Being stuck inside your house during self-isolation can be a major bore, but a lot of people are finding it as an opportunity to pursue their creative aspirations. Whether it’s starting that vlog channel you never got around to, learning a skill like painting or musical instruments, or publishing a novel to Amazon Kindle, we all might as well use this time to do something productive.
In this article, we’re going to highlight 7 highly useful apps that can boost creativity or streamline your creative flow process. There’s a bit of something for everyone here, as we cherry-picked the best apps from a range of categories for different creative types.
#1 Ibis Paint X
For artists both beginner and veteran alike, Ibis Paint X is one of the most versatile, feature-rich drawing and painting apps available. It offers around 335 brushes that emulate brush pens, felt pens, oil brushes, and many others. You’ll also find 27 blending modes, as well as around 64 screen filters + 46 screentones, and over 800 fonts for putting the final touches on your creations.
The app is entirely free, and unlike other digital art apps, does not limit free users to a small number of layers. The optional premium subscription only disables ads and offers a few handful additional features that are really worth the subscription cost.
#2 Korg iElectribe
If you think you can’t create great music using only a mobile app, think again. The popular band Gorillaz created their entire The Fall album exclusively on iPad, to prove it could be done. Korg iElectribe was one of the main apps used during the process.
The app is a fully-featured rhythm machine / synthesizer with a huge range of versatility, including a four-part percussion synthesizer, tons of instrument samples, and around 64 presets just to get your creative juices flowing.
#3 Short Life
Sometimes a mindless distraction is all we really need to fuel that creative “a-ha!” moment. Pressuring yourself to be creative can have the opposite effect. If you find yourself in a creative rut and all the abstract “creative brainstorm” apps are just making things worse, a bit of silly mindless distraction may actually be what you need.
Short Life is a “race to the finish life” game that is absurdly violent, which you can play here. The courses are filled with dangerous traps that can crush, mutilate, and decapitate your character, though you won’t always die. A blade saw trap would chop off both your legs, for example, leaving you crawling to the finish line. If that’s a bit too violent for you, try something a little more strategic like Forge of Empires on CrazyGames.
#4 Tarot Sampler
While Tarot cards are traditionally associated with fortune-tellers and psychics, a new generation of millennials are straying away from the “crystal balls and divination” beliefs surrounding Tarot and using them more for personal insights and self-reflection, connecting whatever they’re feeling at the time to the images found on the cards.
This can be pretty therapeutic and if nothing else, can give you some artistic inspiration just by looking at some of the more beautifully drawn Tarot cards out there. The Tarot Sampler app offers 10 different popular decks for you to freely explore and learn about, and the developer also offers plenty of premium decks for purchase.
#5 Brain Wave
It’s believed that certain frequency tones can have a positive impact on our mood state. The Brain Wave app by Banzai Labs offers a range of binaural programs to help things like focus, memory, confidence, stress relief, relaxation, creativity, and other mental blockages, simply by listening to the soothing tones being played through your headset.