Ultimate Gift Guide For Digital Artist

Posted by Harshad

Ultimate Gift Guide For Digital Artist

Ultimate Gift Guide For Digital Artist

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 07:01 AM PST

If you ever delved into the world of digital artists, you will know the word ‘hardworking’ is never enough to describe their effort. Not only do they have to keep improving their skills in order to triumph, the cost of the tools they need could always put them into the state of starvation (and I’m only half-joking). Art burns money. So if you have plans to help out a fellow digital artist friend, we have for you the ultimate gift guide.

gift for digital artist
(Image Source: Pogo Connect)

In this list you will find 50 down-to-earth products – hardware, software, apps, books and courses – will be the ideal gift(s) for a digital artist. Help them upgrade their skills, gain new insights, or be more productive, and with comfort in mind .Let us know your favorite.

Here are shortcuts to let you skip to the section you want:

Hardware & Accessories

Intuos Pen and Touch Tablet (Small). Formerly Wacom Bamboo, Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch tablet is perfect for digital artist wannabe to discover the world of digital painting. [$99.00]

intuos pen and touch tablet

Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Tablet (Small). Intended for the experienced artist, Intuos Pro is built with 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and better control panel, and with the purchase you also get a set of nibs that mimic traditional brushes. [$249.00]

intuos pro pen and touch tablet

Cintiq 13HD Pen Display. Wacom surprised the world months ago by releasing Cintiq 13 HD, the most affordable luxurious graphic tablet with interactive pen display, allowing artists to draw on screen like they do on paper. [$1379.99]

cintiq 13hd pen display

Cintiq 22HD Pen Display. Cintiq 22HD is the dream of every digital artist. Not only does it have all the features of the Intuos and Cintiq family, this gigantic tablet also allows you to adjust its position for your comfort. [$1999.00]

cintiq 22hd pen display

Bamboo Feel Stylus. Unlike most affordable stylus, the best thing about Bamboo Feel stylus is that it comes with pressure sensitivity, allowing you to draw and paint dynamically on the tablet surface. [$39.95]

bamboo feel stylus

Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen. This magical pen has the ability to let you draw on paper, then transform your physical sketch into a compatible digital format, but mind you, it’s purely intended for sketching, so its accuracy is not up to production standards. [$99.00]

wacom inkling digital sketch pen

Bamboo Stylus Mini. If you prefer mobility over all, Bamboo Stylus Mini could follow you everywhere. You could even attach it to your tablet or smartphone’s audio jack – that’s what its strap is for! [$9.95]

bamboo stylus mini

Sensu Artist Brush and Stylus. Imagine painting on a tablet with a… brush! Sensu can make this a reality for you. [$39.99]

sensu artist brush and stylus

Jot Touch 4. You deserve a great product if you are wiling to fork out a premium price. Jot Touch 4 features 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and a palm rejection feature which ignores hand movement on the touchscreen (talk about usability)! [$89.99]

jot touch 4

Pogo Connect. Promoted by Procreate, Pogo Connect is a Bluetooth-enabled pen that lets you draw with different line widths on the iPad and yes, it comes with pressure sensitivity. With a few extra bucks you could even get 4 extra tip options including the brush tip. [$79.95]

pogo connect

TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen. Want to draw traditional and digital artwork with the same pen? TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen makes it possible. Ink refill is possible too. [$19.95]

truglide duo stylus pen

TruGlide Pro Paintbrush Tip. Yes, you can equip a paintbrush tip onto TruGlide Pro Stylus, then paint like a boss. [$14.95]

truglide pro paintbrush tip

Nomad FLeX Paintbrush Stylus. Here is the Nomad FleX stylus that promises an all-synthetic brush tip, with flexibility as its advertisement tagline. [$29.99]

nomad flex paintbrush stylus

12″ Wooden Male Figure. Made of seasoned hardwood and stuck firmly to a stand, this wooden guy is ready to pose any way you like for your reference. [$6.99]

