Unlike tablets and smartphones, computers are not predominantly media-consumption devices. That may be how many of us use our PCs at home, but in fact the real purpose of them is creation. We should be using our machines not just to watch films and play games, and not even just to work: but to create works of art, to learn new skills, to write books and run websites. This is when we are putting our devices to the very best use, so how do you go about being truly creative with your device? Read on for some unique ways to be creative with your computer and to develop some great new skills along the way.
One of the most common uses for a computer is for digital art. You can use a computer for digital art in any number of ways, but really to get the most from it you’re going to want a couple of pieces of hardware and software.
The first piece of hardware you’ll want is either a Cintiq/Bamboo drawing tablet (so you can draw straight onto your screen) or some kind of slate PC with a digitiser pen input (the best kind of stylus with pressure sensitivity etc). This way you’ll be able to draw as though you were drawing onto a pad of paper.
Next up you’ll want something like Sketchbook Pro (or the free ‘Express’ version) that will give you the tools you need to draw with different brushes and to use different layers. This will make a huge difference.
Now just give it a go and start doodling! With digital art you don’t need to worry about smudged pencil and anything can be undone in a second without leaving behind a mark. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish and just how much fun it is along the way!
With a piano or another instrument and the requisite amount of skill, anyone can play a tune and entertain their guests. With a computer though you can compose a piece for multiple instruments, have it played perfectly and then distribute it online. There’s tons of great software out there to make this a reality (like Sibelius) and if you want to play around with something less expensive you can try laying down some beats or creating chip-tune with a range of free applications.
3D Modelling is an incredibly useful skill to learn that can not only be used to create awesome looking art, but which can also be used to create 3D objects thanks to 3D printing. Take a look at using a program like Blender which allows you to do proper 3D editing for free, or consider using a <a href=”http://www.artec3d.com/”>3d scanner</a>. This way you’ll be able to create your 3D model in something like clay, and then just scan it into your computer in order to turn it into a model file.
Photography is another great skill to learn, but the brilliant thing about a computer is that even when it doesn’t all go to plan, you can still use photo editing to make things look better. Photo-editing is a skill in itself, and especially if you want to be able to professionally touch images up. There are plenty of tutorials online explaining how to do photo-editing properly, and there are also a whole bunch of free alternatives to PhotoShop (such as Gimp).
If you want to get computer on the other hand, you can always try programming something to make a game, an app or a piece of software. It’s a lot to learn if you don’t know how already, but it’s highly rewarding and very good for your brain.
Then there are the hundreds of other options. Create a blog, create a business, write a novel, or write a treatise on philosophy. Whatever you choose to do, use your computer as a creative tool and you’ll find your evenings become much more rewarding.