Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sketch Club Review for the iPad

Sketch Club's homepage
Sketch Club is a social sketching app for iDevices.
Just like any other artist I find myself in need of constant validation. It doesn't matter if it is a 10 foot sculpture or a 20 minute doodle all artist crave feedback from friends, family and most importantly their peers. For those who need of constant scrutiny I have an app for you, Sketch Club, a social app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod.

Sketch Club is an above average sketching program that allows you to customize a Sketch Club account by creating your own avatar, post your interests and sketches you have created using the app and reach out to other artists on the site. You can make your artwork view able to the public, receive comments by other members of Sketch Club and likes or dislikes titled "rules", "okay" or "sucks" on someones images. You collect glops which counts the number of views that you receive which leads hearts that you receive for a certain number of views. There is a ranking system based on views and depending on the number you can have your work previewed on the main site. The app creates a competitive atmosphere, but most of what I have seen has been positive. You can track your membership information from your page and collect fans who like and follow your work as well.

In addition to your personal page, Sketch Club allows you to live chat with other members signed into Sketch Club and even live stream your artwork so people can chat with you while you are working on it (see images below). Artist also use the "live stream" option to host classes of your own design. You can use your mic and talk to members who are following along as they types out questions about your work. Being able to type while you work would greatly benefits an art teacher as they go back and forth as they work on a sketch in class, but I find the go between extremely distracting.

Along with "live streaming" you can upload your videos to the Sketch Club's YouTube page and receive feedback there as well. I have not tried this option. There is a record button where you can change the video quality, zoom in, select music, export images to photo library and upload your video directly to YouTube.

Sketch Club is an amazingly versatile app that allows users who are obsessed with social media to bring that obsession to their art. Sketch Club has a wide range of brushes, color selection tools and layers that allows it to bring a lot of the same functionality that you get with some of the big name sketching apps with only a few drawbacks.

Here are my Pros and Cons for Sketch Club

Sketch Book has a number of brush options.
  1. Sketch Club is a social networker's best friend giving the user a lot of options for getting their work out there and getting people to look at it.
  2. The live stream and video capability is a great tool for educators allowing students to follow along with your lesson on their iPhones or iPads as well as the video record option to share you lessons on YouTube.
  1. Brushes and tools are not as intuitive as other apps, you have to look around for opacity and brush sizes each time you want to make changes. 
  2. The app has filter options that seem to appear to more gimmicky than useful tome and I find myself avoiding them all together.
Over all Sketch Club is great for artists addicted to social media and I see a lot of good applications for educators in and out of the classroom. For .99 cents you can't go wrong with Sketch Club, but it won't replace some of my more robust sketching apps.

I give Sketch Club...
5 out of 5 stars