My top creative apps for lockdown and beyond

When the country went into lockdown five months ago, within the four walls of my home I discovered a world of digital tools, websites and applications that have kept me inspired. Here are my top creative apps for lockdown and beyond to spark your imagination and get your creative juices flowing from the comfort of your own home!

Google Arts and Culture
(Android/Apple – free) 

Spend the morning at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and the afternoon visiting New York’s Moma. With over 2000 virtual tours of worldwide cultural institutions to explore, you’ll never feel stuck for inspiration. The app contains over 100,00 high definition artworks, providing mind-blowing close up views of some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. The app also includes an array of creative tools, puzzles and cultural features; turn your selfie into a classic piece of art or take a virtual reality site-seeing tour from your sofa!

Daily Art
(Android/Apple – free)

If you don’t have the time to tour the museums, try the DailyArt app. You will be sent a classic or contemporary masterpiece a day, with facts and background on the artist. Favourite pieces can be saved to create your own pocket exhibition you can share with friends.

(Apple iphone/ipad £5 mobile, £10 tablet)

An art studio in an app! Get creative (without the mess) and explore the wide variety of creative tools this app has to offer! From watercolours and charcoal to calligraphy brushes and oil paints, the life-like results mean it’s sophisticated enough for a pro, yet it’s intuitive design make it accessible to all –  a winner with both the children and adults in our house!

Android alternative (free): Infinite Painter – Similar to ProCreate, an easy to use virtual sketchbook with authentic artistic tools and effects.

(Android/Apple – 1 month free + optional subscription)

Up your skills with the SkillShare App – this eLearning site/app is full of thousands of courses and workshops on all things creative! Whether it’s  calligraphy or creative writing (in my case Procreate and cake decorating!), there is a course for all levels and creative interests. Keen artists will discover a wealth of fine art projects and tutorials such as ‘Watercolours for Relaxing’, ‘Painting from your Sofa’ and drawing masterclasses, whilst creative professionals can develop their skills in everything from graphic design to web development.

Arc – Keeping Us Together

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Arc’s Keeping us Together website. Initially developed to keep Arc’s community connected and creative during lockdown, it has since grown to reach and engage a much wider audience. Full of accessible artistic challenges created by Arc’s artists and volunteers, each creative activity has been designed with minimal art materials in mind. From abstract art and sculpture to pottery and embroidery, there is something for all ages and levels. Sign up to the mailing list and receive an email every time a new activity is launched, alongside inspiration to fire your creativity and tips to support your wellbeing.

Do you like music? Check out RoBoTaLien’s video how-to about using the app ‘Looper’ here!


Annette Naor Hilton
Senior project manager, Arc