Since my last post I have discovered more easy to use, free, and some not so free (but definitely worth reaching into your pocket for) apps that won't break the bank and will help you get your start as a digital artist. If you like this post, share with others and friends. I use many of these apps on a regular basis to create new and unique designs or reinvent old pieces. I've also included several apps to help you promote your work as well. Remember, the majority of your work isn't just being an artist. While it's important to share your process and your works, it's more important to drive sales. My next post will cover how to drive your sales, and how to get work as a digital artist. I am not in any way being paid by any of these companies to advertise their apps, I'm simply making recommendations to help out my awesome fellow designers and future digital artists to be. If you click on the name of the app below, it will take you to the iTunes store where you can purchase the app.
Did anyone else giggle to themselves quietly when they read the name of this app? Just me?...no...,okay..cool beans (*ahem*). Despite the giggle worthy name, this app is extremely powerful with a variety of tools that have your designs screaming BUY ME! The first amazing tool is the ability to determine your specific canvas size. Not many other apps allow you to create a specific canvas size that make them print ready for your print on demand sites. If you're not selling on POD sites, GET ON IT RIGHT MEOW! The downside is you can only size up to a certain limit, so if you do not have photoshop, you will not be able to resize these images for larger products to sell. However, this is a great starter app for beginner designers. This app also allows you to record you process in a video and share with your youtube, instagram and other social media followers! How awesome is that?
Your followers don't just want to see your art, they want to see how it's done. It builds trust amongst your viewers that you genuinely ARE an artist, and not just selling them products. There are a lot of people on the internet who claim to be artists who just steal from others or solely use material that are available in the public domain. That should not be you! you have talent, you have power, you have technology at your hand to create even the simplest of designs that are sellable. Let's face it, anyone can claim a piece of artwork is their's, but sharing your process makes it more personal for your viewers. That's why this app is so important because it allows you to record you process. Even if it's just a background image, everything is sellable or usable later on.
The brush set that comes standard with this app is enormous! You can change the settings on each one to give you a large variety to work with. If you're just starting out, you'll love the fact that you can combine layers to blend into one. You can see in my image below I have a sample typographical work which combines one layer of digital paint, and a second layer where I filled in the canvas with white paint and then used my eraser to create a colorful typographical text. If you're into lettering and typography and looking to make the jump to digital, this will save you so much money on supplies in the long run. Imagine, making money without ever having to buy supplies. And when you make a mistake, you just press the back button to start again. I love that this app allows you to save your files in a variety of formats including PDF, PSD, JPEG and more. If you haven't made that jump yet to digital, you will really consider doing so with this app.
Cost: $5.99 (that's a steal for this app, I think it should be priced at 9.99).
Tutorial: Procreate 3 tutorial - A complete app guide for iPad artists by James Julier
Itunes App Description: "Apple Design Award winner and App Store Essential – Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for a mobile device. This complete artist’s toolbox helps you create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations anywhere you are. Procreate features ground-breaking canvas resolution, 128 incredible brushes, advanced layer system and is powered by Silica: the fastest 64-bit painting engine on iOS."
Filterloop is brought to you by the same app developers who made UltraPop (the app I want to make my future children with...just saying...it's that awesome.) If you're a photographer in search of some outstanding filters and texture effects then you will genuinely love Filterloop. I love to use filters...it's my bread and butter. So when I found out that the makers of Ultrapop created Filterloop, I cried artistic tears of pure joy just because of the large collection of light leaks! You can even resize you filter to make it larger and place it exactly on your image where you want it to go. I live for the texture filters. I went ahead and purchased the extra packages and it was well worth the spend. It allows you to screen, lighten, overlay, soft light, hard light, multiply, color burn, color dodge, difference, and lastly exclude your image combined with the filter simply by tapping on the filter name. With so many different combinations of one filter, you'll get your full money's worth out of this app. It works on both your iPhone and IPad.
Cost: Free but add ons filters and textures are 9.99 from the standard pack.
