Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in saysbrad (11)


Website Issues

It looks like I’m really going to need to do something about this site. Not getting accurate anything, and just loading the editor is a bit of an issue. Maybe because it’s an old version.


Says Brad Logo Concept

I’ve been thinking about creating something simple to replace the SAYS BRAD atop this site.

I haven’t figured out how to color it, or even if I really like it, but I wanted to create something simple and clean, since most of what I design isn’t. It’s an S that looks something like $ with the bar in the center, but it can also be interpreted at SB — two letters connected in the center.

Maybe I can turn it into an Apple Watch face. Something that I don’t need on something that I don’t need… but kinda want.


Favicon Design part 1, Ideas, Concepts + Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

Adobe Ideas screenshot, freehand sketch


Learning how to keep my hand steady again has been a tricky process. Luckily, the iPad has some amazing tools. The sketch above, a favicon design concept for this site, was first loosely drawn in Tayasui Sketches, but I almost immediately switched to Adobe Ideas to take advantage of a new Bluetooth pressure-sensitive stylus.

The Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is probably the nicest all-around stylus for the iPad. In certain situations, I like the oStylus DOT more due to its small tip and predictable, 100% functionality. The Adonit Jot Touch is supported by many more apps, and their SDK is actually starting to work as intended (it was buggy; more like a tech demo or concept product, not quite usable for my design style).

Adobe Ideas is compatible with a variety of pressure-sensitive styluses; with it, I've only tried the Jot Touch and Intuos (both work really well in general). Ideas offers pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. Pressure sensitivity works great; there aren't a lot of options for it, but simplicity is sort of Ideas' thing. The Intuos' buttons work to bring up a quick tool menu to make changes to settings like tip width, color, tool... it's really nice, but an undo option would've been nice.

The palm rejection sucks; it works by rejecting any stroke on the iPad while there's no pressure on the stylus tip, but as soon as you start actually using it in earnest, it fails. Tons of unintended marks, because in practice: you have to set the tip down first — pressing enough to trigger pressure sensitivity —followed by your palm/wrist, and then lift your hand before lifting the stylus tip off to finish. It's a nuisance; setting a simple folded microfiber cloth underneath your palm is much easier... and it actually works.

But that's not an Ideas problem, it's just the technology. The iPad wasn't, isn't intended to be used with a stylus. For shame, Apple! Release for us a Penabled version, or something like the Samsung Galaxy Note. Artists will buy it; they're excited about dropping $1600-2500 for Wacom Cintiq Companion tablets — we'll buy an iPad: Artist Edition!

Currently, I can only compare the Hex3 Jaja, Adonit Jot Touch (2.1) & Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. I would love to test the Pogo Connect & others — I'm saddened that Paper by FiftyThree only utilizes the Pogo. I contacted them; they said that they have no plans to support any other Bluetooth styli, but that they're looking at the others to see how well people take to those devices. FiftyThree also mentioned that they weren't planning on portrait mode, but that it's been requested (duh!). Seeing how long they took to add custom colors and magnification (up to 3x zoom), it might be a long while. Like iPad 7 kind of awhile.

Contrast that with the great people behind Concepts: Smarter Sketching, and you'll know why I'm so excited about that app. Concepts as a free app is full functional, and an inexpensive IAP unlocks cool precision options unlike any other app I've used. Using a dot grid and guides, it's easy to create perfect lines and shapes on an adjustable, vector art canvas.

But that's not the amazing part; Concepts started months ago as a broken app with laggy pen strokes to a professional-use design tool with Copic colors... at less than 1/3 of the price of Paper. What started as an app with just a pen tool has become a vector app with a beautiful pencil, marker and airbrush tool — and it's fast and responsive. The pencil and marker are stunning.

The really great part about Concepts, however, is TopHatch, the guys behind the vector design and sketching app. I contacted them via Facebook and got a quick reply that made two things clear: these guys are nice, and they care about user feedback. I felt like my suggestions would help to improve the app — they even invited me to beta test it. I was told that I would be really pleased with the next update, but didn't get too many specifics. Only that portrait mode and Bluetooth stylus support were both happening soon.


