A few months ago I went on a multi-night binge spree of watching Adam Savage’s One Day Builds. If you haven’t watched them, I highly recommend setting aside a few hours and watching 2-5 of them at 2x speed, it’s sooooo satisfying!
I really love these videos because they give you a glimpse into how Adam Savage thinks about building physical objects. He has a huge amount of experience and just watching him work teaches you so much about how to think about building things, using/making tools, and how to sketch in real-time with physical objects.
What I mean by “sketch with physical objects” is that there’s a creative process happening, and instead of drawing something out on paper, it starts to take form as you slowly assemble the physical pieces. To me, that feels a lot like sketching on the iPad or on paper. It’s the same mindset, the same feeling, with a different medium — and to me, that’s super cool!
Shortly after this binge spree, I went to an art store in Denver. This particular art store is my favorite because it’s massive and they have a huge selection of paints as well as printmaking stuff. It’s a super cool store, it kind of reminds of the Flax art supply store that used to live on Market Street in San Francisco.
As I was slowly browsing the shop, I found some super cheap sheets of basswood, and I suddenly had an idea!
During that time I was drawing super frequently on the iPad with Procreate, but I was having a hard time positioning the iPad at the perfect angle for drawing — so I was kind of constantly uncomfortable. The closest thing to perfection was when I put my phone underneath the iPad, which created a ~45º angle, which felt perfect.
So I channeled my inner Adam Savage, and decided that I was going to buy some of this basswood, and make a little stand that propped up the iPad at the perfect angle. I had no idea how to do what I wanted, but I was excited to dive in.
Below are photos I took throughout the build that kind of demonstrate my thinking.
It’s not perfect, but it is exactly what I wanted. I learned how to work with a new material (basswood), and I also learned that it warps in weird ways when you blast it with a heat gun to dry paint because you’re impatient 😬
Any day that you build a new tool that fits the task at hand is a good day.