12 wooden male figure


Adobe Photoshop CC. Besides photo editing, Adobe Photoshop CC is also a perfect painting software with highly customizable brush settings. It includes all professional features of its predecessors and comes with an incredibly low monthly subscription fee. [$19.99/Month for Annual Plan]

adobe photoshop cc

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12. Although its painting capabilities is limited, Photoshop Elements 12 excels in post-processing including level, contrast, saturation, etc. And it helps to organize your files! [$99.99]

adobe photoshop elements 12

Adobe Illustrator CC. If you love making icons, or are of the hardcore type that takes account where each pixel lands, Adobe Illustrator CC is for you. It is now available with an affordable monthly subscription fee. [$19.99/Month for Annual Plan]

adobe illustrator cc

Corel Painter X3. Painter X3 is known for its power to mimic most traditional brushes, textures, wet and dry media to an amazing level of perfection. [$399.00]

corel painter x3

Painter Lite. You could kickstart your digital painting life easier (and cheaper) with Painter Lite, and it still keeps the realistic natural-media painting feature (it behaves like traditional art tools). [$69.99]

painter lite

Clip Paint Studio PRO. Though it’s originally intended for manga drawing, Clip Paint Studio has evolved far enough to be used in industry-standard digital art production. Its tool customization is the killer feature. [$49.99]

clip paint studio pro

Paint Tool SAI. Do not be tricked by SAI’s clean interface, as it is the de facto standard of painting software for most professional Japanese Anime artists. It also comes with line correction feature for a smooth drawing experience. [$53.50]

paint tool sai

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. Sketchbook Pro makes painting a relaxing and enjoyable journey, and it is specially designed for pen tablets. [$59.00]

autodesk sketchbook pro

ArtRage 4. In under $50 you could obtain this software and its surreal painting tools and, a whole bunch of features to make your painting life easier. [$49.90]

artrage 4

Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 9. Photo editing, check. Drawing tools, check. Creative effects, check. File format compatibility, check. Quality software with affordable price, check. [$89.99]

xara photo and graphic designer 9

Poser Pro 2014. The key to good art is correct perspective and posture, and Poser Pro 2014 lets you achieve them with less effort. [$499.99]

poser pro 2014


Adobe Photoshop Touch. Photoshop Touch offers a slew of features for quality photo editing and adjustment. On top of that, you could share your proudest results to social networking websites. [$9.99 for tablet, $4.99 for iOS]

adobe photoshop touch

Procreate. Procreate truly lives up to its name with this professional interface design, its brushes, performance, and an up to 4096×4096 canvas size! No wonder it won the Apple Design Award. [$4.99]


Sketchbook Pro for iPad. Using the same engine from its desktop counterpart, Sketchbook Pro makes sure your painting experience is pleasing on the tablet. [$4.99]

sketchbook pro for ipad

Sketchbook Ink. Different from most painting apps, Sketchbook Ink focuses intensively on the line art, the critical factor that makes an art even bolder and more impressive. [$4.99]

sketchbook ink

Inspire Pro. It’s not just about painting, but also how fast you can paint. Inspire Pro allows you to paint as fast as possible with its performance-based painting engine. [$4.99]

inspire pro

ArtStudio for iPad. ArtStudio certainly has its edge in the mobile painting world with its 450 high-quality brushes and 21-layer blending modes, and 40 filters! [$4.20]

artstudio for ipad

ArtRage for Mobile. Since there’s no Corel Painter for iPad, ArtRage for mobile is your best bet for a realistic painting experience. [$4.99 for iPad, $1.99 for iPhone]

artrage for mobile

Brushes 3. Brushes is free and has a layers upgrade as an app purchase but it’s another fun sketching app you can try out on your mobile device. [Free, $2.99 for Layers Upgrade]

brushes 3

Bamboo Paper. Wacom came out with this digital notebook app to streamline your collection process. You can draw, write and even import photos as reference. [Free, $1.99 for Full Version]

bamboo paper

Paper. Paper is designed with mobile interactivity in mind, so it has no complicated interfaces that mess up your painting process. Its ink engine even tracks your movement and optimizes its tools for a better outcome. [Free, $6.99 for Essentials]


Handy. If you need a 3D sculpture to draw better body parts, you have to try Handy. Pose or change the perspective of the sculpture or shine a light on it to get great color and depth observation that will help you create more realistic paintings. [$1.99]


