There’s an app for that: Mobile technology for artists

There’s an app for every art occasion, from buying and viewing to creating art work itself.

There are over 900,000 smartphone applications available, from exercise aids to sleep aids. So what is an artist to do when faced with this uptick in technology? There’s an app for every art practice, apparently.

Musée du Louvre's app. Screen shot from iPhone store.

Musée du Louvre’s app. Screen shot from iPhone store.

When the iPhone first came out in 2007 it truly revolutionised how people communicated, according to IT PRO‘s brief history of Apple’s device. Part of this revolution was the shift from mere handheld telephones to the incorporation of special applications, or ‘apps’. Apps, third-party applications downloaded to a smartphone, contain audio, text and image, and range in subject matter including games, maps, dictionaries, productivity and social-network programmes. Apple’s app store launched in 2008 and as of 2013 offered over 900,000 apps, according to an online report published in USA Today. 

In the field of visual arts, apps are changing the way arts practitioners view, buy and even create art.

Paint and Sketch Tools allow artists to draw, paint, colour, design and sketch. There are numerous painting/drawing apps, but here are just a few:

ColorSchemer by CHROMAom is a digital colour wheel that creates palettes from photos.

ColorSchemer app by CHROMAom. Screenshot from iTunes.

ColorSchemer app by CHROMAom. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro is a professional-grade paint and drawing app with over 100 presets in its brush library.

Sketchbook Pro app. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Sketchbook Pro app. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Webr allows you to build websites and blogs, plus publish them immediately onto the web.

Webr app. Screenshot of webr.ly.

Webr app. Screenshot of webr.ly.

Art Museum Collections. Many art museums offer audio, visual and text tours of current exhibitions and their permanent collections. Many museum apps also provide in-depth details about various art works.

Guggenheim Museum in New York provides video and audio tours, detailed information on over 1,200 works in the collection, as well as specially-designed tours for both the visually and hearing-impaired.

Guggenheim Museum's app. Screenshot of iTunes Store.

Guggenheim Museum’s app. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Musée du Louvre‘s app contains over 500 images, which can be enlarged to see the painterly detail in works such as the Mona Lisa, and includes encyclopaedic data about the artworks.

Musée du Louvre's app showing the detailed image and text. Screenshot of iTunes Store.

Musée du Louvre’s app showing the detailed image and text. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Art Exhibitions. There are apps to cover museum art exhibitions. The following app is unique in its coverage of the Venice Biennale.

Ideological Guide to the Venice Biennale, written by artists, philosophers, and critics, provides information on the “political, economic, and ideological framework of all national pavilions of the 2013 Venice Biennale” according to the app’s site.

The Ideological Guide to the Venice Biennale app. Screenshot from venicebiennale2013.ideologicalguide.com.

The Ideological Guide to the Venice Biennale app.

Art Commerce. Apps can also be used for buying and selling art.

ARTtwo50 is a US-based company that sells original works from emerging artists for only USD250 via its app. It includes free shipping but is only available in the US.

ARTtwo50. Screenshot from ARTtwo50.

ARTtwo50. Screenshot from ARTtwo50.

Art Information. GPS can provide users with useful, detailed info.

iMuseum is a web tracker that searches for the nearest museums to the user via GPS. It includes addresses, directions and maps, plus exhibition info, making this a useful travel tool.

iMuseum app. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

iMuseum app. Screenshot from iTunes Store.

Business of Art. Not only do artists need to create artwork, they also need to attend to the professional side, such as creating business cards and tracking billable hours.

Mdot allows you to create an online business card.

M Dot app. Screenshot of mdotapp.com.

M Dot app. Screenshot of mdotapp.com.

Get Harvest lets you track your time on various projects. Good tool for freelancers who record their billable hours.

Harvest by Iridesco, Inc. Screenshot of Get Harvest site.

Harvest by Iridesco, Inc. Screenshot of Get Harvest site.

 

Have we missed an art app? Please add your app suggestions in the comments below.

Susan Kendzulak

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Related Topics: art and the Internet, resources

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