Momma Told Me: Digital Creativity With the SENSU Portable Brush + Stylus

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Digital Creativity With the SENSU Portable Brush + Stylus

brush stylus
Momma Told Me: Computers are replacing creativity.

As a creative woman who had her own seasonal booth at the local Fall Harvest Craft Show, Momma was never one to embrace the rising technology surrounding the early personal computer era. In my childhood, a mechanical technician by trade, my father was on the opposite end of the spectrum. He couldn't have his hands on the newest technology fast enough. In a sense, I was raised in the best of both worlds, with an appreciation for free form creativity, but a love for the power and convenience of modern electronics. However, Momma would always seem to worry, the more metal and plastic on the market, the less need or want buyers would have for something with a handmade touch. It's true that modern children's feature films are primarily digitally rendered; and, while I love recent Pixar and Dreamworks releases, I do find myself longing for the simpler rendering of a 2D animation cell. Sure, these big CG films have more replay in them, simply because there is so much going on on the screen, but do they really tell the classic stories we loved so much as children? The debate rages without a doubt.
digital brush
I went to the Art Institute for Graphic Design (specifically Game Art and Design), and after a year promptly decided I did not want to turn art into my career. Technically, I was an A student, but I greatly disliked being told what to draw. I'd never have survived making an income fulfilling the creative dreams of others, if I was to profit off my artistic inclination, it would be from the selling of my own thoughts and concepts. Regardless, I learned a deep respect for the amount of time, and painstaking detail, that goes into digital rendering. Many of the initial stages of such projects still involve quite a bit of hands on, human, sketching and deeply count on the designer to influence the mood and expression, whether a photo from Adobe Photoshop, or a Vector image from Illustrator. This was 8 years back now, and I've since shyed away from digital creativity, for fear I am outdated in the category. Unfortunately, this means I have also neglected to pick up a real pen and put ink to physical paper as much as I would like. To compromise, I've been looking into digital, tablet, apps that can allow me to brainstorm or create on the go, in short bursts of inspiration. For me, having a SENSU stylus was a no brainer.
You wouldn't try to bake without flour, so why would you try to paint or draw without a brush? Recognized as one of the most authentic, gadget specifically designed, creative implements on the market, the SENSU has recently made a commanding debut in the newest Windows 8 ad. Not only does the SENSU perform with vivid detail on my iPad 2 tablet, but even on the 4.3" screen of my new #HTC8 Windows Phone. Originally a Kickstarter Project, this simple stylus device is much more complex than meets the eye. The designers envisioned a precision design tool that was as easy to protect and transport, as it was natural in creating. Finding the perfect bristle for maximum touchscreen recognition was a tall task when trying to convert a generation of classic artists to modern digital designers. In the more advanced touchscreen devices, paired with complex apps, pressure sensitivity can be detected beyond a single point, to convey the swipe of the bristles in a natural imprint that rivals paint and paper.
brush stylus
The SENSU brush stylus easily folds into a traditional length brush when the protective cap is removed from the bristle end and secured to the back, nub stylus end. While the more traditional 'dull' stylus end acts as a perfectly useful stylus for browsing and data work, it is also a useful tool in paint applications that allow manually blending and smudging. Because the round stylus is soft to the screen it can be rolled and twirled with various pressures to act as a formidable creativity tool as well. There are many creativity APPS that take the SENSU's precision in consideration, including my personal favorite, ART Rage, which allows the user to dabble with basic mediums. These mediums can be used in their most natural forms and widths, or adjusted to size and pressure sensitivity for a more accurate and lifelike reproduction. You even have the option of choosing the type of paint/pastel/chalk you are creating with for a genuine visual representation of brush strokes, layering, and transparency. In order to find value in the SENU brush you don't have to be a Picasso, or even intend on creating professional works of art. This accessory is a must have for mobile users that feel the need to jot or sketch concepts in meetings, on the go, or simply daydreaming between the daily grind.
The feel of the Sensu, in weight and response, is impressively natural. While I was hesitant with my strokes and pressure at first, my iPad quickly responded to accurate pressure points, and I became more natural in movements. Above is my very first experience with the SENSU brush; it's not my prettiest piece of work, but it is an example of what a simple 5 minute session can explore when pairing this stylus with the right application. Note the variation ins depth of the watercolor lines, and the texture of swipes on the oil pastel swirls, or the smudging through the fine ink lines? I used the traditional end of the stylus to write Truffles' name, for a signature with legal documentation clarity. I use the stylus as a shorthand notation taker just as much as I flip the cap and create with the brush. Just remember, for those who want to explore creativity, the best apps will cost you about $5- but don't skimp, free apps will not be able to offer you the same sensitivity and pressure recognition as the professional programs.

What Daughter Says: The SENSU seamlessly meld technology with creativity.

As Required by The FTC: I received a SENSU stylus in order to conduct my review, no other form of compensation was provided. All opinions are unedited and mine alone.


  1. I love that you can draw like this using this tool - I want one!

  2. i really want one!!