A lot of my magical practices utilize very elaborate illustrations of different symbols and archetypes. A lot of my practices include sigils, seals, talismans, various languages, and fantastical illustrations of things I might encounter. If I run into an unfamiliar being, I will sketch it out. For me, it was always important that it have some sort of aesthetic. I need to be able to look at it and think it’s pretty. On the left side of this post (above this post if you are viewing this from a mobile device) is an example of my work. My art very complex and all of it is very intricate and you end up getting into very finite details. Imagine doing that by hand!
To make sure that all the lines and circles were up to my standard, I ended up having a bunch of tools. So, anything up to my standards that I did required a protractor and a lot of shading. This means I ended up needing pens and pencils and after I drew out the shape with a pencil, I had to go over the contour lines with a pen. A basic pen and a basic pencil would not draw out the very fine and intricate sigils, so I had to get especially fine tipped pens. Then if I wanted to color it, I had to use colored pencils. So far, we have a protractor, a pencil, a large-tipped pen for contour lines, a fine-tipped pen for details, and colored pencils.
The actual process of the sketching and the drawing took forever. It would be common for a magical spell of mine to take hours and hours of preparation time because it takes hours and hours to draw out the thing. The effort of the drawing was a pain. I got a lot of hand cramps and trying to keep your hand steady while drawing tons and tons of really small characters in small places is not fun at all. No matter how good I am, there is the issue of being technically limited in technical precision because I am human. Because time is becoming and more and more of a precious commodity and I would like greater levels of precision in my designs, I decided to switch over into using digital illustration tools.
One large reason I decided to switch over to using digital art tools for illustrating my magical tools and talismans is that it simplifies the number of tools I am dealing with. I’m able to simplify my life by taking at least a 100 tools (protractors, pens, paint, coloring pencils, etc) and consolidate them into one; my computer. I have a virtual set of all the tools. Not only do I have all the tools that I want, but I also have a very diverse color palette. I switched over to Inkscape for the creation of sigils. Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics alternative to Adobe Illustrator. I am a Linux user and GIMP ships with any popular desktop distribution of Linux, but GIMP is like Photoshop and I need more flexibility. Switching over to digital tools saved me so much time and money.
I have a great deal of things going on in my head and painting is a way to keep me sane. I have always painted, sketched, and drawn the various things in my head. My paintings have always been private, though. Seriously, I am thinking about leaving instructions that upon my death, they should be burned. Inkscape is great but I was looking for some things that intuitively fit more with painting. I stumbled onto Krita. As it relates to magic, in particular, I deal a lot with archetypes. Archetypes can be represented as abstract forms with details missing or other forms disrupted. I might depict my interpretation of draconic forms and corresponding things associated with that visually.
One really great thing I love is the ease at which I can transform a talisman into a piece of jewlry. In the old days, after going through that trial of creating it on paper, I would have to go to the art store and get clay. I got the sort of clay that could be baked in a kitchen oven. I would have to shape the clay and carve out the talisman into the clay, bake it, and sometimes go over it with lacquers. Now, it is very easy for me to turn images in Inkscape to STL files, 3D print it, and have a pendant piece that can be worn.
Regarding magical practices that deal with a formal set of metaphysics in geometric spaces, dealing with complex symbols inscribed on the interior of complex geometric shapes is oftentimes tedious, time consuming, and takes a level of technical precision that can be problematic. Taking advantage of digital art tools can greatly improve magical practices.