Part 2 will be about favicon design itself (a sort of beginner's guide, I suppose) as well as my thought process for it, and a more in-depth review of Concepts: Smarter Sketching.



Burned Out Site

For whatever reason, over the past few days, my website has been hit by numerous spam reference links & comments. It's tiresome going through it all, and Squarespace said that there isn't a great automated option to solve the problem. It's time-consuming cleaning out the crap, and it feels like it isn't worth it at times. I'm already overloaded by emails because I don't have enough time awake to manage all of it, and now there's this to deal with. So I suppose there's another reason to look at either: migrating to WordPress with DISQUS comments, or finding someone to help me manage the site (and add content) — or both. I don't suppose you're interested? :-) I wanted to write about iOS 7 today but I feel like I just don't have the energy. I'll likely add a few more photos to my Instagram, however. @bradtastic Thanks for the continued support!

Small changes to Says Brad blog

Made a few changes to — will continue to update it as I can. Almost as soon as I have an OK day, I get sick again somehow.Sigh. This really has been one harsh year. It has taught me a lot, however, and I have had the opportunity to catch up on a lot of reading. Not so much writing and art, unfortunately.

I received a question about styluses in general and my thoughts on Wacom’s newly announced Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (releases in October, along with Cintiq Companion drawing tablets); although I answered that specific email, I’ll briefly share my thoughts with everyone here. I’m really excited about the new stylus and I have high hopes for it! I hope I can try the new Wacom Intuos capacitive touch stylus soon! I’m still particularly fond of the oStylus DOT and Wacom Bamboo stylus (standard version) because both are 100% reliable in all practical conditions and work great on the iPad mini; something that many styluses, especially those with small tips, struggle with. Check out my iStuff page for links to these styluses and other incredible products!

I hope all of you are doing well, and thanks for visiting my website; it really does mean a lot to me, and I sincerely appreciate the support that I’ve received, especially this year. I will continue to try to update and create compelling content and worthwhile reviews for you to read and share.


Added Features

Hey everyone! Still plinking away at getting this website and blog updated and the way I want it. I added a few things, including search, categories and a tag cloud.

I’ve also been playing around a little bit with Squarespace 6 and WordPress (bradtastica – my test site) but haven’t managed to find themes or get them looking the way I want. Also, I’m having an issue with MediaTemple and my self-hosted WordPress install. So I think I may just backup my content there and scrap the thing, start over from scratch. I also want to learn how to use Google’s web font thing, instead of Typekit. Not that I know how to use that, either.


Says Brad logo ideas

I've been thinking about adding a favicon and other branding here, so I've been sketching ideas in Paper by FiftyThree for this blog. Mostly it's just practice—for fun… design and art is sort of like writing, use it or lose it.


iPad can do anything, quickly

The iPad really is an amazing tool — in can do practically everything!

(Yes, I know that the browser lacks Flash, but with HTML5 sites these days and the sheer number of iOS devices out there, Flash is on the decline, anyway.) Years ago, I was a skeptic; like many others, I saw the iPad as an oversized iPod touch, but once I actually held one and played with it, I realized what an impact the screen size makes. The iPad has come a long way since then, adding retina display (2048x1536 resolution, greater than 1080P)

It's much more than a toy. Just yesterday I painted a graduation card for my sister using Procreate, and I routinely use ThinkBook, Infinite SketchPad, NoteTaker HD, Byword, iA Writer, Evernote & Skitch, Blogsy and Noteshelf (now with retina graphics and Smart Pen support) for writing and note taking.

That might seem overwhelming, so here's an example of a simple, attractive way to capture ideas.

I use an oStylus DOT and Paper by FiftyThree to create simple, attractive mind-maps.

Paper is a minimalist sketching app I've become fond of for its unique style and dedicated community. It isn't a full-featured drawing tool, and many have complained about the freemium pricing, but if you can get past that, you may discover that Paper is a rich environment that can make you more productive.

Instead of fussing with neatness, perfect shapes and clean-lines, I put ideas on paper.

