Free tools every starting artist should know about
I’m constantly finding tools and apps that are absolute lifesavers when I’m in a pinch. While most of our established friends may not need all that much help, those of us who are new need all the help we can get. These tools, while some may have paid upgrades, are free and great for the artist who’s just starting out.
This one is a must have whether you’re a student, business peep, or have ever needed to save a project. Chances are you’ve got a Gmail account so why not put it to its best use and try Google Drive a feature automatically included with your email account. Drive offers cloud storage, a word processor, forms, sheets (think Excel), slides (think PowerPoint), a drawing app and so many more apps. Best part is it’s free with 15 GB of storage, auto saves projects every few minutes, syncs automatically, and easily accessible .
Before the loss of our beloved twitter star, favoriting was my surrogate “save” for articles and news I came across on twitter. Now that there’s a heart, it feels a little more commitment-y to go about throwing likes all over the place. That’s where Pocket comes in. Download or add pocket to your browser, create your free account, and save all your articles— from Twitter and elsewhere— in one place.
Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the broke kid’s Photoshop. Having worked with both I can honestly say it’s one of the closest things to Photoshop you’ll legally get for free. It’s an open source software—which for anyone who’s not techy, simply means it can be modified and shared by its users. Additionally high resolution projects are no issue for Gimp.
Pixlr Mobile App
Photo editing can be seriously over complicated. For those who just need a quick and easy touch up on photos, Pixlr is your app. It offers more specific capabilities than Instagram and in app form it’s perfect for quick pre-social media post edits.
Krita, like Gimp, is free and open source. For anyone who just wants to dabble in the digital arts scene, Krita gives you a good starting platform. There are a multitude of tools for illustrators, designers, and all to play around with. Krita is fantastic for anyone on a budget.
Crowdfire lets you keep track of your followers, unfollowers, and in betweens, but that’s not even it’s greatest feature. Crowdfire analyzes your posting habits and engagement levels in order to allow you to publish your posts at the best time. Its good friend Publish lets you schedule posts when you want to and alerts you when it’s time to hit post. Android | IOS
The app of wherever you sell most of your work
While it’s definitely good to disconnect, when you’re just starting to get your feet wet it’s good to stay connected as much as you can. Whether it’s to offer top notch speedy customer service or follower engagement staying plugged in when your “offline” sometimes has its benefits.
In the end you’re going to be the one who figures out what works best for you, so while you’re trying to figure that out let these tools help you along the way. Add your favorite or life saving apps/sites in the comments!