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Useful Apps and Programs for Artists

Apps For Artists

Technology is part of everyday life for most of us. Artists can greatly benefit from making use of the available technology.

Artists can use apps and programs for creativity, organizing and entertainment.

Whether you are a beginning artist, crafter, hobbyist or professional artist there are a ton of available apps and programs, both paid and free, that will make your artistic life a little easier.

Here are some useful apps for artists to help you stay organized and creative.

 

iPhone, iPad and Mac

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Creativity Apps and Programs

 

Photoshop CC 

 

My program of choice for photo editing, blog graphics, design work, painting compositions and printables is Adobe Photoshop CC.

 

 

 

It does everything I need at the moment and I am just scratching the surface of what it can do.

I frequently use it to render my reference photos in black and white so I can more easily see the shadows and highlights.

There is a learning curve but there are a lot of tutorials out there to help you. It is a bit pricey, but one of the tools worth saving your lunch money for.

 

banner for creative live with a background of a river and trees and white lettering

 

 

Adobe Illustrator 

 

Adobe Illustrator is a graphics software program originally designed to work with Photoshop. You can use this program to design logos, graphics, charts, diagrams, cartoons and illustrations.  

Gimp 

 

Gimp (Short for GNU Image Processor) is a free alternative to Photoshop. Like Photoshop, it takes time to learn.

You can use Gimp to edit photos and resize them for the web among other things.

I did try it out on my Windows 10 PC but it kept crashing, however, it works fine on my daughters Mac.

 

Inkscape 

 

Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Great for creating vector graphics so a good tool for graphic designers.

Like Gimp, it crashed my PC but worked fine on the Mac, however it was a little slow in processing work.

 

computer, iPhone and succulent

 

Adobe Lightroom   

 

Lightroom imports a copy of your photo that you can edit and later export as a different file. It has healing and cloning features that you can use to remove blemishes, and dust spots from pictures of your artwork.  

It can also adjust the lighting and exposure of your pictures and apply a watermark.

Lightroom can store and organize your photos. A useful tool when photographing your artwork for the web or submissions to galleries or magazines.

If you would like some tips on taking pictures of your artwork, read my post on How To Photograph Your Art.

 

Procreate App

One of the most popular apps for artists. Procreate is a digital sketching and painting app designed specifically for iPad Pro and used with the Apple pencil although it can be used on some other versions of iPad.

Along with all of the awesome painting and sketching features, you can also import PSD files from Photoshop and continue working on your project while on the go.

A really nice feature of Procreate app for artists is that it lets you export a time-lapse video of your artwork creation from start to finish. Great for promoting your artwork online.

The Procreate Pocket is a mini version of Procreate for iPhone so you can sketch or paint whenever inspiration strikes.

 

Canva 

 

Canva is a free online graphic design program that is very simple to use.

You can use Canva to create images with text overlays for social media posts and blogs, banners, flyers and greeting cards, add watermarks and more.

You can also upgrade to the paid business version. A useful app for artists to add watermarks or post new works or blog posts on social media and Pinterest.

 

Productivity Apps and Programs

 

Evernote   

 

Evernote is a note-taking app available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

You can use it to store lists, notes, photos and drawings, among other things.

Evernote lets you create tables, set reminders, attach files to notes and allows you to sync notes to other devices such as your phone.

There is both a paid version and free version of Evernote.

 

 

laptop and pencils

 

 

Trello 

 

Trello task management app is built around a system of boards and cards. It is designed for business but can work in any and all areas of your life.

I use it on a daily basis as a content planner for my blog, a household management tool and an organizational tool and project planner for my studio.

You can assign due dates to projects, colour codes, archive items and set reminders. It’s a very pretty way to organize your life.

This is probably one of the most useful apps for artists. There are both paid and free versions of the app.

If you would like some tips on organizing your studio, read my post on How Artists Can Stay Organized.

 

Excel 

 

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet program that is a very useful program for artists to keep track of expenses and revenue for your art business.

Also good for keeping track of art inventory and supplies or creating any other tables or databases you might need.

 

Pocket App

 

My new favourite app. Pocket is used for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet.

The app is free and available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and web browsers.

It is similar to Pinterest in that you can save articles to read later, categorize them and tag them so they are easy to find.

They sync over all of your devices, including your Chrome browser (with an extension) so you can read them anywhere. You can even have the app read your article to you on your phone.

Pocket is a great way to keep you from being distracted while doing research online since I can save the articles to read later. Here is a great video tutorial on how to use Pocket.

 

iPhone and computer with text overlay apps and programs for artists

 

Entertainment Apps

 

iTunes Podcasts 

 

Not an art app but great to listen to while you create. You can listen to podcast about art, artists or any other subject you are interested in while you work.

 

Spotify 

 

A great app I use to listen to music in the studio. You can use it for almost any genre of music or listen to radio stations or podcasts.

There are both paid and free versions of Spotify for your phone or computer.

 

YouTube App

 

A great app for beginners to add to their tablet or phone so they can follow along with tutorials. Also good for quick referencing specific techniques or product how to’s. 

 

There are a ton of apps and programs out there to help you with anything you need.

Just Google your specific need and you will come up with lots of possibilities of apps for artists. 

When you get a new app or program, look for some YouTube tutorials on how to use them to get the most out of your new app.  

 

Thanks for reading.

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4 thoughts on “Useful Apps and Programs for Artists”

  1. Patricia Pulinckx

    Hello! I found that PhotoScapeX is a great free program for manipulating photographs. It does pretty much all that a beginner or intermediate user would want (there is a pro version available for $39.99).

  2. Photoshop Elements is far less expensive than Photoshop CC (which now is available only by subscription) and much easier to use. Unless you are a professional artist/illustrator, Elements will serve most of us very well!

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