5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021 with Holly Pixels
It’s a new year and maybe Santa brought you an iPad for Christmas. Or, maybe you’re interested in trying new things and want to get more creative with your iPad.
Well, you’re in luck.
I’m Holly. And here at Holly Pixels we teach eager creative souls like yourself how to do creative things with your iPad.
And, since it’s a new year, and we may have new people here, I thought I would cover 5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021.
Wait, Before I Tell You 5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021
Now, let me preface this by stating what I’m going to talk about are just 5 ways.
There are a multitude of ways you can use your iPad for creative use. I only scratch the surface here.
I am a trained graphic artist but like you, I’m always discovering new ways to do things with my iPad when it comes to my art. Sometimes I find myself loving it or being successful at it, and other times not so much. So I stick to what I know here on my site.
If you’re new here, You’ll find I like to leave my mistakes in my videos on my YouTube channel (I host my videos over there, but you’ll find them all here on my blog with all the info you need that I mention).
I keep it real. I keep it honest. I encourage you to make mistakes.
What was it Bob Ross said? “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” Yeah, let’s do that.
Let’s go into this new year encouraging others to grow and try new things and to make those happy little accidents.
Creativity is supposed to be fun.
Okay let’s jump into it! Here are 5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021
No. 1 – Lettering on the iPad with Procreate
The first way to be creative with your iPad is Lettering.
Ah, the reason I bought an iPad Pro in 2015.
In 2010 I purchased my first iPad. It was so cool. And, I was content with it.
Then, I saw people on Instagram lettering with their iPads. I had already been lettering traditionally with brush pens, so this seemed like something I would naturally want to try.
It’s the reason my business grew by leaps and bounds!
With the iPad, if you’re like me, you can find more control using it to letter.
I’m much older than many of you. I’ll be 48 this year. And, as an artist, my hands aren’t what they used to be. I have arthritis. Traditional pen and paper doesn’t work for me anymore. I mean, I try. But it’s shaky!
The popular app for lettering on the iPad has been Procreate.
This app costs $9.99 in the Apple store and currently only works on iPad OS. It’s super affordable if you ask me and they work really hard at making continuous improvements and features to the app.
Streamline in Procreate
With lettering using the Procreate app on the iPad Pro (and now multiple iPads that work with an Apple Pencil) I can control the streamline on my brushes.
What is streamline? It’s how you would adjust the way your brush smooths out as you draw or letter. It basically slows down your stroke, stabilizing it so it appears much smoother.
You can adjust this setting by clicking on the brush and going to the first option in the brush panel. Slide it up and down the line until you’re happy with it.
It’s an individual preference for everyone. What works for me may not work for you.
Start out with it high if you’re just starting out and then try reducing it as you improve your lettering.
You can do this to any brush you buy from us or download for free, as well as the brushes included with Procreate.
Questions I get about Procreate often are:
Do I use a screen protector and is there a free alternative to the app?
No, I don’t use a screen protector.
Many find that matte screen protectors help them get more control over their lettering.
But with using an iPad Pro with the Liquid Retina display, I find the popular screen protectors that help people write better on them distorts the colors, giving off a weird rainbow look.
And, if you don’t use a protector, over time you develop muscle memory in your hands and your control improves. So for me, I just don’t need it.
It’s a personal preference. The screen is super strong already, and the people at Apple said they don’t recommend them when I asked about it a few years ago.
Regarding a free alternative to the Procreate app, I’m not qualified to answer as I honestly haven’t tried any other apps.
Some are free and some are paid (or have in app purchases).
I find $9.99 one time purchase with updates over the years has been the best investment at such a low cost.
No. 2 – Illustration
The second way to be creative with your iPad is with Illustration!
Perhaps if you’ve dabbled in lettering you also dabbled into illustrating!
Over the years I have talked about being a graphic artist and how I use Adobe Illustrator on my desktop computer. I’ve been using it for years and years. It’s second nature to me and my go-to.
I often get asked about apps on the iPad for vectoring and up until recently I wasn’t really a fan of doing that.
I would use Procreate like a sketch book. I’d get my idea down and test colors. And, typically I would take that idea and send it to my computer to vector it.
So why vectoring?
With apps like Procreate, you’re dealing with Pixels. And, if you try and scale your pixel-based app illustration up in size you end up losing quality. The pixels get fuzzy.
Sure you can use Procreate to do your art, many people do. I’m not saying don’t do it. You simply have to consider the output size and resolution before getting started.
With a vector app, you can scale until your heart’s content. And, since my artwork tends to be on the simple side, it works best for me.
One drawing, many outputs – enamel pins, prints, stickers, etc.
But, recently, Adobe released Illustrator for iPad and I am impressed with it!
Is it perfect? No, but it is a start. And, I have high hopes for Illustrator for iPad.
Illustrator on the iPad is included with any Adobe Creative Cloud plan that includes Illustrator on the desktop (starting at $20.99 per month), but you can buy it as a standalone app for $9.99 per month. Since I use Adobe Creative Cloud apps in my business it is most cost effective for me.
Alternatively, some people prefer to use Affinity Designer.
I have mentioned this many times before, I am not a huge fan of it. I think it’s just because it feels less intuitive to me because of my experience with Adobe apps.
If I were to spend some time on a course with it, I might find I like it. But I honestly don’t have that kind of time right now.
This is the main reason you won’t see tutorials using that app from me at this time. Maybe in the future.
Affinity runs $19.99 for the app, a little bit more than Procreate but certainly more robust and the one time fee makes it more affordable than Adobe.
