Interview with DigitalArts magazine & feature for Wacom / by Gidi Meir Morris

Cintiq Unplugged: Photographer Achieves Full Creative Potential

Wacom Online


When first testing Cintiq Companion, portrait photographer Gidi Meir Morris didn’t think the device was that ground-breaking. Then he unplugged it, and that changed everything ... Gidi is one of 8 professional artists who were selected by Wacom and Digital Arts magazine to give Cintiq Companion a one 30-day trial run.
Originally from Tel Aviv, Gidi Meir Morris now lives in London, trying to refine his own creative style of photography. Therefore, the 30-year-old visual artist has begun to focus more on the creation of fine arts – a process for which he finds Wacom tablets an essential tool: “Wacom has become an industry standard,” Gidi claims. He is convinced that every professional photographer should use such a tablet for the strong “level of control” over work.

Changing the workflow

When offered to test Cintiq Companion and review it from a photographer’s perspective, Gidi looked at the device from every angle. At first, he attached the mobile tablet to his laptop to finish a current project – just the way he would with his regular Wacom tablet. After a week, he knew that Cintiq Companion could do everything his usual tablet could.

Now it was time to move on and change the workflow: Gidi uploaded a portrait photograph from a recent photo shoot onto Cintiq Companion, then unplugged the device from his laptop and sat down on the couch with it. For hours on end, Gidi was immersed in his work, drawing and painting freely around the photograph. “That’s when I started to realise that this device is completely different from anything that I have.”

Lose yourself in the image

Painting directly on the image deeply impressed Gidi. In a Facebook video blog post, he declared: “I just sat there painting. I got lost in the image”. The tool made the him feel “like I had been thrown back to my childhood: I had gone back to creating something out of nothing, which is something I really missed as a photographer. The Cintiq really pulled that back out in me.”

Mobility counts: from the couch to St. James’ Park

Gidi loves that the device made him change his way of thinking about his workspace. “A lot of the things that limit you are actually in your head,” the photographer says. Cintiq Companion allowed him to change his routine, abandon his desk and move anywhere to work and create: “The first step was my couch, the second step was a coffee shop, the third step was St. James’ Park. I just sat there and painted, and that is something I could never do with my laptop and tablet.”

The Cintiq’s battery lasted long enough for Gidi to get a lot of work done outside. He was especially pleased with the strength of the Cintiq Companion’s processor. Once during the test period, the visual artist worked on a file that turned out to be 6 GB large. Gidi says: “Most laptops would struggle with a file that size, and I was actually really surprised that I could paint freely and work on the image. The device is much more powerful than I expected.”

Recommendable, but not for all

After one month of using Cintiq Companion, Gidi felt that it is “a very interesting tool to have” for all photographers who work on one single image for a long time. However, he admits that the device might not be recommendable for every photographer: “It really depends on the kind of photography you’re doing.” According to Gidi Meir Morris, especially those who sort through many files at a time might not get to use all creative options Cintiq Companion has to offer.

As for future Wacom developments, Gidi has the same request his fellow Cintiq Companion test person Estelle Baylis (LINK to the first review) has: Since the artist works with the Mac OS on an everyday basis, it took him some time to switch to Windows 8. “It’s just different,” Gidi says. Therefore, to him, finding a way to make Cintiq Companion run on Mac OS “would completely change the product for people like me.”

All in all: a huge asset

Gidi Meir Morris concludes that Cintiq Companion is a very useful tool for himself – especially as he is trying to move more into the fine arts, where, he claims, “art is mostly about what’s going on in your head and your heart. Therefore, being able to detach myself from my regular work environment is a huge asset.”