MARA3D Facial Expressions. Even with 3D software, capturing precise facial expressions could prove a daunting task for an artist, but MARA3D simplifies the process into 2 easy steps: touch and show. [$5.99]

mara3d facial expressions

Books and Magazine

ImagineFX. ImagineFX could be one of your best investments as it comes with inspiring artworks, aspiring artist profiles, premium brushes and software. Also included, professional tutorials in both written and video format. [$8.30/Issue, $31.25/Yearly Subscription]


2DArtist. Whether you are beginner or expert, 2dartist will keep you improving with its collection of techniques, tutorials, reviews and galleries, all jam-packed in each issue. [$4.20/Issue, $33.10/Yearly Subscription]


Fantasy Artist. Fantasy Artist will not only make sure you got plenty of wild resources to inspire great ideas, it will also show you the ways to handle painting tools for even more fantastic production. [$8.30/Issue]

fantasy artist

EXPOSÉ 11. Your mind could explode from the awesomeness you will be getting from EXPOSÉ. Get all the best digital artworks (in the known universe) here. [$69.00]

expose 11

EXOTIQUE 7. If you are having a slow day with creativity, EXOTIQUE is certainly the solution for you to spark more inspiration in your mind while on the go. [$59.00]

exotique 7

Digital Art Masters 8. Just as its name suggests, the book showcases the best artworks from art masters around the world. Plus a sweet bonus: detailed tutorials explaining how each image is done! [$44.10]

digital art masters 8

3D Artist. Seeking enlightenment in digital sculpting? 3D Artist is the magazine where masters share their tips and techniques for you to improve. [$8.30/Issue, $86.00/Yearly Subscription]

3d artist

3D World. Modeling, animation, showcase, software, you could discover the entire world of 3D in this magazine. [$5.50/Issue, $62.50/6 Issues]

3d world

3DCreative. Are you ready to take your modeling technique to the next level? 3DCreative has the resources you need. [$4.20/Issue, $33.10/Yearly Subscription]


Advanced Photoshop. The more you know, the better the artwork you could produce. Advanced Photoshop uncovers all Pro techniques and secret features of Photoshop for more efficient post-processing works. [$8.30/Issue, $85.80/Yearly Subscription]

advanced photoshop

Computer Arts. There are times when we need to look more into design cases and business tips, and Computer Arts is published for these purposes. [$5.50/Issue, $62.50/6 Issues]

computer arts


The Gnomon Workshop. Personal success means aggressive improvement, and aggressive improvement means lots of practice and professional tutorials. Gnomon Workshop is ready to boost your skill aggressively. [$499/Year]

the gnomon workshop

Digital-Tutors. Pay $45 a month and you have complete access to 1300+ courses split among 60+ industry standard software. Smooth difficulty curve guaranteed. [$45/Month, $225/6 Months]

digital tutors

That’s all we have to offer! Artist or not, do share with us which product you will love to receive, or give!


Short Promo Video: Is This The Next Big Thing?

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 05:01 AM PST

We all love to watch creative ads like the one where Jean-Claude Van Damme made an epic (EPIC!) split between two moving trucks, but the same cannot be said of ads on YouTube. Seriously? A 30-second ad where you try to sell me something I don’t need? 3, 2, 1, Skip!

But there is a new trend making the rounds: short promo videos. The idea behind a short promo video is that it tells your audience why they should love your product yet it is not aggressively marketing its products to you. Best of all, they are either 6 or 15 seconds long, bite-sized in comparison with YouTube ads.

Short Promo Video

A short promotional video can convey a message faster and more conveniently. Furthermore, in this era where people are active in social media, videos can go viral quickly if its contents are catchy, creative and empowers the viewer enough to make them click the Share button.

Is Short Video the Future?

To answer this, let’s take a look at some of the numbers.

  • Every 5 tweets on Twitter contains a Vine link.
  • On Instagram, videos have twice the engagement of Instagram photos.
  • 40% of the 1,000 most shared Instagram videos came from brands.
  • Smartphones/tablet owners are 3 times more likely to watch a video than a desktop user would.
  • 92% of videos are being shared by mobile viewers.
  • Video will probably account for two-third of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2017.

The short of it is you can’t afford to ignore the power of short video.

