Several days ago I have had a rather unpleasant conversation with a colleague from work. He asked me to explain my reasons for buying an iPad instead of any of the other tablets with Android operating system. I could not find an answer that would not sound a bit pretentious. After all I bought an iPad because it is made by Apple. I bought it because it is THE iPad!!
For Microsoft lover, like him, this was not a reasonable answer. My colleague argued that iPad is overpriced, closed and restricted whereas Android is an open format. I bet he read it somewhere. Although I can agree with the price issue I cannot see how iPad might be restricted. Even the Flash compatibility is no longer an issue, there is an app for that! More and more developers choose to create apps on iOS instead of Android market. some of my favourite audio companies develop extensions for iOS devices, like the trusted Alesis– a world leader in recording technology. Take a look at their iO Dock. Or IK Multimedia with their iRig micCast. Not to mention their DJ Rig. I have made a good, logical choice by buing an iPad but the only answer I could give to my colleague was the proverbial: ‘If you don’t have an iPad then, well, you just don’t have an iPad’. He didn’t get it. The whole conversation made me uncomftable and my silly answer left me frustrated. So I decided to write this post as this is what I should have said to him:
If we assume that creativity is like any other muscle in our body, then iPad is the best portable gym ever invented. The only one in the world, actually.
I believe that using iPad’s creative apps gives people who have no professional experience a chance to try things they wouldn’t normally have access to, like painting, picture manipulation, music composition, animation, film editing and more. It can be argued that creative works made on the iPad could never be considered ART and compositions made using Garage Band are nowhere close to being professional. Yes, but that is the whole point- Exciting new freedom of creating without the restriction of ‘being professional’, making ‘art’ or simply being ‘good enough’. Not everybody will buy After Effects but using iStopmotion app anyone can make their own animation. iPad is not restricted to being held on tripods to make the stop motion pictures work. The app is designed in a way that lets you move your camera position freely and still keep the animation flawless!! It is a Brilliant tool for future filmmakers.
IPad enables people to do things they always wanted but often couldn’t do. Like creating your own stencil art!! Not all of us have the courage or a message strong enough to go out to the streets at night and paint. Thanks to Fotofitti app we can all create stencil-like art. This app is one of the best examples of how using iPad can change the way we think about the world around us. The app reacts to the shadow and contrast. In order to create a good stencil one has to start with a good picture. Inexperienced and amateurish photographers, like myself, suddenly notice the shadows and contrast issues they did not pay any attention to before.
The flow of creativity I felt since I unpacked my iPad seems never ending. I even found myself digging for my old sketches in the attic, just to have something to play with in Pixelworks:
I started working on my first stop motion animation featuring this little creature (it is still work in progress):
And, believe it or not, I started composing again. I never considered myself to be especially talented in this area. Composition was always a chore for me, an assignment, a module I had to pass. I never believed it worth my time to compose using MIDI sequencers just for the pleasure of it. Using MIDI is time consuming. I remember my struggle, over eleven years ago, when I tried to write down a melody that came to my head on a bus. I had composition module to pass and that melody seemed the best idea I’ve had for ages!! The only way to write it down was to take a piece of paper and a pen and start placing the notes on a stave. The only way I knew how to do it was to use the intervals between each note and sing them in my head to place the next note on the right line. Honestly, a horrible chore!! Now I’ve got Garage Band. No need to comment.
It might be that pieces created on an iPad will never be considered art and that is just fine. I consider it great practice. Besides, even rubick’s cube can become a work of art in the right hands. So can the iPad when employed by a creative mind.
I wonder how many people unpacked one this Christmas…