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Entries in Illustration (8)

"Happy Ogre" by Andy Ellis in Procreate

Andy Ellis is an Illustrator who loves using Procreate to capture ideas and pre-production sketches on his iPad. Andy recently posted a review of Procreate on his blog telling us why he prefers using it over other apps, which is an interesting read.

The video above is one of Andy’s recent illustration sketches but to see more of his work be sure to visit his portfolio site too.

New Kickstarter: The Twitter Art Project

Create one piece of original art (mostly on an iPad) and upload it to Twitter each and every day.

That's the challenge that freelance illustrator and designer Chris Bigelow set himself. His (mostly) colourful, vibrant art has an energetic, sometimes frenetic, style we really like, see the video above for some examples.

We only wish we had known about this project sooner. Check out his site for more recent samples of Chris' work.

Taking suggestions and input from his followers, Chris (a.k.a. ArtanonDesign on Twitter) has been doing this for just over a year now and as he moves into another year he wants to expand the project, widen the audience, get other artists involved and build a community around the project.

Back the Project

To do this, Chris has started a Kickstarter project to raise promotional funds and to build a website (currently limited to a holding page) around the art project. He is looking for just $1000.

To help Chris out you can pledge various amounts, starting from just $1. $5, for example, will get your name (or screen name) incorporated into one of the daily images, $10 for your suggestion or theme to be incorporated into one of the project images.

The top funding level of $1000 will secure your spot as a sponsor for a month of the project, a signed one-off print of your choosing and knowledge that you are the most generous 'supporter of the arts' (our words not Chris').

Get on over to Kickstarter and show your support for Chris and his Twitter Art Project if you can. He has just 19 days left to make his target and he is a fifth of the way there so far, so he needs your help.

We look forward to seeing more of Chris' artwork and we'll be following his twitter stream from now on to see his daily postings.

Live iPad Drawing by Jenny Soep

The video above is a short sample from Jenny Soep, 'documentary artist and illustrator'.

Jenny has made a name for herself in the art/live performance world for her fluid and dynamic style in capturing live music and performances. She has also been artist-in-residence at several events and festivals, as well as her artwork being used in promotional materials and publications.

Enter the iPad

We took an interest in Jenny's work because, more recently, she has been using an iPad to record some of her drawings (using the Brushes app) as in the video above.

Even more interesting is Jenny's brave move to use the iPad's display out mode and project on a large screen her drawing as she does it, live in front of the gathered audience.

We think this gives Jenny's work a unique energy as she reacts to the music, atmosphere and audience around her. It also serves to inform the audience about the creative process as it happens.

Jenny In Action

Below is a video of Jenny in action using the (new to us) app Paint Sapien on her iPad. The video was taken by the app developer Dave Sapien at one of Jenny's exhibitions.

Cinderella 3D iPad Book - Kids Will Love This

When we saw the above trailer for Cinderella for iPad by Developers Nosy Crow we knew we would have to try it out for ourselves (or rather, we had a certain little Princess who would love to try it out).

We were given the chance to see a pre-release copy of the app and we handed the iPad over to our more discerning 6 and 3 year old testers to see what they thought.

Beautiful Animation and Voices

The book is beautifully illustrated and presented, the animation is colourful and appealing with a classic pop-up book look that comes in large part from the stunning 3D illustrations.

You really just want to sit and take in the artwork, whilst the kids will find themselves drawn to the character animations with their retro, yet modern, feel.  The characters are really well voiced too, with the child voice actors fitting very nicely with the warm and friendly feel of the book.

Packed full of Interactivity

Unfortunately for my little boy, he didn't really get a look-in on this book as his older (and really rather bossy) Sister claimed the Cinderella app for herself and she is in love with it. It has become her main bedtime story.

In fact, when I removed it temporarily from my iPad to make room for a very large music app I was testing, she got quite upset. Fortunately, the Cinderella app is Universal, so you can put it on your iPhone/iPod Touch too.

Much of my Daughter's adoration of the Cinderella app comes from the plentiful interactive elements within the book. These aid the telling of the story so that your little ones will feel much more immersed in the story and its progress. The sheer range of interactive elements also makes the app ideal for repeated viewings.

Favourites here were the garden scene (lots to discover and do) and the dance scene at the Ball (with the choice of dance music).

A Special Feature

For those using an iPad 2 there is a very special interactive feature that the kids will love. Using the camera they can actually appear in the story themselves (see the mirror in the screenshot below) with the story's characters even saying "Who's that in the mirror?", a very nice touch that literally makes your kids a part of the story. 

Final Thoughts

We were really impressed by Cinderella for iPad, but more importantly the target audience in our household loved the app and keep coming back to it. That makes it a hit for us.

At $7.99 (£5.99) in the App Store, Cinderella for iPad is about the same price as a well illustrated children's print book. It is definitely one of the most enjoyable, beautiful and engaging iPad picture books we have seen.

If you have kids who use your iPad and like the story of Cinderella (who doesn't), we think it will enchant any little Princess (or Prince for that matter), keeping them entertained for many hours.

As always, if you get this app, let us know what you and your little ones think in the comments below.

