Artist Jorge Colombo drew the image that graces the June 1st cover of The New Yorker magazine with Brushes, a $4.99 iPhone app. Virtually “finger-painting” an image like this onto a tiny iPhone touchscreen seems insane and inconvenient, but Colombo has good reasons. The New Yorker reports:
He discovered an advantage of digital drawing on a nighttime drive to Vermont. â€œBefore, unless I had a flashlight or a minerâ€™s hat, I could not draw in the dark.â€ (When the sun is up, itâ€™s a bit harder, â€œbecause of the glare on the phone,â€ he says.)
Drawing on the iPhone also offers the artist anonymity. Colombo stood in Times Square for an hour drawing this image on his iPhone and no one gave him a second look. Unlike if he had been painting with an easel, passersby just assumed he was checking his email.
Surely sales of the Brushes app will go through the roof this week as aspiring artists scramble to replicate Colombo’s work. Of course, Ken Rockwell was right when he asserted that it’s an artist’s eye, patience, and skill that makes a good image, not the tools he or she uses. See a video of this drawing come to life below.
Here’s the full story and more impressive art drawn with Brushes.
That’s pretty amazing. And, for the reasons you mentioned. It’s fascinating how the form factor of a tool (and thus the preconceived notions surrounding it) impacts when and why we choose to use it. Once upon a time that just meant taking laptops when you wouldn’t carry around a 20-lb PC, but with an ever wider array of devices we have lots of choices for whatever purpose we’re attempting.
For me, I find the form factors of cameras to be particularly relevant. With an SLR and a giant 70-200 telephoto, people know I’m serious about my shooting, but I also can’t capture a candid shot in public the same way. It’s not always harder (sometimes you get the “he must be a professional look”), but with a cell phone camera or a tiny point and shoot, things change…since you can easily snag a shot.
I wonder what other creativity is impacted by our ever-shrinking devices.
Of course it’s true that a tool will not get you results if you don’t know how to use it, despite what the companies that make and market tools of all kinds often say. : )
I always flinch when I come across casual references like this to Ken Rockwell, though. He’s sort of notoriously unreliable…not that he’s always wrong, but you need a pretty reliable BS meter to read his site.
I mention this because I’ve seen a lot of folks wind up buying gear that’s totally unsuited to their needs, or not buying something rather essential, because they were inordinately swayed by some crazy thing Rockwell says.
I don’t have a real iPhone but I wanted use this app on one of the online iPhones, could someone update http://interactiveiphone.com so that I could try out this app? I tried going to the App Store but then it wouldn’t let me do anything else. Can someone help me?