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March 12, 2015

5 artists on how to unlock your creativity with a smartphone

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.”

The advice above is from none other than Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s author who was a master at both witty wordplay and unlocking creativity. His words hit the mark when it comes to letting our creativity loose – for many of us, simply getting started on a creative project is the toughest obstacle to overcome. Happily, smartphones make it easier than ever to unlock your creativity, because there are tons of cool ways to express your artistic self in projects both big and small. Still need a little more inspiration? Let’s hear from 5 artists their thoughts on unlocking your creativity so that you too can turn those imaginative “Thinks” that you think up into reality.

Vicky Scott


Artist and illustrator Vicky Scott is one of the world’s first #TileArt artists, creating lovely illustrations using the new app that are available for use in the #TileArt gallery. Tile Art, which lets you customize your start screen, is the perfect app for those that want a smaller project to get creative with. Vicky’s advice on how to let your imagination fly using the app comes in four easy-to-follow steps:

1. Start with picking a theme that you really enjoy. 2. Keep the overall design simple but with contrasting colours so the background and foreground stand out. 3. I love the way that you can have bits of the design transparent so definitely play about with that too. 4. Have fun!

Phil Galloway

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Artist Phil Galloway has blown us all away with the fantastic digital paintings that he creates using the Fresh Paint app. If you haven’t tried Fresh Paint just yet, it’s a great way to get creative using nothing but your smartphone, without the worry of wasting expensive paints and supplies. The digital oil paintings that you can create look amazingly realistic, and even more importantly, are incredibly fun to do. Phil’s advice on unlocking your creativity is all about getting comfy:

“You can’t be a Pissarro with pins and needles or a Donatello with a dead leg, so get into a comfortable position in a place where the light and ambiance suit you! I usually paint lying back on the couch with my crossed legs dangling over the arm of the chair and my Lumia 1520 resting on my chest. This allows me to keep the phone stable and carry on daubing away for hours. The last thing you want is to get into the creative zone and then have to stop due to cramp, which can ruin your flow and make all the difference between a Mona Lisa and a moaning Lisa!”

Celine Navarro


Mixed media artist and blogger Celine Navarro is a photo lab expert turned scrapbooking pro, travelling the world to teach aspiring scrapbookers how to preserve their memories in a fun, creative way. Naturally, her Lumia often lends a helping hand in the process. Celine’s advice below is great for those looking to get their creative juices flowing using their smartphones, which we think can be a wonderful way to help visualize future projects and color palettes, or serve as an artsy photo project on its own:

1. Take lots of pictures. Edit them with Photoshop on your Lumia (yes, it’s free, too!) 2. Storyteller helps you get track of when and where your photos were taken. Just grab your phone when you print your pictures to scrapbook them in the right place, at the right time. This app was made for scrapbookers and memory keepers! It does all the organising for you, isn’t that amazing? 3. Have fun!

Toni Kasurinen

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Artist and illustrator Toni Kasurinen uses smartphones to take his art to next level, saying “Lumia 635 is an indelible part of my artistic process, giving that extra shine to my artworks.” By incorporating your Lumia into your artistic process, you can have the freedom to play and experiment with the art you’ve done by hand, which is a great way to unlock creativity before putting it down on paper or canvas in a final draft. Take it from Toni, who’s clearly in the know:

“Instead of scanning my sketchbook artworks, I just take a photo with my Lumia 635. It is fantastic to know that I can adjust the colours, saturation and contrast as well as add effects afterwards. Sometimes I also take a photo of my initial pencil sketch and save it. If something goes terribly wrong, I can use it later, either digitally or traditionally.”

Damar Dhaval

Damar Dhaval has a talent for creating awesome stop motion Vines using his Lumia, which pack a whole lot of creativity into short videos. Vine is perfect for people that want to experiment with video in small doses, and there are oodles of things you can do with it. Damar has a little advice on how to unlock your creativity using Vine:

“Take a pencil and paper and roughly make a storyboard of the video you want to make. This will make your workflow easy and you will never forget any scene you want to shoot. You can also manage the time period accordingly and it will help with collecting the props required for the video. Stop-motion animation is a great thing you can do with your Vine app, so start making your story!”

5 amazing artists, 5 bits of useful advice on how to unlock your creativity using your smartphone.