Jot: Is the Stylus Search Over?

Adonit, the people who brought us the Writer iPad Case as a Kickstarter project last year, have a new Kickstarter project that they think will end your search for the perfect iPad stylus. They call it Jot.

The USP of Jot?

Adonit's Jot has a ball pen like nib, with a clear plastic disc attached, that lets you draw and select more precisely whilst seeing what you are doing. This design aims to address the main problem iPad users have with other stylus nibs and even your own built-in stylus, your finger.

Most of the time you can't see exactly where you are drawing, marking, selecting or writing as the tip of your stylus will generally cover the area directly below it, making precision a much sought after 'Holy Grail'.

Design Touches

Adonit have also given the design of Jot a lot of thought and of course it is still not finalised yet. They have tried to include some heft by making Jot similar to a luxury ballpoint pen, using aluminium and steel in its construction.

Jot will also include a protective cap for that little disc on the end which will fit on the opposite end like a pen cap does.

To add a bit of interest and style, there will be a range of colours available in the standard Jot model, but the 'Pro' version will be available in more muted, classier, metal colouring contrasted with a rubber grip.

Another key benefit for us in the Pro version is clever use of the iPad 2's built in magnets to hold your Jot on the iPad to help prevent misplacing your stylus, an expensive problem as we know from experience.

The project is already funded, but you can save a few dollars on the retail price and contribute to the development of the project by backing it on Kickstarter now. No definite idea yet on a release date although it should be available soon after the funding period ends for Jot.

You can see a brief introduction video below and if you go to the Updates tab on their Kickstarter page they have a video of the Jot prototype in action.

What do you think? Is this the stylus you have been waiting for? Let us know in the comments. 

iPad Art from Nori Tominaga

Nori Tominaga is a 2D and 3D artist with a very impressive portfolio (we've included his showreel below).

Nori has let us know via Twitter about a couple of his recent pieces and the Brushes videos he has produced to share his creative iPad painting process.

We like Nori's style a lot so we thought we would share these videos with you. This first one features in his most recent blog post: Seascape Plein Air

The caricature below made us laugh, but we also think it is really cool. No introduction needed:

Here is some of Nori's other, commissioned, illustration work in his showreel, it's great stuff:

Nori Tominaga - Showreel from Nori Tominaga on Vimeo.

You can see more of Nori's creations and find out more about him over on his website, and you can keep up with his new creations by following him on Twitter.

Shawn Harris and the Making Of a Music Video on iPad

You have no doubt already seen the animated music video that Shawn Harris created in the Brushes iPad app for Pop sirens Blush. If not, please take a moment or two and watch it now:

Shawn created this animation frame by frame entirely on the iPad, painstakingly merging all his creations together until, 7000 frames later, he had the video you see above.

Of course this is not the first time Shawn has done this, we wrote a few months ago about a similarly created video for his own band Maniac's song Thank Each Mistake. We posted his comments about creating the video and using the iPad a few weeks later, which are well worth a read if you haven't already seen them.

But, as much as we enjoyed the final video, of great interest to us is how Shawn did it and while the talent/skill/patience it takes to produce something as creative as these videos is mind boggling, the video Shawn posted as a 'making of' goes some way towards explaining it, if tantalisingly short. We hope you enjoy it!

How to Make an Interactive iPad Book

We mentioned yesterday how much we liked to see the Creative process in action, which is why we have been fascinated to watch the journey behind the production of new Interactive iPad book Astrojammies from Demibooks.

As well as creating a gorgeous and truly interactive storybook, Demibooks and author/illustrator Stacey Williams-Ng have shared the creative development process of making the app with us via a blog and videos as they went along.

About the App

Astrojammies for iPad tells the story of young boy, Jimmy, who believes that his pyjamas are magical and make him an astronaut who can fly off into outer space (actually a very normal fantasy for many of us as we grew up). The illustrations are sumptuously coloured and make the book very attractive and pleasing to the eye.

Here is a bit about the app from the iTunes description:

"..this story includes a dreamlike original music score by Steve Dixon, professional narration and amazing special effects. Readers can launch a rocket, squish and poke a planet made entirely of goo, and help Jimmy escape the jaws of a hungry space baboon... all with the tap of a finger! These interactive features help advance the story and enhance reading comprehension."

There is a 'read to me' mode as usual but you can turn this off so that you can read it yourself, or your kids can, if you let them have a go. The interactive elements have been designed to be engaging, but importantly great effort has gone in to making these elements a progressive part of the story, and this leads us on to...

The Process

What Demibooks and Stacey Williams-Ng have done to make this project stand out for us is to share their progress towards launch of the app in a series of blog posts and videos discussing some of the thinking behind decisions being made, how they tested the app with their target group (children), what this taught them, how they responded to it and its impact on the development of the app.

The posts also cover how the illustrations were developed and animated with some interesting learning points for the team.

The whole process is summarised in the video below, but if you want a really interesting read and further insight into the creative process behind Astrojammies then we would highly recommend reading through the 9 posts on Demibooks' website, we have really enjoyed it.

If you or your kids have tried out the Astrojammies app we would love to know what you think, let us know in the comments below.