9 Must Have Apps for Artists
Apps are created to make our lives easier! Over the five-year course of owning and operating a custom art business, I’ve come to love a select few that have proven to be extremely helpful. Outside of social apps like Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, and banking apps like Quick Books/Square/Banking, the following nine apps are what I’ve have found I can’t live without!
They are listed in no specific order:
1. Art Rooms
This app allows you to preview your art in the best collection of gorgeous realistic interiors without the use of time-consuming Photoshop edits. With Art Rooms, you just upload a quality photo of your artwork, choose an adjustable frame and mat size, select the room you’d like to see your framed art in, and download/save the photo to your phone. These types of photos are called “insitu mockups” and give the potential buyer viewing the art online a realistic feel of what the work would look like in their own space. Insitu images in an online art listing have been proven to increase my online art sales! This app is incredibly useful for those of us that don’t have pro photography skills or live in that beautifully restored historic building with perfect lighting and brick walls to hang art on for photographing. The free version of this app would suffice any beginner artist but I’ve got into the habit of using this app every time I list a new original, print, or poster for sale on my website, so I have added its minimal monthly fee into my studio budget. This also allows me to have access to new room interiors every month.
This app is the simplest way to send large files and photos around the world via email. The free version allows you to transfer up to 2GB for free to one or multiple emails addresses at once. Once you’ve uploaded your files and/or photos through the app and click transfer, both you and the recipient will receive a notification email that states when the transfer will expire. As the sender, you will also receive a notification, via email, when the recipient has opened and downloaded your files. I have used the free version of this app for transferring high quality photos of my artwork to the print shop for printing. I have also used this app for sending documents and photos to magazine editors for art feature publications. It’s a very stream line and simplistic way to send and keep track of important emails with large files that would otherwise need to be sent one email at a time. The best part is that the recipient of your transfer does not need to have the WeTransfer app nor an account to download and view your files. I have the free version of this app on my phone as well as a free account on my laptop.
3. Power Director
This app is fairly new to me but has had the most impact in a short time. Most social media platforms have prioritized video over photo content, so finding a simplistic app to create quality looking time lapse videos and art tutorials was extremely important to me. This is the best app I have found to easily create and edit full-featured videos both on my phone and laptop for social media and my website. Power Director comes with a library of short, useful “how to” videos that have taught me, as a complete beginner, how to use the many different features it offers. I am now able to add music, professional looking transitions, motion titles, effects, filters and more with just a few simple clicks. In fact, I’ve enjoyed this app so much that I’ve since purchased the optional $50.00 annual subscription which has given me access to beautiful stock video and images and a few more features I can easily add into my videos. You can view some of my videos on my YouTube channel!
eZyWatermark allows you to add a watermark to your photos to protect them using simple text, your signature, a QR code, and even your logo. As an artist, it’s important to have your photos watermarked at times so that if they were to ever be stolen offline, they will not be as easy to replicate or reproduce. The app provides the option to batch watermark unlimited pictures in a single tap. You can import photos from a camera, phone gallery, Facebook, Instagram and Google Drive and export to share your watermarked photos on any social media platform or website. The free version of this app has given me everything I need to successfully watermark my photos.
The free version of this app gives you’re a variety of blank collage templates that allow you to arrange anywhere from two to ten photos into a single picture. Live Collage app has been primarily useful for me in the actual process of creating art. When I’m working on painting or drawing that has to look identical the reference photo I working with, I insert a photo of the reference photo into one side of the collage and a photo of the artwork in progress on the other side of the collage to create on image. This gives me the opportunity to look at both images side by side to compare how the details in the artwork are lining up with the details in the photo. I repeat this process several times in one painting. This technique is especially useful for portraits of cars, humans, and pets. I’ve also enjoyed using the different collage layouts to create “mood boards” for collections of paintings I want to make. Seeing all the inspiration images in one collage is helpful to get an overall feel of what a new series of paintings might look like altogether.
6. Cannon Camera Connect
The Camera Connect App connects your mobile device to any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-equipped Canon camera for shooting remotely with your phone. This app makes it easy to see what you’ve captured, transfer photos and videos directly from your camera to your mobile device, and use your device to control your camera. This means that you’re able to take high-quality, hands-free photos without a secondary person in the room. For my business, this free app has become incredibly useful for taking photos of myself holding prints or original art to post to my website or social media platforms. All I have to do it set up my professional grade camera on a tripod, connect my phone to its Wi-Fi network, and then stand in front of the camera with my art and cell phone. I can see what the camera sees on my phone screen and I’m able to adjust focus and lighting through the app. As soon as I feel everything looks good, its as simple as clicking my phone’s home button to take a photo! It takes a little bit of practice but ultimately this app has given me the freedom to take professional grade photos and video of myself with out the help of anyone else.
7. Notes App
This is a free app that comes on most cell phones. As an artist I have found that having a space to jot down a quick note or idea at any moment is incredibly useful! Utilizing this app has helped me keep track of new ideas. I keep running lists of new art series ideas, inspiring quotes or song lyrics, blog post ideas, and newsletter ideas. I also keep a long list of Instagram hashtags I’ve seen on other artist or industry profiles whom I think my artwork would fit in with.
Canva makes it easy to create professional ads, graphics, and web designs in minutes with hundreds of customizable templates, fonts, and colors to choose from, even with the free version of the app! I have utilized this app so much on my phone and laptop that I’ve since invested in their $12.99 monthly plan that has premium features like brand kits, background remover, and even YouTube intro templets. This app has absolutely changed my business for the better. I am not a graphic designer and with this app, I have been able to create professional looking graphics to post to my social media platforms and website as well as design and print event flyers for upcoming art shows.
9. Audible, YouTube, Podcast Apps
As an artist and entrepreneur, I work alone quite often and sometimes spend up to 8 hours a day in the same room with just me and my thoughts. I rarely work in silence because music is my motivator and a lot of the times where I find a lot of inspiration for new artwork. However, story telling or self-help podcasts, books on tape, and recorded interviews or tutorials can be a nice way to break up the day, give you a chance to learn something new while you work, and remind you that you’re not alone! P.S. You can check out some of my own podcast interviews here!
Hopefully you can download a few of these and find a helpful way to utilize them in your own creative practice! And hey, if you have an app that you love using for your own creative business and don’t see it on this list, PLEASE share it in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like 6 Must Have Stations In Every Working Art Studio.