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February 13, 2015

Why the world’s first TileArt app artists love TileArt

Just over a week ago smartphone art changed forever. 

Why, we hear you cry? The incredible #TileArt app of course. If you think we’re making a bold claim just search #TileArt on Twitter to see the buzz it’s generated and, more importantly, the people it’s inspired. Below we’ve showcased just a tiny taster of the ace start art we’ve seen so far. (Keep your eye out for our regular feature, where we’ll be bigging up the best of the rest.)




Of course, it’s not just people like you and me loving TileArt. Pro artists love it too. In fact two talented artists, Shanghee Shin and Vicky Scott, can proudly proclaim themselves the world’s first #TileArt artists. Both of them produced some seriously stunning artwork for the app, which is available to everyone in the #TileArt gallery. Recently, we were lucky enough to have a chat with each of them to hear their opinions on the app, art and smartphone creativity. Here’s what they had to say.

First up is Shanghee, who created this fantastically surreal dreamscape called Animamaly : Sky Ocean, featuring a pair of adventurous cats, a hot air balloon, and sea life in the sky.

Your design is beautifully surreal. Where did you come up with the idea for a flying octopus and sushi cats?

When I start idea sketches, I usually think about combinations of various unrelated ingredients that I like. Especially, I try to find small linked-rings between functions of the subject matters, and then combine them together to make some odd and fun stories.



In this tile art theme – Animamaly : Sky Ocean, I focused on the animation effect that images move separately with the background when the display is scrolled up and down. The sea creatures were designed for the cats’ yummy rides for travelling in the sky for their very special and pleasant entertainment – like a gingerbread house for children. It is the story of journey of the cats in their own fantasy world. The Flying Octopus is one of the images of the fantasy world. Combined with a hot air balloon and an octopus, I would like to create a weird story of cats travelling in the air balloon, and also eating some grilled octopus arms whenever they are hungry.

In the case of the Sushi Cats, I especially focused on additional visual pleasure. By the combination of fancy food and charming characters, when people turn on their phone screen, I wanted them to feel refreshed by these eye candies. Maybe these various colorful large sushi would be my dream comfort food.


What do you like most about the app and what sort of art do you think it’s best suited to?

What I like most about the app is the visual delight of the display itself. All the icons, images and background compose together and make their own distinct space. In that sense, any sorts of artworks have various possibility. Because the highly customizing system is one of the strongest points of this app, the composition of art should be more considered than the genre. When you are able to create shapes and color palettes which perfectly fits this composition, it will be amazing with any types of art as Cartoon, Fine art, photography, illustration, etc.

Next up we have Vicky, who created this colorful and vivid moonwalk scene featuring a happy astronaut and cat duo.

We love your moon-walking space girl. What inspired you to create her for your tile art project?

I was given a really open brief to do (pretty much) whatever I wanted which is always exciting. I’d been thinking I’d love to do some illustrations featuring space and weirdly enough I’d been to a gig all about astronauts and space so that was definitely on my mind when the job came through and I started doodling! I got together lots of inspiration on retro space imagery from kids toys to Vogue in the 60’s for inspiration for the clothes. And I thought a cat would make a good space companion as she’d be small enough to perch on shoulders. The cat is based largely on my cat Cleo!



What do you like most about the app and what sort of art do you think it’s best suited to?

One of my favourite things is the transparency effect, it looks great! I love the way you can use this app if you’re artistic and want to create your own designs or if you just want to use your favourite characters or found images. I think it’s great for character-based art, as it kind of suggests this type of artwork as you want 4 designs that follow a theme. Simple, graphic, colourful illustration work would work well although it doesn’t have to be comic book stuff. I can imagine lots of illustrators’ work looking amazing in this app too.


There you have it, why the world’s first #TileArt app artists love the concept, straight from the pros themselves. Now, if you’re looking at their gorgeous artwork with envious eyes and your fingers are itching to start creating, why not unleash your inner artist and create a masterpiece of your own?

In order to inspire you, we’ve launched a global #TileArt Talenthouse competition, looking for four of the best animators, illustrators and designers from the Talenthouse community. Your work will be showcased in the #TileArt Gallery with the potential to be seen and used by Lumia lovers around the world. The grand prize is a Digital Artist Kit designed to help aspiring artists get on their feet. This includes a Lumia 930 (also given to the ten shortlistees), a dedicated page in the #TileArt app, a Surface Pro and $1,500. You’ll need to get your masterpiece entered by February 24th, and winners will be announced on March 31st. Head over to the competition page for more info. Now, time to start TileArting!