Original Tezuka Astro Boy page.
celestial anime cat being.
It depends on your goals! If you’re super committed to art as a career, and you can afford it, there’s absolutely no reason to master a regular ol’ tablet before moving onto the cintiq.
I got my first tablet before cintiqs existed— and used my intuos 1 for ten years! It served me very well and definitely prepared me to use the cintiq, but nowadays I never use a tablet. I use a cintiq both at work and at home.
However, if you can’t afford a cintiq and don’t think you will be able to any time soon, the tablet is a wonderful tool that I highly recommend, especially to beginners who aren’t sure if they’re in it for the long haul yet. If you can, go for the medium intuos or larger. (I find the smaller ones too frustrating and could never get used to them when I tried them in school computer labs later).
As a side note: I don’t know if this happens with everyone, but something about the way I held my intuos tended to give me wrist pain sometimes. I have no such problems with a cintiq, despite using one at least 10+ hours every day. It is a little harder on the eyes, though.