No matter what app you end up using for illustrating on your iPad I think you can see there are plenty on the market and countless ways to do different styles as well.
No. 3 – iPad Scrapbooking
The third way you can be creative with your iPad is with scrapbooking and memory keeping.
Yeah, I said that.
Let me share a bit of history about me! As a graphic artist, I learned about digital scrapbooking in the early 2000’s.
I had been into using Creative Memories and Rubber Stamping traditionally. I really enjoyed this crafty hobby.
But then, I discovered a website that focused on using Photoshop to scrapbook digitally. And, as a graphic artist this made so much sense to me.
I started created kits for scrapbooking that looked realistic – though I look back now and cringe at how far we have come.
We all were on top of our game then. It was super popular. And many of us made a good living at doing this. I even got a few gigs and designed traditional scrapbook products for popular scrapbooking manufacturers.
Over time, I got out of that world to take those skills and focus on creating templates for photographers.
But in the past few years I started trying to do digital scrapbooking using Procreate. It has a few limitations compared to Photoshop on my desktop. But it’s doable. And, I love the portability of it.
- Digital Scrapbooking is portable.
- It’s environmentally friendly.
- It is much easier to store supplies too.
- And, you can use these supplies over and over again.
- Which makes it much more affordable.
I haven’t tried using the Photoshop app on my iPad yet to do it but there are plenty of apps like it including the aforementioned Affinity that you could try with this hobby.
Overall, it’s another way to be totally creative using your iPad. Be sure to check out all of the beautiful kits in our shop to help you get started creating amazing memories.
How Do I Print my iPad Digital Scrapbook Pages?
I do get asked about printing out these layouts often. And, yes, you can! There are companies that can print full 12 x 12 layouts when you’re all done and you can store them in a gorgeous scrapbook album without all the bulk. If you have the ability to print at home, great! But if you don’t, try printing at Persnickety Prints. I love their quality.
But if you’re wanting to have an entire book made, try companies like:
These books are great because you can print multiple copies to give to family members without having to make multiple traditional layouts. SCORE!
No. 4 – Bullet Journaling
Alright if you love digital scrapbooking, and even creative planning (I’ll talk about that last) then you’ll love this fourth way to be creative with your iPad!
Get more creative with your iPad with Bullet Journaling!
This snippet from GoodHousekeeping sums it up:
Equal parts day planner, diary, and written meditation, bullet journaling turns the chaos of coordinating your life into a streamlined system that helps you be more productive and reach your personal and professional goals. With sections to log your daily to-do’s, monthly calendar, notes, long-term wants and more, your BuJo is customized to your life. (Entries are tagged with bullet points, dashes, and other graphics so you can see their categories at a glance.)
A few years back, we introduced bullet journaling on the iPad here at Holly Pixels.
We created a gorgeous, realistic looking bullet journal in digital format with hyperlinks so people could bullet journal on the go without multiple notebooks.
And, we introduced BuJo Procreate Packs as starters for those that aren’t artists. In this video I show you how you use these – a combination of Procreate and whatever note taking app you import your bullet journal file.
Like digital planning, a digital bullet journal is a PDF file. That’s it. Super simple. But with so much possibility.
When it comes to Bullet Journaling on your iPad, using Procreate and a note taking app together feels more natural. Why?
Because I like to draw and doodle in Procreate, then turn off the background layer and save it as a transparent PNG that I can import into my note taking app where my digital bullet journal is, like a sticker.
Now in a bullet journal I can do my fun tracking and other creative journaling, just like a traditional bujo book.
Some popular apps that you can use with bullet journaling on your iPad are:
Just like you would with digital planning. Which brings me to the 5th way to Be Creative with Your iPad
No. 5 – Digital Planning
Need another way to be more creative with your iPad?
I don’t know if you noticed my evolution of these 5 ways to be creative with your iPad. The apps I’ve mentioned eventually took a creative app like Procreate and combined it with a note taking app.
With digital planning it’s pretty much all in the note taking app.
GoodNotes, Noteshelf – these apps are designed to allow you to take notes on your iPad easily.
It started with students. But these apps have evolved to allow you to take a PDF file we design with hyperlinks for tabs and import them into them and add your notes and stickers just like a traditional paper planner.
We’ve been in the digital planning market for three years now and it’s amazing how much this creative way of panning has grown.
Familiar with planners like the Happy Planner or Erin Condren? It’s the same thing but all done digitally.
Talk about saving space and money! You can have multiple planners in one device. I love that so much.
So how does that work? You choose a planner style you like. We have multiple ones in our shop. They are all undated so you can easily use them over and over again each year. But each tab functions as a hyperlink to each section. Just like if you picked up that tab and flipped to it.
There are tons of other styles on the market. Check out Etsy if you’re looking for something different. Honestly there is something out there for EVERYONE!
And, you can start writing in on the calendars and weekly and daily pages.
But if you want to take it a step further you can purchase digital stickers. Just like paper stickers, these have the same look to them and functionality.
We have lot’s to see for inspiration on our blog if you ever need that. The creativity of our own team always blows my mind.
In Conclusion 5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021 with Holly Pixels
So there you have it. 5 Ways to Be Creative with Your iPad in 2021.
How will you be creative with yours? What are some other ways I didn’t mention that you want to try? I’d love to hear about them. I might even try them myself.
If you want to try any of our products for free, we have tons in our Vault from
- Procreate brushes and swatches
- Scrapbook Kits to try
- And digital planning goodies to get a feel for it.
Ultimately, we want you to test the waters as the Vault is a great resource for that.