A computer is JUST a tool

A computer is JUST a tool. A pencil is a tool. Photoshop is a tool. Everything is just a ‘tool’ to create something COOL. And each tool has their pros and cons. But it’s not the tool…it’s the person using it.

For example, if my mom and I had a drawing contest with pencil and paper, I’d win hands down. Why? Because I’m more skilled than her. If I gave my mom the same computer and Photoshop software I use, and said draw something… I’d still win! Because I’m a better artist than her. So, what determines how any of these ‘tools’ work is the person whose hand it is in. Skill is a very BIG part of that equation.

If I give her paper to draw on and say “make a horse”, and then give her a computer to draw on and say “make a horse”, it wouldn’t matter to her what the thing was that she was drawing on. Both horses would suck! She wouldn’t be better at drawing horses because she had a computer.

Posted above is one of the first digital (computer) drawings I ever did. It didn’t magically make me draw better or make it easier than drawing with pencil and paper. In fact, I had to get used to it for a long time before I was comfortable with what I was doing. Just like any other new tool you might use at work or at home, there is a learning curve. Now, I’m not saying that ink on paper and a computer are the same. They’re not. In fact, once I began using the computer I could see that there were more ‘options’ for how I could possibly use it. But all of those options are still used at my discretion, with my creativity, with my skill sets. No more and no less.

The moral of this story is to forget about what tools you have or don’t have and focus on your skills and working to improve them within whatever limitations those tools give you! Because in the end only YOU can make great things happen…the tools you use to get there are just an extension of yourself!

Todd McFarlane


For me what Todd McFarlane said can also apply to filmmaking, especially to any aspiring cinematographer who thinks having the latest camera or film equipment would suddenly make them a good cinematographer.