I spent a lot of time in front of computers both for work and for Ausdroid, so when time allows I enjoy doing something a touch more cathartic. It was through YouTube I discovered a guy by the name of Josiah “Jazza” Brooks, an artist and entertainer, through enjoying his videos and rediscovered a love of art. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time just messing around with art and very much loving the time with my daughter.

The app offers games and ideas for artwork and entertainment

There’s a lot to like about the Arty Games app starting with the fact it’s not just a brainless game. With many of the challenges you’re looking at more than just colouring in, there are creative, time and challenges that force you to think outside the box. This is an idea generator rather than a here’s a picture, colour it in style of application.

So you will need to have some art materials close by for the app to be worthwhile, but don’t worry: You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on alcohol markers, colour blend pencils or top of the line sketch pencils and pads. All you need is some basic materials that kids will have lying around such as a pencil, coloured pencils, paints, coloured pens, texta’s — some of all of these, it’s your choice — and some paper. If you have higher quality art equipment like alcohol markers you can set up your profile with an inventory of your equipment. This allows the app to customise some of the challenges to the equipment you have.

The app is ridiculously easy to use and has no real issues with any parental concerns (language, violence or reference to drugs, alcohol and zero sexually natured content) in the child mode.

Challenges for all art styles and capabilities

I’m not a professional artist by any means, but I’ve had an absolute blast with this. There is so much to explore in the app with different challenges, and mash-ups and — if you input the art materials you have — they’re contextualised to be achievable with your art gear.

The challenges within the app are excellent which you can make as simple or complex as you choose it to be. With the more complex ideas, you can allow yourself more time, or put yourself under pressure to complete them quickly with a short time allocation.

The colour challenge is to create an illustration with as few, or many colours as you want to use. You choose the number of colours and you choose the length of time.

The character challenge is to create a character, in a situation that is given to you by the app. Sometimes they’re easy to put together, others they’re really abstract and crazy ideas. I’m yet to come across one that’s not at least given me a giggle with how unusual the situation or character ideas are.

The environment option is much the same as the character design, offering interesting and unusual ideas on what to draw.

There are a number more options in the single challenges including:

  • Incremental art which continually builds on the idea through the timer
  • Scribble which presents you with a scribble that you need to turn into artwork
  • Copy which presents you with a picture to copy as accurately as possible
  • Design mix is a simple concept that’s easier said than done, combining two items such as a frying pan and sword into a single item
  • A custom generator where you can add your own quirky ideas to mix up

I’ve only been exploring the app for a couple of weeks at the moment and already feel like I’ve got my money’s worth. There’s still a lot more to explore which I’m going to delve into during the upcoming school holidays. It’s important to note that this app isn’t about being an art app that you draw in, it’s about generating ideas and challenges for art and creativity. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and if you’re looking for a new way to be creative and perhaps get away from a screen for a while, then you probably will too.

This is not a sponsored post: The app was self-purchased for entertainment purposes and the experience has been shared to encourage others to explore their creativity.