will notice it every time they use it.

With these words announced Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of marketing, the arrival of the Apple Pencil in 2015. From the beginning Apple focused on artists, creators and anyone who wanted to take the precision and handling of the iPad further. It’s not a stylus, it’s a digital pen.

With his arrival, a new scenario for these artists and creators was drawn -never better said-, which now had a complete tool in the iPad Pro. There were those who resisted using Pencil despite painting pictures on their iPad and making a living with it, but there were also those who embraced this new piece of Apple. People like the British Sarah Clifford, who started taking notes with iPad Pro and Pencil and now earns a living selling illustrations with that same style… and made with those same tools.

An iPad Pro, a Pencil and a year in Bali

The choice of the iPad Pro was “natural” for Sarah, as she tells us. “I’ve always had an iPhone and before I also had an iPad mini, I’m familiar with Apple products and I find them easy to use.” In fact, on his wrist we see an Apple Watch.

When Sarah, 28, bought her first iPad Pro she was already a Biology graduate and was studying Medicine. In both races she was known in her class for taking visually spectacular notes, with very simple illustrations to represent objects and complex schemes -something logical in her two careers-.

Then he was encouraged to try to do the same with his iPad Pro and the Pencil. Before, he had used a Wacom Cintiq, but it seemed “very voluminous”, and the pen was “unnatural”.

 

Hello lovely followers! Happy Sunday! I want to call on you for help.. I’ve found on quite a few occasions that some pages are sharing pictures of my illustrations without crediting me. I’m flattered, and the reason I have IG is because I want people to see them! But equally, I want people to know how to access more of my work if they want to, and the best way for them to be able to do that is if my page is credited 🙂 So, if any of you see other pages sharing my stuff, it would be wonderful if you could tag me or send me a message!! Many of you do already, and I really appreciate it 😁 Thank you! #medicine #medschool #illustration #medstudent #med #biology #anatomy #medicina #doctor #doctora #medlife

A post shared by Dr Sarah Clifford Illustration (@sarahjclifford) on

“At first I thought that drawing on an iPad would be strange, that I would have lagged and that it would be very limited… How wrong I was! Since I tried it on an Apple Store I was surprised by the experience of drawing on it“, he tells us. She uses ProCreate for her illustrations -as well as Jaime Sanjuan to paint her paintings-.

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“It’s a fantastic, powerful and easy-to-use app, you can customize tools and palettes, so I’ve been able to create a kit just like the pens and paper I used before, that gives my work a very particular style.”

Sarah sends a greeting to the entire Applesfera community.
Sarah sends a greeting to the entire Applesfera community.

ProCreate is, in fact, the app most valued by artists from around the world who paint in digital. Sarah agrees: “Being able to zoom, cut and move elements, erase the pencil, fill in, etc., all that allows me to achieve much more detail, create much better compositions and save a lot of time.” Before the iPad, Sarah scanned her drawings and then tried to adjust quality and color as much as possible . Now consider the process much better, since it does so directly in digital.

The history of how the most unsuspected tool can end up changing the life of those who use it

So striking was his work even before it was a job that colleagues and acquaintances began to commission illustrations. Paid, of course. The volume of the orders was growing and Sarah ended up dedicating herself to it exclusively by selling drawings through her website, mixing her biggest hobby with what her life would cost her for a while.

As it is a job you can do on your iPad and from anywhere in the world, chose a destination in which to spend a full year creating illustrations: Bali. An adventure that is already coming to an end.

Sarah drawing from Bali.
Sarah drawing from Bali.

Now Sarah is about to return to the United Kingdom, and in the month of July she will begin to practice medicine. Which does not mean that your Pencil is going to retire: “I intend to produce and share much more with students from all over the world, and I will continue to illustrate my path through my medical career.” At the moment, his gallery of medical illustrations is still available on his website, as well as collections of notes in English… and in Spanish.

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