At the time of writing, Draw Something, the marvellously addictive turn based drawing game, is holding the number one position in the UK App Store charts. It's thrilling to see such a creative iOS app cause a stir amongst iPad and iPhone owners across the globe. We believe that everyone is an artist, it's simply a matter of having the right opportunity, some thoughtful training and a whole lot of encouragement. That's where Sketchshare can help.
Sketchshare essentially creates a shared virtual canvas on which up to four people can sketch in realtime. However, because of its clever use of Apple's Game Center framework, Sketchshare feels more like telepresence at times. Game Center can be used to invite up to three friends to a sketching session, it's also the Game Center framework that allows for realtime voice chat between all 'players'. This realtime chat support turns out to be the special sauce that makes Sketchshare so appealing.
Sketchshare is fluid and fun, with a pleasing balance between simplicity and capability. We can imagine artists and designers getting a great deal of benefit from it. A scenario that immediately jumped to my mind was using Sketchshare to thrash out the initial ideas behind a company rebrand. Oftentimes, just having the client sit with you for half an hour whilst you sketch ideas can save days of wasted time further down the line. Sketchshare makes this kind of organic idea prototyping possible, no matter how vast the distance between you and your client.
In the video featured above Paul Kercal, a superb iPad artist and art educator from Guildford College, uses Sketchshare at the Surrey Skills Fair to demonstrate to local school children the kind of forward thinking art education Guildford College can offer them.
We think this is just the tip of the ice-berg for this kind of collaborative art. The opportunities for educators and learners alike seem to be growing exponentially.
App Store Link: Sketchshare
Further Reading: More on Paul Kercal