I need the new iPad Pro to be better!

Actually, no. You do not need that and I will tell you why!

I totally understand that sometimes is necessary to upgrade your gear, but If you are just learning how to improve your design or art skills It’s always better to use cheap gear instead. Trust me 🙂

A lot of beginner artist, designers, photographers or anyone else actually thinks that they need the best of the best to be, well… THE BEST! But what If I tell you that you do not need that new fancy iPad Pro for your drawings to look good or that awesome new MacBook Pro because you want your photos to look as awesome as that new machine?

  • “But Patrik! A lot of professionals are using the top of the line gear and they art look really good! They are the best designers and stuff…”

Wellp, yes, but they are using top of the line gear not because they want but because they have to. You have to understand that they are out there working really hard for several years and the fact is, they are professionals, not because their art or design looks good but because it’s their profession. And If you are doing something for a living you want to be as effective as possible. Every single second of importing or rendering something and every single pressure point when you painting is important for you because it cost you time and more money.

And yes! I am at the same position, I own top of the line iPad Pro and MacBook Pro but If it was just on me, I will be rather using just a single small iPad Pro or a regular laptop with some cheap drawing tablet. Why? Wellp, money, space, repair etc. that’s why. Top of the line gear cost a lot and believe it or not that gear breaks, get stolen and you have to upgrade it at least every 5 years no matter what. So If you want, buy cheap stuff instead, you still do not know when you even will be profitable so keep that in mind. 🙂

Ok Patrik, that’s reasonable but what to buy then?

Actually, the cheapest things you will need! 😀 I will give you an example in a moment.

Buying cheap gear is actually way better, you will learn your limitation and how to overcome them, you will find out how to use your gear as effective as possible or use its disadvantage to create something awesome. Just a quick example. You have a cheap PC with a terrible monitor. Well, If you are a photographer try Black&White photography or try to experiment with flat colored/monochrome photos instead! If you are a UX/UI designer, well, try to draw your wireframes or low-fi on a piece of paper or canvas, try to use watercolors, pastel or just a single pen. You will learn something new while doing it and, maybe find your new hobby or just find a unique way how to present your work! Just Experiment while you working!

You are a designer/photographer/artist and you need gear for beginners.

First of all a PC:

  • Buy or build a reasonably priced Windows desktop or a laptop with a good IPS screen and decent CPU. If you want something portable buy used Dell XPS 13 or newer Surface Pro (2017 and up). Macbooks are overpriced as hell and if you are starting with art/design/… you really do not need it.

Drawing tablet:

  • If you are planning to buy a Surface Pro, you do not need a drawing tablet so that’s a plus. 🙂
  • Otherwise, buy a cheap Wacom Intuos/Manga or Huion – around 80-100 € (eh, or maybe not, Huions breaks, a lot)

If you are a photographer:

  • Buy a Sony a6000 with a decent lens (it depends what you want to shoot, I recommend buying an a6000 with kit 16-50mm lens and a Sony FE 50mm f1.8). Right now it’s the best price/performance camera you can get. (and for a love of God do not buy an entry-level DSLR, they suck… a lot.)

Do you need a video camera for I dunno… a vlogs?

  • If you have a decent mobile phone use it! Buy a cheap gimbal (Osmo Mobile 2) with some basic lavalier microphone and well, you are good to go!


  • You do not need an Adobe CC or Sketch, trust me.
  • If you want a good and free Sketch alternative, just download free Adobe XD or Adobe Comp for fast wireframing (iPad only)
  • Photoshop and Illustrator are expensive, buy Affinity! It is just 50€ each (Affinity Photo – Adobe PS alternative and Affinity Designer – Adobe Ai alternative)
  • If are need a drawing software download “Sai”.
  • Do you want to edit your awesome videos or screen recordings? Use DaVinci Resolve, it is totally free and almost as powerful as Adobe Premiere.
  • Need to record your audio? Look at Audacity.

If you want to learn something new for cheap just ask someone good at what you like or want to do! Or just go out to the public, try to find some “art/design/photo” meetups you can participate in. Online courses are the way too. But the most important thing, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Never take someone else word for granted. Not even mine. Yes, I am a designer, artist and photographer and yes I am a “professional” but that doesn’t mean I know everything but I trying my best and I recommending you to do the same. 🙂

Good luck! 🙂

And If you like or dislike this article just let me know! Thanks! 🙂

Also, I want to point out that my English isn’t that good, I am still learning so if you found some grammar mistakes (and I can bet you, you found a lot of them) just let me know! 🙂

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About my work

Every work was created with user-centric design in mind because not you, not me but only your customers can decide if they love what they see and want to use it or not. 🙂

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