Every artist has their tools, whether you’re working with wood, marble, or computer screens. Being a creative is no different, and with every unique and imaginative project that they release, there are tools behind them that make it happen. Interpretation is key, and in a world of powerful machines and software offering an array of different abilities the likes of which we’ve never really seen, preferences are everywhere. We look at a few different options across the board that are of essential use to how creatives in this city go about making their visions come to life.

Hardware: Machines. Machines Everywhere.

There’s absolutely no shortage of options out there when it comes to creating whatever your heart desires anymore. Macbooks, Windows Laptops, Samsung Ultrabooks; You name it, and it probably exists, but just how justifiable is using one over the other? The truth is, not much. While some machines offer greater processing power, or a few extra features, the reality is that much of the work that’s done is through the software that is used. One of the biggest aspects to consider when debating which computer to get is the interface that you’re most comfortable with.

Lets take the age-old match up for a minute here. Mac versus Windows. Just a prefix here reminding our wonderful readers to please keep the war of words to yourselves…and direct them to the comments. We love controversy, its great bonding time. In any case, Both the Windows and Apple systems offer one major difference in their machines, and that’s the interface. Hot keys, such as the Command Key for Macs can be extremely handy, and at the end of the day users of both computers will agree one the simple fact that their machine is easy to USE. Muscle memory kicks in, and users hardly think about where their clicking anymore, and that’s thanks to the reliability of both these machines in keeping the experience fluid for those using them.

Another aspect to consider is power. This is much more wide open, as even laptops or desktops that are on the cheaper end of the spectrum offer enough power in today’s environment to get a program going and use it comfortably. Of course, the higher the price, the higher the specs. Processing power and RAM are widely considered the crown jewels in providing a smooth, fluid workflow.  At the end of the day, there are computers that will fit just about every persons need, its just a matter of taking the time to pick the right one, and what works best for the content that needs to be created. The very best of the creative workforce can utilize these differences to still produce fantastic content, and we circle back to the underlying basis of what it means to choose your tool for the work you love to do: Interpretation.

Software: Endless Possibilities…At a Price

When it comes to the programs that are used, you’ll start to notice the usual names pop up. Illustrator, Photoshop, Final Cut etc. While the hardware aspect of being a creative is very wide open, when it comes to the software being used, it’s a little more focused.

Graphic artists and designers know every nook and cranny when it comes to programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and for good reason. We’ve come a long way from Microsoft Paint ladies and gentlemen. All it takes to realize the power that these programs have behind them is a quick YouTube search, and you can begin to see why these are perhaps the two largest and most utilized programs used for a large percentage of the creative landscape. This isn’t a comparison of the two by any means, but each one has it’s own individual merits and uses. These two programs of course are part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a service offered by Adobe delivering industry standard programs in a wide variety of uses. Whether it be the two mentioned above for designers, or After Effects and Premiere for the video creators, there’s something for just about everybody. At up to 75 dollars a month, the investment for a creative professional to have this program at their disposal is priceless, and more than fair for what it offers.

We haven’t forgot the developers, and they have their fair share of options as well. One of the most useful aspects of being a developer is the sheer amount that you’re able to do within any given program, and it doesn’t need to be on a beast of a machine either. Text editors like Sublime and Brackets are technically free. In Sublime’s case, there is free trial period to evaluate the program with an eventual request to purchase the software, but with no set time limit on that trial, many choose to use it for an extended time. Purchasing however, is a fantastic way to help out fellow developers in doing what they do and providing the services that others need.

The Verdict?

It really is an instance of pick your poison. We’ll continue these insights into the different tools used in the future, and go more in depth into some of the lesser known programs or machines that creatives around the city are calling upon to get their work finished. Let us know the setup you use, and how it helps you achieve your unique vision, and what you think about the many options out there for the next generation of creative professionals. And if the boxing gloves happen to come off…well, be creative.



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