The Best Tools for Aspiring Artists

Awesome monitor


Anyone working on digital art needs a high-end computer monitor to display projects as accurately as possible. Look for a computer with good resolution, and a large screen. There are different monitors depending on working style, so dig in and do the research when buying your monitor.


Although not necessarily a gadget, the software running on your gadgets will be essential to getting the most out of them. Adobe's Creative Suite is still the top of the line for digital artists from graphic design to desktop publishing. There are a few free downloads that can replace some of the functionality in Adobe's creative software, but they don't offer all the features available from Adobe.

There are several mobile apps out there for artists who want to work from tablets. Some of the most popular paint apps are iDraw and Brushes, and drawing apps include Sketchbook Pro and Procreate.

And let's not forget about apps that help artists find inspiration, like Artnear which can tell you about nearby museums and art exhibitions. Art Authority is a database of thousands of high-res images of famous art work.

Drawing tablet

Drawing tablet

A drawing tablet is a must for a graphic designer or digital artist. Most drawing tablets are an extension to a desktop or laptop computer and act as the interface for your digital canvas. They allow you to work with greater precision and control than a mouse, and in combination with a pressure sensitive stylus, allows for drawing effects similar to those that can be achieved with pencil and paper.

Some of the most recent drawing tablets on the market, can even detect the angle of the stylus to provide realistic shading techniques. Combined with certain styluses, like Wacom's Airbrush Pen you can control the spray distance of your digital airbrush.

3D printer


This certainly isn't a necessity, but a 3D printer opens up a lot of creative opportunities for artists. Whether creating physical prototypes or creating pieces for a physical display, a 3D printer can significantly reduce the time need to produce these objects and give valuable experience as 3D printers gain in popularity. And don't think something this amazing is too far out of reach. MarkerBot sells 3D printers for less than $3000.

Smartphone with camera extensions

You can't always have your camera with you. When you don't, at least have the next best thing. Having your smartphone in your pocket will allow you to seize any opportunity for a shot, and although smartphone cameras have come a long way, there are some easy ways to enhance your mobile camera.

There are several lens extensions on the market to fit almost every phone. Many of these are larger extensions, but there are small lens extensions that you won't mind carrying everywhere you go made by companies like Photojojo, Olloclip, and Factron.

Art Advances

The integration of art and technology continues to advance and open new opportunities for creation. Areas such as digital art and graphic design have been centered around technology, but even traditional art is being impacted as social media, mobile apps and the web have made it easier than ever to find new artists, new techniques, and new direction and inspiration.

What are your top choices for must-have apps?

Bruno Galera works for Dell and keeps his finger on the pulse of the latest mobile and gadget trends. When he’s not reading about the latest tech devices, you can find him cooking, reading, cheering on his favorite football team, or at a museum enjoying contemporary art and photography.

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