2 Best Laptops for Artists on a Budget
Restore Your Sanity and Self Esteem With the Right Computer
by Thea Fiore Bloom, Ph.D.
It’s Not You – It’s Your Computer
I’m writing this post because I’ve got a bee in my bonnet.
I’m tired of seeing so many beautiful, bright creatives:
- Believe they are terrible when it comes to technology.
- Think they will never be able to correct small problems on their own website.
- Or worry their brains didn’t come fully loaded.
I bet you the problem isn’t you.
The problem is your computer.
In order to find out if this computer dilemma applies to you, can you answer the following two questions for me?
- Are you an artist or a visual thinker?
- Are you working on a PC (personal computer)?
(A PC is a desktop or laptop computer made by say… Toshiba, Asus, Acer, Samsung, HP, or Lenovo.)
If you answered yes to questions one and two, and you want a hit of self-esteem, read on.
Why Artists and PCs are a Bad Combination
I’ve coached artists for years and you know what?
In my opinion, artists and PCs are not meant for each other.
Because I’ve noticed artists are a lot like otters, we are playful and love water.
And when artists try to work on PCs, we are like an otter that has to work at a Mcdonald’s in the Gobi Desert.
Want to know what kind of laptop will allow you to be a freer, happier, WETTER otter?
When I started working on a Mac computer I felt like I could breathe again.
I felt the same way I do when I’m near a river or an ocean.
And you know what?
I’ve witnessed countless artist-otters get back into their own lush proverbial stream by selling or donating their PC and breaking down and buying a Mac.
Of course, the transition didn’t happen overnight, there was a slight learning curve.
But now, like me, these artists:
- Don’t stress half as much over their websites and newsletters.
- Have more fun making videos and doing other creative things online.
- Produce more art.
- And because they are having more fun, and making more of their art, they usually sell more of it.
“But Thea,” you might rightly say, “Have you been hitting the crack pipe again? I can’t afford a Mac.”
I hear you.
But a Mac is cheaper and better for you than a PC in the long run.
I’ll prove it to you if you come geek out with me and the Charmed Studio’s IT expert Arthur Brecel for a minute.
3 Reasons To Get One of the Two Best Laptops for Artists
In the End, Macs Are Cheaper Than PCs
2nd Reason To Get One of the Two Best Laptops for Artists
Macs are Better and Easier For Artists To Work On. Period.
“Because Macs are easier for visual thinkers like us to work on,” one successful artrepeneur told me.
She then reminded me of that old David Allen quote:
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, it’s hard to eat spaghetti.” – David Allen
You may ask, why does being on a Mac allow artists to stop metaphorically eating our spaghetti with a hammer?
“Many creatives might favor Macs because they are superior to other computers AND Macs also have what’s known as an intuitive user interface,” said Brecel.
What’s a user interface?
A user interface is the system of buttons, graphics, and icons we artists click on in hopes of getting a computer to do what we want it to do.
And what makes for an intuitive interface?
3rd Reason to Get One of the Two Best Laptops for Artists
Macs Are Beautiful.
And Artists Need Beauty to Stay Interested in Work.
“Beauty awakens the soul to act.” –Dante Alighieri
Tech Guru’s Picks: The 2 Best Laptops for Artists On a Budget
Best Laptop for Artists on a Budget Pick #1
The Most Economical and Lightest Way to Go: MacBook Air
I’ve worked on Macbook Airs for years.
They are quick and gorgeous.
Macbook Airs now come with the all-important, new, M1 and M2 processors.
And they are relatively affordable, especially if you choose one with a smaller screen.
They also come in dreamy colors like … rose gold….sigh.
(If you can swing it spring for the two-hundred-dollar Apple Care add-on.
The Apple Care helpline will make your flight from a PC to a Mac a first-class experience.
You can also go get help whenever you need it for free at The Genius Bar at an Apple Store if you live close to one.)
But back to the MacBook Air.
They are thinner and lighter than a Macbook Pro because they have less storage capacity, internal hardware and external ports (the thingies you plug cables etc. into on the side of a laptop.)
Now those bits of hardware and scads of ports and extra storage are things you might need if you are a musician, course creator, YouTuber, or podcaster.
If you do need more storage space go for the Cadillac of Macbooks below.
The Macbook Pro.
Best Laptop for Artists on a Budget Pick #2
The Macbook Pro With an M1 or M2 Processor
If you want to do things like create and edit, music, podcasts, films or videos you might love the big guns the Macbook Pro brings.
The quality of the screen is amazing and it will give you a more immersive experience than the Macbook Air.
It will most likely last you for ages, way longer than an Air in my experience.
If you want to write a bunch of long books, or a dissertation, and a bunch of screenplays, you also may want to get this Macbook.
It will be the right tool for the right job.
And you won’t have to stress about power, performance or storage capacity ever again.
But keep in mind the Macbook Pro is heavier and boxier.
And The Macbook Pro with an M1 or M2 processor isn’t cheap.
Get the Apple Care for sure here, and shamelessly use the heck out it, as I do.
Because as wise Warren Buffet says:
“The best investment you can make is in yourself.” -Warren Buffet
PS: When you call Apple Care ask whoever is helping you that day to “access your screen.”
This way they can put a big, fat, red arrow on your display that delightfully shows you where to click as they talk to you. Genius!
But what if your dream is not to use your laptop to get the word out about your art, but to actually use it to make art?
If You Want to Play Around With Digital Art, Just Get an iPad
The 3 Best Reasons You Want To Treat Yourself To One Of The 2 Best Laptops for Artists
Reason #1 You Want to Get One of These Best Laptops for Artists
Working on a well-designed laptop will almost instantly raise your self-esteem.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Reason #2 You Want To Get One of These Best Laptops for Artists
When you slog away for years on an inferior computer, with a bad user interface, you get progressively more stressed.
“It’s not what we do that makes us tired—it’s what we don’t do.” –Steve Chandler
- We aren’t able to accomplish simple tasks, never mind the more ambitious stuff we dream of.
- Not being able to tackle projects that will make us feel better about ourselves and advance our art career keeps us from stretching to our next level.
- And not being able to stretch to our next level equals less community connection, less emotional fulfillment and less prosperity.
Reason #3 For Owning One of These Best Laptops for Artists
“The best investment is in the tools of one’s trade.” Benjamin Franklin.
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