Tutorial: Filterloop 3.0 - Camera, Light Leaks, Textures, and Analog photo effects by Ultralabapps
Itunes App Description: "Filterloop is a premium all-inclusive photo editor that you will fall in love with!
Precisely adjust saturation, contrast, hue, exposure, brightness, and more. You’ll get an ultimate toolkit to make your images flawless before moving on to filters.
RECREATE ANALOG PHOTO EFFECTS
There is a huge selection of splendid light leaks, astonishing emulsion effects, grain and scratches. All these create an impression as if your pictures were made using a vintage camera and spent ages in photo albums. We’ve made some of the exclusive light leaks and textures forever free. Enjoy!
EMBRACE NEW TRENDS IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Have you heard about glitch art? Even celebrities apply distortion effects to their pictures. These effects will sure add a fresh angle to your Instagram gallery. Tip: TV Glitches textures work miracles with portraits!
When Instagram filters are not enough, Filterloop filter packs come to the rescue with amazing color filters that give your photos that beautiful finishing touch. Our filters are so subtle and focus on enhancing the image rather than altering it.
DEVELOP YOUR OWN PHOTO EDITING STYLE
You are free to apply filters with varying opacity levels, and layer effects and filters in any combination and volume. This means millions of different effect combinations for your images. Create your own unique photo editing formula that will be hard to copy!"
This app is very similar to UltraPop and Filterloop. The setup and appearance and functionality of the app are synnonamous, however, you get numerous of different filters and textures from then app than you would from UltraPop or Filterloop. It's aimed to create dreamy style filters with highly vibrant and colorful effects. This is a great app for creating stock images for your blog, promos, etc. I purchased the add on filters as well for this, because as you can tell I have no problem giving my money to app developers who can shake up my photographs and designs to be more vibrant and sell-able.
Cost: Free (add ons filters and textures are 8.99).
Tutorial: Editing Multiple Photos with A Color Story App by Emily Wolfe
Itunes App Description: "Named 'Best New App' by Apple!
A Color Story focuses on fresh photos, bright whites, and colors that pop. Rather than forcing you into a moody look, the app has--
• over 100 carefully crafted filters, incl. purchases
• over 40 movable effects, incl. purchases
• over 20 FREE tools, including curves
• custom filters saved from your editing steps"
I use this app for a variety of work, but mainly I use it to create double exposure images. I love to combine my floral photography with iconic and beautiful images. This app allows you to combine the images, and erase any unwanted parts in the photograph. I typically like creating double exposure images in this app than using Photoshop because my brain works like a painter, and I have to physically erase with my hands to feel like I have more control of the creative process. The black and white filters are absolutely stunning. The best part is this app provides free tutorials on how to create double exposure images. And we all like free right? I know I do.
Cost: $3.99 (the best money I've ever spent)
Tutorial: Tutorials for this are included in the app but I have also included Enlight iPhone App | Full Walkthrough by 13th Design (btw 13th Design has in depth tutorials on specific effects like double exposure or reflection images for future reference).
Itunes App Description: “The best all-in-one photo editor provides powerful tools that are easy to use." - Apple, Inc.
Selected as the *2015 App of the Year* by the App Store in the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Russia, China and India! Runner-up App of the Year in the US.
“...An iPhone-photographer’s dream app...manages to strike the right balance between traditional Photoshop-like controls and artistic filters and effects.” - Karissa Bell, Mashable.
Wish you didn't have to use so many apps to edit a single photo? You don't.
Download Enlight - it’s every photo app you’ve ever needed, wanted, or dreamed of - combined into one powerful, beautifully designed photo editor. "
FREE FONTS! Many of the fonts listed in Font Candy + Typography are in the public domain, but you should always double check to keep yourself from running into any copyright issues. I'll be honest, while I love typography, I'm not that great at creating hand lettering. However, that doesn't stop me from trying to create motivational and inspirational images containing short quotes. I just make sure that I either purchase a font from creative market, or mydesigndeals, or use one in the public domain. This is another great app for creating promotional material to advertise to your social media followers. Check out one of my designs below using this app. It's pretty straight forward to use, add your image, add your text, resize, and add shadow to make the text pop from the background. Even cooler is it allows you to pick a cell phone size to design for a specific device, making your designs print ready for posting. Additionally, you can access your photos directly from your camera roll, social media account, google drive, or any other device on your app. I love apps that do the work for you.
