Late in Ern Shaw’s career in the 1980’s, new drawing technology using computers was being developed in Japan. In 1983, the first graphics tablet and cordless pen was launched into the market by the Japanese company Wacom. (The name Wacom is a loose translation of Japanese; Wa for Harmony, and Com for Computer).
Historically, the pen and paintbrush have been the most familiar tools used by man as a means of communication and expression – it is therefore quite natural that in the age of computers, the pen should be rediscovered. Wacom focused on developing and promoting the pen as a means to facilitate creativity in graphics.
What is the Graphics Tablet and Pen?
The Graphics Tablet is a computer device that allows artists, graphic designers, architects, and cartoonists, to hand-draw images and graphics, similar to the way images are drawn with a pencil/pen and paper. It consists of a flat surface upon which the user draws an image using a cordless pen. The image is then displayed on the computer monitor.
Today Wacom has established itself as the leader in the world market for pen tablets and pioneers in the development of the pen as a computer input device. Since the early days in the 1980’s Wacom has continued to develop a wide range of powerful graphics programmes. Today graphics professionals can produce conventional drawings on the computer using the tablets drawing and writing tools – from the paintbrush to the pen and pencil, crayon to charcoal and image editing tools.
I think Ern Shaw would have been amazed by this technology and embraced it.