January 23, 2014

Canvas & DrawQuest bite the dust

Maybe it’s good that I never talked Adobe into building a “Photoshop Tennis” app—one centered on enabling iterative, back-and-forth image compositing & remixing among friends & strangers. That’s the vision with which I started the app that became Photoshop Touch, and I was enthusiastic about Mixel (“social collaging for everyone”).

This week the creators of Canvas pulled the plug on it, just like the Mixel creators before them. If people want to mash up images together, no one’s yet found the magic recipe. (I’ve grown similarly skeptical about collaborative drawing and filmmaking. I want to be proven heinously, laughably wrong… but we’ll see.)

Meanwhile the Canvas creators also announced the demise of DrawQuest, a social, gameified drawing tool. DrawQuest actually got more active use than I would have guessed: “Launched a year ago to inspire people to take on daily bouts of creativity through drawing challenges, it reached 1.4 million downloads, 550,000 registered users, 400,000 monthly users, 25,000 daily users, and 8 million drawings.” Pretty impressive for an iPad-only creation app!

It’s hard to make a living here, though. As TechCrunch points out, the creators “found that selling paint brushes in a drawing app is a lot harder than selling extra lives in Candy Crush.” That sucks.

Appin’ ain’t easy, and I salute these guys for taking some swings & at least discerning a pocket of interest. As always I’m eager to hear your thoughts on these developments.

Posted by John Nack at 7:50 AM on January 23, 2014

Comments

  • Alex — 11:40 AM on January 23, 2014

    Maybe I am totally old fashioned or just old, but to me creativity is a trait that one has or does not. It can not be activated with a tool or a “bout” of inspiration or whatever….. Creativity is what my wife has- she looks at a white wall in her studio, suddenly she picks up a piece of fabric from her ‘stash’ of thousands of yards of dyed fabrics she has made over a 30 year period, and cuts a piece of it and puts it on a spot on the wall. A year later she enters it in a art contest and wins.The process she tells me is what is in her heart and mind.

    Me- give me a mission-anything, and I will create it- I am an engineer. You can give me a million tools and I will create nothing, but “tool marks”. That is the difference. “Tool marks” and real creativity.

    Bottom line- we need to know what we are and that not all of us will be “stars”. Very few will be that- some. like my wife, won’t take the star. She shuns publicity and awards and reporters. She has pieces that are truly art. She won’t let me send images to any gallery anywhere. Others, DaVinci, Dali, etc, become the definition of our view of ‘art’ The definition of art is outside the parameters of this blog. :)

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