I like to start by capturing the mood with the watercolor brush, and add text, basic shapes and sketches with the write, draw and sketch tools. I like to connect concepts using lines, and group ideas by color. Paper allows me to work quickly; each page can become an outline or a piece of a larger mind-map, and an entire book can be complete within minutes. Individual pages can be saved as a photo or published to social networking sites, like my tumblr.

With the new version of Paper, I can export a notebook as a PDF and view it in iBooks.

For me, a capacitive touch stylus is essential, but you might not need one. Steve Jobs didn't like styli and designed the iPad to be finger-friendly… and it is. I use my oStylus DOT less than 50% of the time. However, certain tasks require precision not suited for fingertips — such as writing and drawing.

I'm constantly amazed by the amazing iOS development community; there are some stunning apps for iPhone and iPad, better than anything I've ever used on a desktop or anywhere else. Let me know what you think of Paper and the other apps I've mentioned, or if you know someone with an iPad, please bring them to my site!

If you have iPad questions, you can contact me directly: my name at gmail.


Bradtastic Online and oStylus DOT magic

Over a decade of work, about to be online…

Together for the first time. I'm excited. An iPad + iMac Bradtastic/SaysBrad endeavor.

Several days ago, I was looking for a video, World Business Review with Alexander Haig on AIS Insurance (my father's business) — the original WMV, that is. In this search effort, I uncovered not only the file in question, but a collection of designs — hand-drawn, vectored, painted, Photoshopped — the works… my collection of art, illustration and design from over the years.

I've never hosted this in a single location, and I think it's about time. This revelation has me excited; I decided then, to design something unique and original for Says Brad.

The image posted here, drawn with an oStylus DOT.

This design, done entirely on iPad 2 and the new iPad, incorporates lettering and an outline done in SketchBook Pro with a background image created using Wurm.

I love the oStylus DOT.

I drew it with my favorite capacitive touch stylus, the DOT (oStylus DOT images), created in Canada by the genius jeweler, Andrew Goss. [I recently posted a review featured on #madewithpaper as well.] Check it out; give it a try, and you'll love the DOT also!

Some key features of the DOT

  • Unprecedented control – the unique tip is small enough to feel like a regular pen, but large enough that it's always recognized by tablets. Some styli like the Jot offer a smaller nib, but those aren't as consistent. Wacom Bamboo capacitive stylus offers similar reliability, but less accuracy, and it feels like the blunt instrument that it is.

  • Won't scratch your screen – I won't lie, I haven't vigorously tried to scratch my screen — that'd be silly stupid — but under normal use, even with firm pressure, it hasn't happened. The folks over at oStylus have tried to scratch the screen by using the oStylus incorrectly and found no damage. If you keep your screen relatively free of debris, you should be fine.

  • Great for artists – Because of its pencil grip, amazing precision and reliability, this tool is wonderful for drawing and handwriting. If you utilize tablet art apps, you need the DOT. If you're looking for a stylus for rapid brush strokes, you may want to check out the nomad brush (featured on my sidebar).

  • Supports a family-oriented small business with great customer service – Andrew Goss stands behind his products and makes these by hand. You won't get corporate speak and run-arounds dealing with him.

  • Note: Not so great for games and typing – If you're looking for a stylus to replace your finger for things like navigation, typing and games, the Bamboo may be a better fit. It's inherent, soft tip makes a liter contact with the screen, and you won't have to deal with loud tapping. However, if you're only getting one stylus, go with the DOT. For sure.

iPad users, digital artists, cool people:

Follow me online for art updates, links to cool stuff, app advice and reviews and some common sense. My social links are on the sidebar, and I'd really appreciate it if you shared my blog with your friends — specifically, if you know someone with some type of physical limitation, please refer them to me. I'm trying to collect other stories about mobility issues and overcoming these challenges with technology to share with people.

I know that for many people, an iPad seems extraneous, expensive, frivolous, but for me, it's a lifeline. As a supplemental technology, many people don't need one, but it can be a primary computer, I've been using it that way for years now.