Here are my current eleven favorite art apps–the free ones, of course. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, take one now:


I love the ARTSY website. It has nearly 200k images from fine art to furniture design. One of the coolest things about ARTSY is its ART GENOME PROJECT. This project maps artworks across history according to characteristics, content, context and more. Looking for a paper topic or an idea to make your presentation more dynamic? Check out the ART GENOME PROJECT, and for greater access download the app and collect art on you phone.

2. MoMA 

The Museum of Modern Art has several apps for iPads, but the phone app is nice as well. The app allows you to create collections of your favorite works, share them, and also listen to artists and curators speak about the work.

3. TATE 

The TATE is one of my favorite museums–they have fantastic exhibitions and great educational tools. Their Guide to Modern Art Terms app gives quick clarification on over 300 terms that included movements, artists, techniques and more. If you are writing a paper on a specific artist or artwork, search the guide and if it is there you can get loads of useful information. Oh, and yes, you can cite an app.


Not everyone gets super excited about typeface and fonts, but those who do can talk for hours about why Helvetica is superior to Times New Roman. For these people TYPENDIUM is all kinds of fabulous.

5. Keezy

This app comes loaded with a dozen sound boards and lets you create your own as well. This is a fun app for the melodically inclined. “Woom, woom,” sings Reggie Watts.

6. Sketches

All of your favorite sketch tools available on your phone or iPad.

7. Brushes

More of a painter than a sketcher? Brushes 3 it is.

8. Street Art Project

If you have ever wanted to see your digital art on the side of a building, the Street Art Project is the app for you. Created by Less Rain, the studio that brought you the now defunct Vandalsquad, the Street Art Project allows artists to take snapshots of actual places and design their art specific to the environments they interact with.

9. #smilesfilm yoko ono

Yoko Ono has gotten a bad rap, but there is a reason John Lennon was so crazy about her–she is super rad. She has continued to be a positive, “peace and love” promoting, avant-garde artist for decades and her app is just one more instance of her loveliness. Join Yoko in a worldwide, community art project that shares the simplest gesture of sweet: a smile.

10. SOMEBODY: A Messaging Service by Miranda July

I am from Portland and therefor am obligated to ADORE Miranda July. Her app is another opportunity for me to gush over how cute and clever she is. She has created a service that actually “connects” people by inviting nearby strangers to deliver messages from one acquaintance to another. Basically she has inserted an anonymous middle-man into the affair of text messaging.

11. the warhol: D.I.Y. POP

Because–whether you like him or not–the man is arguably the most iconic American artist of all time, you will probably want to play with the silkscreen app that brands your photos with his signature style.

So, those are my eleven picks for free art apps. Did I miss one you love? Let me know and we can make it a top twelve or twenty-five or…. .


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