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Programs, Platforms and Software, Oh My!

“Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite – getting something down”

– Julia Cameron

If you are an artist and you are looking for the best platform, program or software to "get down" those creative art ideas, then this blog post is dedicated to you. I give to you, my findings on the best & most affordable creative softwares (etc.). I too have been there, wanting to create, and not only not knowing which platform or whatever was the best to use, but which wouldn't break my bank. I want to share with you all my knowledge and experience with different programs, softwares and platforms for designing, and creativity.

Now, first you may ask, "aren't software and programs the same thing?" I am going to nerd out on you all for a second, the answer is, in a sense yes. Programs are a collection of instructions that perform specific tasks when executed by a computer. Software, is a set of instructions or date programed to use and operate computers and execute specific tasks. This includes all programs a computer such as applications and the OS (operating system). Got that? I know, it probably doesn't make sense, especially if you're not a computer junkie, but I digress. Let's get on with the more important stuff.

First off, of course I am going to tell you (and so will Google), that Adobe products are the best, because they are all cohesive and Adobe Cloud is so convenient, yes, we all know that.

Personally, I absolutely am enamored with Adobe Illustrator. If you were to Google which Adobe program was most popular though, it would tell you Photoshop, which is understandable, because you can do more things with it in terms of photography (obviously). But, I always say, user's choice, there is no wrong answer when it comes to using these two for graphics, or designing content. My preference is Illustrator though.

"OMG already! Get to the good stuff, Kate!" Alright, alright! Here it comes... Below are a list of my favorite software + programs, and platforms for creativity, doodling, editing, creating, and design. I will also include a top rated search from Google and what they feel is the top ranked, but I guarantee you it will not be pocketbook friendly :')

Sidenote: I am trying to cover all areas of creativity so if you don't see one that fits your fancy then email, text, DM, snail-mail, smoke signals, message-in-a-bottle, however you prefer to get in touch with me, and I will do some digging for you - XOXO!

Personal Choices!


Photo Editing Related -

Adobe Illustrator - vector graphics editor. - like I said my favorite, and use it everyday for creating graphics for social media, campaigns for clients, color swatches, and typography. Coincided with this are free online Adobe platforms Adobe Kuler (color wheel creation) and Adobe Typography (finding and downloading free fonts)

$19.99/month Creative Cloud Introductory Pricing


PortraitPro Std - Windows and Mac based portrait imaging enhancement software targeted at professional and keen amateur photographers - absolutely my favorite, better than photoshop can totally edit like a professional and it is SO EASY!

$45 Standard

$70 Studio

$140 Studio Max

Designing & Creation Related -

Procreate - raster graphics editor app for digital painting (iPad) - best for drawing, creating images or typography.



Dribble - self-promotion /social networking platform for digital designers and creators. Serves as a portfolio platform for designers to share their work online - best for creating account to share your personal creations or getting inspiration (like moi!)

Free Version or

$60 Dribbble Pro

$180/year Pro Business

Pinterest - image sharing + social media service designed to enable saving and discovery of information using images, GIFs and videos (in the form of pinboards) - best for linking back to your website and gaining foot traffic if you post your own content.

Free Version or

$14.99/month Single Plus Plan

Canva - graphic design platform where you can create social media graphics, presentations, posters and many other visual content items. Web and mobile, versions available (even an app, which I use) Integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations. - best for quick content creation, sizing of your product, & inspiration of layout.

Free Version or

$9.95/month (paid annually)

$12.95/month (paid monthly)

Etsy - e-commerce website based around handmade/vintage items and crafts (ie: jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor and furniture, toys, art, supplies/tools) - best for selling + networking with other similar clientele and creating an online retail business.

Free Version or

$10-/month + posting costs

Behance - social media platform owned by Adobe to showcase and discover creative work. - best for portfolio and inspiration searching

Free Version or


Shift - computer application for streamlining all of your accounts, other apps, and workflows. Connect 1,200+ to choose from and create the perfect workflow. - great for quick easy access of emailing, to creating, to social networking and highly highly recommend.

Free Trial + Free Version or

$99.99/year (sometimes offers discounts)

Researched Options!


#1 Rated) Adobe Photoshop - raster graphics editor

$9.99/month - Photography plan

$20.99/month - Single App plan

#2) Affinity Designer - vector graphics editor

$49.99 one time fee

#3) Rebelle - used to create realistic watercolour, acrylic, wet and dry media artwork

$90 one time fee

#4) Procreate (also recommended by me)

#5) Clip Studio Paint Pro - drawing /painting tool for manga and comic artists

$49.99 standard

$219 pro


#1) Dayflash - photo/video app + social networking platform used to inspire public self-expression and creativity


#2) ArtStation - games, film, media & entertainment artists. Allows artists to showcase portfolios, discover/stay inspired, & connect to new opportunities

$6.99/month when paid annually

#3) DeviantArt - one of the largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts, and a platform for emerging & establishing artists to exhibit, promote, & share their works with the art-centric community

$5/month - Core Membership (discounted rates for more months paid at 1 time)

#4) The Dots - professional network for creative talent allowing you to showcase your work, connect and potentially land your next full time or freelance job for world leading companies

$200-$900 (one time fee) depending on the plan you choose

#5) Dribbble - (Also chosen by me so you get the picture)

I hope these listings gave you some perspective. They cover a wide range of applications on the creative spectrum, so hopefully this helps you find the one you are looking for!

So like my quote at the beginning, "get something down!" Get started! GO! You have the opportunity to start spreading your creativity with the world!

If you have anything else you would like to see, know about or are interested in, comment here or give me a shout! I will gladly make it happen!



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