Cost: $2.99 (do not purchase any other fontcandy app because this is the pro edition with all the elements and essentials you will need rather than the free version which will charge you additional for each in app purchase.)
Tutorial: Font Candy Typography Photo Editor For iPhone by Jane Jones
App Description: "Easy Tiger, the creators of Split Pic are excited to welcome out new
app, Font Candy+! Bigger and badder, chalked full of sweet features to
add loads of flavor to your photos!
Font Candy+ puts you in the designer's seat and allows you to mask
your photos with captions, gradients, textures and even other photos!
You can choose from a collection of hand-picked fonts to overlay
beautiful text on your photos and make them stand put. Font Candy+
doesn't stop there. Get creative and add intricate designs using
symbols or emojis. Wether you are looking to create some amazing
artwork, content for your blog, or make the next #trending meme Font
Candy+ has it all!"
While SplitPic is less design focused, I use this app to combine several images into a collage to sell and post images on social media. You need to combine as many images into one when selling a product to get your viewer's attention. If they see a variety of products with your designs on it then they will be more likely to purchase your artwork . Not everyone needs plush pillow cases everyday but they might need a new tote bag, or wall clock as well. A larger variety of fashion and decor items gives your purchaser choices and opens up your channels. You can see below how I use this app to promote when one of the many print on demand sites I use is having a sale.
Tutorial: EasyTiger Apps | Split Pic | Tutorial by EasyTigerApps
Itunes App Description: "The (new and improved) Original Cloning App with over 30 MILLION satisfied users!
Split Pic Pro divides your camera into several sections with 15 different layouts to choose from. You can choose to blend these images together creating a flawless looking special effect or make a sharp contrast between the photos to collage multiple images. The possibilities are limitless!"
Repix is an app I used to create one of my most popular pieces called "Lee Abstract" which is shown below. I started off using the Adobe Sketch app to create a background and combined the artistic Van Gogh brush (which was additional cost, but worth the price) and I have not regret purchasing this app since. My forte is creating abstract brushstroke pieces. Often I'll do this by hand, but some days I struggle to get the paint set out just to clean and put it away again. I know my significant other Lee probably prefers me to use my ipad. Anybody else an extremely messy artist? One time I found gold paint on the cat....Anywho, Repix allows me to create digital brushstroke abstract paintings of various sizes. Now you can too with the knowledge I've given you. The artistic brushes are mainly what I use from this app, so imagine rein-visioning some of your other pieces into abstract works. another great app for creating textured backgrounds and works of art.
Cost: Free but the artistic brushes are extra for $5.99
Tutorial: Repix app for the iPad 2 by Iain Bryce
Itunes App Description:Repix is more than a photo editor. It’s a creative tool that lets you turn ordinary photos into masterpieces. Editors' Choice for iPhone and iPad and featured by Apple in over 100 countries!
Using Repix couldn’t be more simple – all of the tools are easily available at your fingertips and all editing happens in real-time. Use the brushes to freely edit your photos with stunning effects and apply some of the world’s most beautifully designed filters and borders. Repix gives your photos the look you want in seconds!
An app that allows you create geometric inspired pieces and abstract works. Decosketch has a large number of shape effects that when combined can create some really unique works of art. I often use this app when I need to de-stress and create something abstract. There are so many different shape variations that you'll find it very hard to tire of this application. Mostly importantly you can combine other works of art in layers with the geometric shape presets. I'm a huge fan of geometric art, so if this is an area of design you're interested in pursuing, then it's worth the try. Apps like deco sketch can also be helpful in creating backgrounds for illustrations. Layering textures can be the key to creating more three dimensional designs. I don't always sell every work I create, but I do reuse everything in the grand scale to create and layer textures for other works of art. You can choose to either use an image you've already created as your background, or you can start with a blank canvas which is what I prefer to do.
