In this day and age, artists and creatives seeking devices and solutions to spur their creativity are really spoiled for choice. There’s a terrific selection of gadgets and software available nowadays that can really help them get those burning ideas down on paper–well, “paper” as the case may be. Check out our shortlist and make sure to have a look at these hot devices and software so you can try them out for yourselves!
Apple iPad Pro
Whether or not you buy into Apple’s “not a computer” tagline for the iPad Pro, the power and convenience of being able to utilize a top-notch tablet such as this to create your next masterpiece is undeniable. The current-generation iPad Pro offers a choice of 11-inch and 12.9-inch Liquid Retina displays bolstered by True Tone and ProMotion technologies. Choose from 128GB and 256GB onboard storage options, as well as Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. What’s more, when your creative urges involve the written word, you can either use any of the myriad Bluetooth keyboard options or invest in Apple’s own Magic Keyboard which also incorporates a version of Apple’s excellent trackpad. Silver and Space Gray are your color choices for the iPad Pro.
Of course, a discussion of using an iPad Pro (or any regular iPad, for that matter) to create would be incomplete if it didn’t also cover the Apple Pencil. The Pencil is Apple’s input device specifically created for iPads and which offers imperceptible lag, tilt and pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and extreme precision. Apple now sells two versions of its Pencil–the original smooth-finished cylindrical version which offers pairing and charging via Lightning port and which is compatible with most iPads save for the current iPad Air, the 3rd and 4th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the 1st and 2nd generation 11-inch iPad Pro; and the matte-finished and oblong-edged 2nd-generation Pencil that attaches magnetically to compatible iPads (the current iPad Air, the 3rd and 4th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the 1st and 2nd generation 11-inch iPad Pro) and offers double-tapping to change tools. Both Pencils are available only in white.
Apple MacBook Air
Apple’s latest version of the MacBook Air represents a true return to form for this iconic Apple laptop. The hardware was updated last year and makes the Air Apple’s thinnest and lightest notebook–but the inclusion of the Apple M1 chip gives the Air near-Pro level performance to support just about every creative endeavor: blazing 8-core CPU and GPU speeds and up to 9x faster machine learning to fuel creative tasks like photo retouching and tools such as magic wands and audio filters and so on and so forth. What’s more, users will also enjoy the longest battery life ever in a MacBook Air (up to 18 hours as claimed by Apple) and no fan noise since no fan is needed. The MacBook Air comes in only one screen size option (13”) and can be had with either a 7-core GPU and 256GB internal storage, or 8-core GPU and 512GB internal storage. Regardless of which you pick, you can get an Air in Space Grey, Gold or Silver.
Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet
Or what about a drawing tablet or graphics tab? If you’re in need of one of these, try Wacom’s Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet. It comes in several “flavors” to suit a variety of needs–the Intuos S (black only for non-Bluetooth models; Pistachio, Berry, or Black for Bluetooth models), which comes in small and medium sizes and with or without Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity; and the higher-specced Intuos M which comes standard with Bluetooth, also comes in small and medium sizes, and also can be had in Berry, Black and Pistachio. Select the Intuos S and you’ll be eligible to pick from either Corel Painter Essentials 7 or Corel Aftershot 3, whereas the Intuos S with Bluetooth can be had with two out of these three packages: Corel Painter Essentials 7, Corel Aftershot 3, and CLIP STUDIO PAINT PRO software packages. Finally, the Intuos M comes with all of these three software packages standard. All models come with Wacom’s excellent pen.
Procreate for iPad
OK, so we’ve told you about the iPad–how about a powerful app to let you craft digital art and really flex those creative muscles? Procreate is one such app, and it has an excellent reputation in the creative community. Choose from hundreds of handmade brushes and a range of powerful artistic tools, and be empowered by a cutting-edge layer system and the super-fast Valkyrie graphics engine. Utilize the inbuilt animation assist tool to craft storyboards, GIFs, animatics and simple animations. Use dramatic finishing effects to help bring your art to amazing life. Utilize the time lapse replay function to relive your creative journey, and share this journey as well as your finished creations on your social media accounts.
Adobe Software (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Lightroom)
Last but certainly not least, you can look to Adobe to provide creative software that will really help take your creative work to the next level. Use Photoshop to help you take on a whole swathe of creative work, from photo editing and compositing to digital painting, animation and graphic design. Get Illustrator and use it to craft a wide range of graphics from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, billboards, and so on. Up to craft a video? Use After Effects to take on any concept and make it move–from movie titles, transitions and intros, logo or character animation, and even 3D design and navigation. And use Lightroom to create, edit, organize, store and share your photos across any device. And whether you use a desktop or an iPad, you can use these four products as well as many other Adobe products under one Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.