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  • Writer's pictureSarah Hodgetts

Top 5 Free Tools to Keep you Creating

Now is a good time to get creative, and whether you're home alone or trying to entertain the kids, there are a lot of free tools and apps around to help you get creative.

1. The Mighty Pen

They're in every draw, in random pots around the house, half-used, and half-loved. Get round your house with a big mug and collect every pen in one place. And if you only find a few black ballpoints it will still be enough if you set your creative mind to it.

Follow these artists for a little inspiration:

Incredible Ballpoint Mastery:

Journaling for the wandering mind:

Paint: - check out her live drawing classes!

2. Free Apps for Digital Illustration

Digital illustration platforms open up a whole new world for the creative, and there is a whole host of apps out there to choose from. Arguably the most common is Adobe Illustrator or Procreate for iPad, but if you can't access or afford these, then a great free desktop app is Inkscape!

Digital illustration can help you develop cute icons like these and

And for those of us who love the outdoors, here's something lovely to muse over:

3. Stop Motion Animation

There is something utterly endearing and enduring about stop motion animation. And if you have a smartphone (and a bit of patience) then this is a really rewarding project to absorb yourself (or your kids) in for hours.

You can make brilliant flipbook style drawn animations with just your digits and the StickDraw app, or use Wonder Unit storyboard software for desktop users. There are lots of photo-based stop motion apps out there, and for anyone who is already using google photos, there is an easy 'animation' option here too! Simply select all the photos you want to include, hit the plus sign, and then choose 'animation'.

WARNING: You won't be able to take just one photo ever again.

Here's a simple google animation from a few photos out on a walk:

Here's a fabulous stop-motion director:

And if this doesn't inspire you I don't know what will:

4. Free Apps and Resources for Photography

Even with an iphone you can take some photos and edit them into works of art with the likes of (a browser-based editor) or Photopea if you're looking for something with similar advanced features to photoshop.

If you have access to a DSLR and flashgun or light, then maybe its time you learnt how to get creative with some new techniques, such as this one from Digital Camera World.

5. Free Apps for editing your own film

A lot of costly apps and software dominates the scene for wannabe filmmakers, and they can not only be expensive in their own right, but can also be to processor intensive for your current desktop or laptop set-up. If you want to have a go at editing and need something a bit more accessible then try out Filmora.

Good luck with your next project, and feel free to send your projects to me over on Twitter @hodgetts_sarah ! 😃

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