Norm Yakel's fingers fly across the screen of an Apple iPad, and in virtually no time at all he has created a beautiful work of art. It's all thanks to the ARTMakerapp, an application for the Apple iPad that Yakel, professor in the Faculty of Education and the current chair of the Arts Education Program at the University of Regina, created along with doctoral student in the Faculty of Education's graduate program Carol Casswell.
"We firmly believe that every person is capable of expressing ideas through the creation of visual images,'' says Yakel. "We are using 21st century technology to turn their ideas into reality."
The ARTMakerapp was created for iPads. It provides users of all ages and artistic levels with a simple way to create their own art work. Budding artists are encouraged to explore, experiment, and enjoy creating images that will express their ideas using only a finger to touch the screen, to draw, paint and make pictures that begin with imagination and turn into reality. Artists can use the ARTMakerapp as a means to sketch ideas for future reference, while art teachers can use the device as a means of instruction, providing immediate examples of technique, composition and the sequence of image production that can be reviewed through the playback feature of the app.
"There's something for everyone," says Yakel. "That's the beauty of the ARTMakerapp. It doesn't take a professional artist to appreciate the benefits of it, but it is also an excellent tool for those with experience."
Yakel and Casswell say they came up with the idea for the ARTMakerapp as a result of their collective experiences over a number of years as art educators in elementary, secondary and post-secondary classrooms. It was developed over a five-year period and was released through the Apple store in December 2010.
"It's intended for every classroom, every family, and every artist. It's a tool for play. It's a tool for creation," says Casswell. "There are no wrong answers. So much of the time we are involved in convergent thinking, processing towards the right answer, or the best way to do something. And here it's open, an invitation to creative thinking."
This isn't the last time we'll be hearing from Yakel and Casswell. They currently have more than a dozen apps in the works, with one set for release within the next month.