Fun To Watch & To Share

For now, videos shared via social media come in two forms, 6 seconds mostly on Vine, and up to 15 seconds on Instagram. Obviously you can do more with a longer segment but when done right, 6 seconds may just be the perfect length.

As these videos below will show, there are many ways to overcome the limited time, depending on your needs, be it a quick showcase of a product’s new features, or a teaser on upcoming products. There are many ways to get around the limited timeframe, most important of which is the editing and a good storyline. But why tell you when we can show you?

Here are some examples of how some big brands are using short promo videos to send the word out and engage better with their followers and fans. Note the clever use of the Stop Motion technique to get the message across in some of these videos, and tell us your favorite and why.



Mercedez Benz




Red Bull






Hewlet Packard


Volkswagen USA


Disney Parks

Dunkin Donuts

Malibu Rum

Xbox UK


Short promotional videos are less likely to receive resistance from viewers, when compared to a full (and mindlessly boring) 30-second you-must-buy style commercials, which is why we left TV to opt for on-demand streaming online in the first place.

Yet, short promo videos may well be the monetization channel many brands desperately need to tap into and earn from social media. With the right amount of creativity and awesome editing skills, brands may be happy to find out that you will not only voluntarily check out these videos but also share them on your social stream.


Waterfalls Wallpaper [Wallpaper Wednesday]

Posted: 27 Nov 2013 02:01 AM PST

The beauty of waterfalls is very inspiring. How the simple act of water pouring over a cliff can make us awestruck, we may never know but hey, why question something so natural and beautiful? Let’s just dive in and grab a wallpaper photograph to set as a desktop wallpaper instead. It may do wonders to a tired soul and help rejuvenate our strength for the long run.

Waterfalls Wallpaper

We have here 15 amazing shots of breathtaking waterfalls. Dive in and grab one for your desktop or check out other amazing wallpapers we have for lightning, waves, sunsets, rain, mist and clouds instead.

Albion Falls. Available in various sizes.

Albion Falls

Beautiful Niagara Falls. Available in various sizes.

Beautiful Niagara Falls

Forest Trees Waterfall. Available in 1920×1200.

Forest Trees Waterfall

Forest Waterfall. Available in various sizes.

Forest Waterfall

Giant Waterfalls. Available in various sizes.

Giant Waterfalls

Gray And White Falls. Available in various sizes.

Gray And White Falls

Hidden Hampshire Waterfall. Available in various sizes.

Hidden Hampshire Waterfall

Huge Stair-Like Waterfalls. Available in 1600×1200.

Huge Stair Like Waterfalls

Lady Evelyn Waterfalls. Available in various sizes.

Lady Evelyn Waterfalls

Nature Waterfall. Available in 1920×1080.

Nature Waterfall

Niagara Falls. Available in 2560×1600.

Niagara Falls

Skógafoss Waterfall. Available in various sizes.

Skógafoss Waterfall

Small River Waterfall. Available in 2560×1600.

Small River Waterfall

Small Woods Waterfalls. Available in various sizes.

Small Woods Waterfalls

Waterfall Landscape. Available in various sizes.

Waterfall Landscape


Hong Kong – The New Tech Hub of China [Infographic]

Posted: 26 Nov 2013 09:01 PM PST

It’s no secret that the 21st century will belong to China. Asia’s biggest market already has enough economic clout to call the shots where international politics are concerned, and this summer Forbes calmly asserted that a mild contraction in Chinese growth would cause financial Armageddon across the globe.

In short, China is big business. In manufacturing, in agriculture and soon in finance, the world’s last Communist superpower is leading the way. But there’s one vital sector where this 9.7mil km² behemoth seems to be lagging behind a certain tiny neighbour. As far as tech is concerned, Hong Kong may just be the next big thing.

Hotelclub.com have made this possibility the focus of their latest infographic. Aside from tallying up the cost of China’s ‘Great Firewal’’, it reveals the absurd differences in internet speed between HK and the mainland (55 MBPS and 3.5 – 5 MBPS, respectively).

Thanks to discrepancies likes this, foreign investment as a percentage of GDP is growing in Hong Kong as it decreases in mainland China; helped along by business-friendly banking policies and a population that is 90% online. Check out their figures and other arguments below to get a picture of tech’s potential future in this exploding new market.



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