10 Unique Apps That Inspire Creativity

Creativity is a wonderful thing. A part of what makes it fun is through finding daily inspiration in almost everything we do. Whether you’re making music, creating great new digital illustrations, or trying to think of new ideas for your next photo project, there will always come a time when you need that little extra push. Fortunately, the sky’s the limit when it comes to pushing your creative boundaries on the iPad, thanks to these unique apps.

Though today’s list may consist of a few content creation apps, it will also contain entertainment and reference apps that simply aim to light that spark from within. We hope you find something new! Read on for more.


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Mixel

Mixel

Mixel

Mixel is a social network exclusive to the iPad that focuses on creating collages and “remixing” other people’s works with your own creative twist. Since Mixel’s release early this year, it has become one of my most used iPad apps to date. Not only is creating a collage incredibly easy, but the very active community churns out high quality creations on a daily basis. Mixel is fun for just about anyone. Check out our review for more!

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Lascaux Co.

Starry Night Interactive

Starry Night Interactive

Starry Night Interactive Animation

A beautiful interactive recreation of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. Not only is it great to fiddle around with as you ponder about a current project you’re working on, but it also doubles as something that sits on your desk, adding to the ambience and your creative process. The effect is quite pleasant and very well done. I wish they had taken a handful of other paintings and applied the same level of interactivity on them, but although that probably won’t become a reality any time soon, if at all, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is still a brilliant choice for an app such as this.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iPad 2 and up, iOS 5.1 or later
Developer: Artof01

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Sword & Sworcery was one of the best iPad apps released in 2011. More of an experience than it is a game in the traditional sense, Sword & Sworcery went on to win several awards from various publications along with the Mobile Achievement in Art award from the Independent Games Festival in 2010.

Though Sword & Sworcery’s pixel-based art was nothing short of terrific, it also sported one of the best game soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a mobile game. If you haven’t played this gem already, now is the time. While you’re at it, Jim Guthrie’s music for the game is also available on iTunes ready to download.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Capybara Games Inc.

Windosill

Windosill

Windosill

Windosill originated as a Flash-based game in 2009 and has finally made it’s way to the iPad. The artwork and animation is quirky and its puzzle elements require some out-of-box thinking in order to progress through its levels. It’s the perfect combination to get your mind going as well as fill your need for visual stimulation. Dare I say the game feels more at home on the iPad than it ever did on a traditional computer due to the fact that the miniature nature of the game coupled with it’s “windowsill” theme fit in perfectly with the way you use multitouch to interact with the game as you hold the iPad in your hand.

It’s short and sweet, but Windosill will definitely leave you wanting more.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: Vectorpark.com

Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomy

Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomy

Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomy

Who better to pull inspiration from than one of the greatest creative minds of all time? Anatomy is a beautiful, fully detailed educational app that features over 250 of Leonardo Da Vinci’s illustrations of the human body in glorious Retina resolution. Throw in some equally impressive 3D models, video interviews with medical experts, and the ability to show text in Leonardo’s original Italian writing, and you’ve got yourself one of the most well thought out apps in the App Store.

At $13.99, Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomy isn’t exactly cheap, but the quality content you do get is well worth the price of admission. Whether you’re looking to learn about the human body or wanting to examine Leonardo’s illustration techniques down to the smallest details, Anatomy is a wonderful app to dive into.

Price: $13.99
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Developer: Touch Press

Figure

Figure

Figure

Figure by Propellerhead is music-making simplicity at it’s finest. It’s meant for those moments of inspiration that need to be made into something more as fast as possible. The user interface is beautiful, intuitive, and very accessible. Unfortunately, Figure does not support an export feature allowing for further work on your creation. But for only $0.99, Figure holds it’s own against apps that are 10 times more expensive and looks damn good doing it.

Keep in mind that Figure is the only app on this list that is made with the iPhone in mind and there currently is no native iPad version available at the time of this writing. That being said, Figure still manages to look great at 2x even on the New iPad and isn’t really that much of a problem at all.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Developer: Propellerhead Software

Orphion

Orphion

Orphion

The iPad has no shortage of high-quality synths for music lovers to devour. Orphion is unlike any I’ve ever used on the iPad. By using a variety of circular patterns used as sound pads with boatloads of sound effects for each, Orphion manages to produce some of the most satisfying results for people who have no idea what exactly they’re doing with it. If you’re more interested in just playing with sound and music, Orphion may just be your cup of tea. Wanna mix it up a little? Turn on Multitasking Gestures and use Ophion along with any other music app that you fancy! It’s that simple.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 5.0 or later
Developer: Bastus Trump

Charadium II HD

Charadium II HD

Charadium II HD

Before Draw Something gained its popularity, there was Charadium. I personally would recommend this app over Draw Something simply because of how much more polished the app is. If you enjoy Pictionary style gameplay with both live and asynchronous multiplayer game types, Charadium is for you. It’s a really fun, social time killer and perfect for anyone looking to flex their improvisational creative skills on the go.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: On5

ArtCircles

ArtCircles

ArtCircles

ArtCircles is an art discovery app that is curated by some of the best creative professionals of today. Whether you’re searching for a specific color, theme, artist, or curator, ArtCircles showcases everything from lesser known artists up to the greats such as Picasso and Warhol. It’s well designed and takes quite a unique approach to serving up a daily dose of awesome.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: Art.com, Inc.

Creative Whack Pack

Creative Whack Pack

Creative Whack Pack

Creative Whack Pack by Roger von Oech is my go-to app if ever I need sound advice on anything from improving my out-of-box thinking to figuring out my next step in any project I work on. Rather than simply supplying you with inspiring quotes like most other apps that attempt to push you in the right direction, Whack Pack asks you questions, tells your stories, and leaves you to apply its solutions to your situation, whatever it may be.

With over 80 creative strategies to get you through those mental blocks, Creative Whack Pack provides excellent, invaluable tips that make everything about this app worth every penny.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 3.1.3 or later
Developer: Creative Think

There’s Plenty More Where These Came From…

It’s time to go out and make something! Do you have any apps that get your creative juices flowing? Share it with us and tell us more about what it does for you! I hope this short and sweet list has helped you find a new toy to fiddle around with. If you end up trying some, come back and tell us what you think.


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