I Got Distracted

I do that a lot. It’s a big, fascinating world with lots to get distracted by. And I, myself, am a big, less-fascinating microcosm with an internal ecology to get distracted by, too.

I’ll bet you might be the same.

So, I’ve been stretching my problem solving skills and debating about how certain I should be before blogging about a questionable fix I’m employing for a no-good, frustrating, disturbing health problem for which I do not want to undergo the prescribed diagnostic procedures, never mind one particular potential treatment.

I’ve written and scrapped the post explaining the whole mess too many times. It’s amazing how something fairly simple and direct can take far too much back story to clarify, and how much anxiety doing so can provoke.

I’ve yet to reach a conclusion on how much I’m willing to share.

So, what does this have to do with illustration?

Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been distracted from. I still haven’t finished designing the iMessage sticker pack I started working on back in March1. I have a couple of potential illustrations done for the second triad (there’s something to be said for working in threes; it’s the number of signs in an element2, after all, and an easy grouping for getting to 12), but can’t quite get my head around how I want to complete that mini-set.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered Concepts by TopHatch3.

Orange squid drawn in Concepts. Work in progress, likely to never be finished. I was playing with Concepts’ shape guides and stroke smoothing at this point, and obviously using layers, but otherwise drawing like I would on actual paper.

Concepts is described as “An advanced, natural design tool for the mobile professional.”4 I’m not a professional, and no more mobile than most other homebodies I know. I actually found Concepts during a quest for a simple-to-use architecture app while I was distracted by the notion of re-designing Angel Stadium5 with a more neck-friendly layout. Alas, that ambitious bit of inspiration never came to fruition, but Concepts was love at first draw, and so, I’ve been busy learning to use, and slowly creating with, my new fave drawing app.

Concepts comes with an infinite canvas; optional, adjustable grids (including dotted and isometric grids); snapping options; shape guides; ways to measure your work; and a decent set of brushes. (My favorite of these is the fill brush. It’s totally changing the way that I work, and doing so in a good, time-saving, error-reducing way. Maybe that’s not unique to this app. Maybe it’s just the first time I’ve actually used that sort of tool with an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. Don’t know. Don’t care. If this app is the first to get me to effectively use a fill brush, then kudos to TopHatch for getting through my thick skull.)

In-progess dragon drawing in Concepts. I’m now uitilizing the fill brush, selection tools, duplicating and mirroring, in addition to infinite layers, stroke smoothing, snap, and shape guides.

If you like to draw, and like doing so on an iPad, I encourage you to give Concepts a trial run.

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying drawing with it.

And, hopefully, I’ll come to a decision regarding how transparent I want to be about what I’m now referring to as “Sam’s DIY Hormone Fix” (or, “You Too Can Regulate Your Own Estrogen—But You Might Not Like How”)6.



  1. Light That Monsoon Up! Samusumi. Accessed 3 May 2018. https://samusumi.com/2018/03/21/light-that-monsoon-up/
  2. A Brief Introduction to Astrology: The four Elements. Astrodienst. Accessed 3 May 2018. http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_elements_e.htm
  3. Concepts: Smarter Sketching (iOS). TopHatch. Accessed 3 May 2018. http://concepts.tophatch.com/
  4. Concepts: Smarter Sketching (iOS). TopHatch. Accessed 3 May 2018. http://concepts.tophatch.com/
  5. Angel Stadium. Samusumi. Accessed 3 May 2018. https://samusumi.com/tag/angel-stadium/
  6. Psst. It has nothing to do with astrology. Evidence-based medicine FTW.