Tutorial: Deco Sketch Techniques - 8bit Figure by Ben Guerrette (fair warning the guy says uh alot and it will drive you crazy but the material is awesome). I watched the rest without the volume on.
Itunes App Description: Enhance your photos to make detailed masterpieces or minimally affected compositions with Deco Sketch, the geometric effects and drawing suite for professionals and hobbyists. Featuring a diverse collection of unconventional brushes and presets, Deco Sketch lets you organize intricate patterned styles over simple photo filters to produce beautiful, completely original artwork.
A vast selection of unique shape emitting brushes that includes customizable settings allowing creative manipulation of the flow, opacity, size, and angle of your draw strokes with various unique controls. Use one of the 130 presets or customize brush settings to suit your own tastes.
Simple enough for the mobile creator but with advanced tools for the professional designer.
Mobile artistry for the geometrically obsessed.
Geometry....and you thought you'd never use math as an artist. Well this app creates both assymetrical and symmetrical geometric designs based off of photographs and color palettes that you create. Often I will create an abstract painting in Adobe Create, Tayasui Sketches or Procreate and send it to this app. Trigraphy allows me to select the scale of the geometric pattern I wish to create as well as the background image. I can either combine my image to create a screen, or delete the background image as seen below. I've created so many designs with this app and have sold within the last month. The key to success is creating as many images as possible. You can take this same image and put it in color thief (an app I reviewed in my previous post) and change the color scheme and sell the same image but with ten different color palettes. Each color palette will market towards a different audience, so get on that Trigraphy train and sell, sell, sell! You can even save images in 4K for a little bit extra cost. Remember: the larger the image size, the larger products you can sell on POD sites.
Tutorial: This tutorial has no voiceover but is great for visual aids. Trigraphy App 2.o by Martin Ivanov
Itunes App Description: Create amazing abstract art from your images. Easy and simple.
Distinctive 11 effects and total of 74 different presets to express your creativity!
No matter if you want to make the perfect wallpaper for your phone, artistic Instagram post or stunning print for your wall we've got you covered with export up to 4096 pixels!
For all of you Mandala creating and obsessive compulsive designers with intense attention to detail (*sips coffee* you know thats you), Amaziograph lets you create symmetrical works without the extra effort. It mirrors your brushstroke between each ruler line, thus creating a perfectly symmetrical work. What use to take me four to six hours to create one piece by hand now take fifteen minutes at most, giving me more time to work on promotional material for my blog and vendor sites. You can see in the second image below how I combined one of my abstract backgrounds and my hand digitally drawn mandala in the Enlight app. If an app can cut my design work time in half and allow me to spend more time marketing then I'm a happy camper, and a money making camper. I highly recommend using a stylus or apple pencil to use this app. I began trying this with my finger tips and it just wasn't working for me because I couldn't see where my brushstroke was going.
Cost: $0.99 (I spend more money on cat food than I do for my design business).
Tutorial: Amaziograph all Symmetry Types in under 90s each by 1/2 a px.
Itunes App Description: In the ocean of drawing applications what does make Amaziograph so unique?
- Astonishing symmetric pictures using different type of tessellations like kaleidoscopes, mirrors and more. Creating a tessellation is easy: choose the type of graph you want and then draw! You can see how your tessellation changes as you draw. Whatever you draw, it looks beautiful.
- Simple to use interface. It is so simple that children can easily use it.
- Completely new intuitive approach in using basic colors in the palette and mixing them, just like professional painters. To create a new color, just drag an existing color from one cell into another cell and mix!
About the Author
Lisa Guen Raymond is a former professional theatrical designer and teacher located in the state of Texas. She has a passion for art and education. The Purpose of this blog is to educate others about new and trending mediums in art, illustration, and graphic design.