Anyone Still Want to Contend That the iPad Isn’t a Creative Tool?

"The iPad is for consuming content, not creating it." iPad skeptics have been repeating that mantra for months now. It's become clear that the rap is a snippy, simple-minded exaggeration of two more specific facts about Apple's tablet:

  1. After eight months on the market, it hasn't yet matched all the creativity apps available for Macs and Windows (two platforms that have been around for more than a quarter of a century).
  2. Most writers aren't going to be crazy about cranking out massive quantities of prose on its on-screen keyboard. (Even that is subject to debate: Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell wrote this article entirely on an iPad, and it recently won an Azbee award.)

But while it's true that the iPad can't replace a Mac or Windows PC for every creative task, the evidence is piling up mighty fast that it is an exciting creative tool. Yesterday night, I dropped in on a San Francisco art show called Future/Canvas, and I can't imagine any rational human being attending the event and continuing to maintain that the iPad is only for passive, sheeplike intake of content.

(Sorry for the quality of the photos that follow -- I snapped them with an iPhone 3GS. Sadly, it's a mediocre creative tool, at least as far as its photographic capabilities go.)

As far as I know, Future/Canvas was the first multiple-artist show that consisted entirely of works created with iPads. Much of the art on display was in the form of prints of digital paintings and drawings created with apps such as Brushes and SketchBook Pro...

future-lady

future-beard

future-pants

But iPad art was being created on the premises, too...

future-painting

...and attendees got the opportunity to interact with iPad art apps such as TypeDrawing and Magic Window.

future-arttree

The exhibit's music was courtesy of Rana Sobhany, a DJ who does her thing with...well, look below.

future-dj

Among the notables who attended: Steve Wozniak (who needs no introduction) and Yiying Lu (creator of Twitter's Failwhale and cofounder of Walls360), seen in this photo by Dale Larson.

Steve Wozniak and Yiying Lu

I chatted with Josh Michaels, creator of Magic Window and one of Future/Canvas's organizers. I asked him if he planned to mount more iPad-art shows, and he paused and mulled it over before answering: He wasn't sure, because it was an expensive proposition. I'll bet this isn't the last event of this sort, though. And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if art created on iPads becomes so common that it stopped being noteworthy. I mean, when did you last hear anyone making a fuss over art simply because it was created on a Mac or a Windows PC?

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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