Apps and platforms to help stimulate your creative process

These online services can help you work creatively, either with a group or on your own.

Many of us have the urge to be creative in some way, either through art, writing, craft or music.

According to a 2010 study into the connection between art and healing published in the American Journal of Public Health, being creative through movement, visual arts, music and writing can result in improved wellbeing.

These pursuits reportedly have the power to decrease negative emotions, reduce stress and even improve medical outcomes.

If you’re keen to get more creative but worry your skills are lacking, there are plenty of tools to help stimulate the process.

Here are a few to investigate that let you work alone or with others:

Writing 

Wattpad

Wattpad describes itself as the world’s largest community for readers and writers.

You can access the work of the community and upload your own offerings if you’re feeling brave.

Those who read it have the opportunity to make comments and provide you with feedback on your storyline and your writing technique. The app is free to download for iOSMicrosoft and Android.  

Celtx

Working on the next Australian movie smash?

Celtx is software that may be useful for small teams of scriptwriters. Starting with storyboards, the app is designed to allow for real time collaboration as you write the text. 

You and your team can then take the next steps to prepare for the shoot and liaise with the cast and the crew using the same software.

Music 

Music Maker Jam

Available on iOS, Android and for PC, MMJ is a popular tool for creating music tracks from scratch. It offers an 8-channel mixer and over 100 different styles of music to choose from.

You can create tracks and then record your own vocals to share with friends, family or the entire world.

Reviewers call Music Maker Jam “intuitive” and “simple to use”. The app offers a ‘freemium’ model, meaning you can pay to access the full range of music styles.

GarageBand

You can use GarageBand on your desktop mac or your mobile iOS device.

This long-standing music creation tool lets you add multiple instruments to your track, including guitar, piano, drums and more.

This app is so popular that you can even access online tutorials to help you improve those skills.

Visit garageband to get started making tracks on your own or with friends.

Visual arts

Photoshop Sketch

If you can’t help but sketch when you’re commuting or waiting for your next meeting to start, this app is your new best friend.

It offers a downsized Photoshop experience that gives you a dozen or so tools so you can scribble and ‘paint’ with virtual ink, pencil or watercolours to your heart’s content.

Photoshop Sketch connects with a stylus / digital pen so that you can have more flexibility in your creations. Download for iOS here.

Loop

Turn your images into cartoons with this app. Loop lets you start a drawing from scratch and then turn it into an animated gif. You can save your creations to your camera roll or share them with friends and family.

Loop is designed to be simple, giving you only a limited set of features and three colours (black, red and blue) to choose from.

This basic functionality makes it easy to come up with animations when you are first exploring the medium. You can find Loop for your iOS device.  

Tayasui Sketches

Similar to the Wattpad app, Tayasui Sketches lets you interact with the community and gather feedback on the sketches you create.

Play with layers, import photos and use a range of special effects tools with this app. When working with others, you can save and export files to make collaborating easier.

Find Tayasui Sketches on iOS or Android.

Video and photography 

Snapseed

Create more gorgeous selfies, landscapes and portraits with this nifty app. Described as “better than anything else” by Business Insider, Snapseed has 24 tools and filters that let you adjust exposure, colour and more.

Depending on the look you want, you can add a ‘glamour glow’ or a ‘grunge filter’. You can even crop people out of the picture. Snapseed is free to download for iOS and Android.  

LumaFX

Help turn your video clips into professional-looking works of art with this app. LumaFX allows you to add all kinds of features to your movie, including special effects and colour filters, blurring your footage and creating a pixel effect.

You can speed up your footage or have it play in slow motion plus easily edit the length. The app makes it easy to share so that you can get feedback from your friends.

Downloading the LumaFX app is priced at around $8 for videography fans who have an iOS device.  

These apps and many others like them could make it easy to indulge your creative whims and turn your ideas into movies, art, music and more. 

Access to fast internet is changing creative industries. Check out Australia's first virtual band, Two Sense, and how they created a song without ever actually meeting in person.