Things are progressing fast for students in a variety of subjects, and the art-room is no exception. The gear required to perform the tasks of contemporary artists have also advanced considerably. Here we selected a couple of cool gadgets, tools of the trade, and toys, to get your child acclimated to these very creative times and looking past the pens, pencils, paint, and canvas of yore. Here’s some gear that will stimulate and mold your child’s mind to embrace that creative spark within.
Lomo’Instant Automat Cabo Verde + Lenses
What was old eventually becomes new again, as the saying goes, and this cute little camera from Lomography is the perfect example of that. With the vast potential of digital photography, it can be refreshing to go back to the basics and learn the importance of getting your shot the first time instead of repeating the attempt over and over again. Automat Cabo Verde lets you push the boundaries with color gel flash filters, unlimited multiple exposures, a remote control lens cap and you can also use the close-up, wide-angle, or fisheye lens attachments and get a whole new perspective on your instant escapades. This small camera uses Fujifilm Instax Mini Film, so there’s no need to go through the hassle of getting your pics developed.
Wacom Intuos Draw
Throw out the pen and paper and begin learning what is now an essential tool for any digital artist. Wacom pads are synonymous with pen tablet technology, and the free downloadable sketching software and training will get you started creating your own digital illustrations in no time at all. Making the move to digital art couldn’t be easier with an Intuos pen tablet. The comfortable, pressure-sensitive pen makes drawing and painting feel natural, just like pen on paper. This is the entry level pen tablet but there also others, sold for a pretty penny, which make use of an HD display so that there is less looking up and down between your tablet and computer screen.
StikBots are a unique, posable, and collectible figurine! At a basic level, they are fidget toys that are perfect for imaginative play. Their unique design allows for easy positioning on any flat surface thanks to their suction-cup hands and feet. This makes them perfect for creating stop-motion animation movies using their supplementary animation app for iPhone and Android operating systems. The set also includes a tripod to quickly and securely set up your smartphone for filming, along with a mini stage with a green screen and two prop boxes. This is an excellent gift for learning the basics of animation!
XYZprinting da Vinci 3D Pen
The da Vinci 3D Pen is a standalone device that can create 3D printed objects without the need of computers or Computer-assisted Design software. If you are anything like us, then it is possible that the prospects of a standalone 3D printer are a little overwhelming. After all, we grew up with shop class, not maker’s spaces. This tool, in addition to being an excellent introduction to the world of 3D printing, allows you to experience the basics in a pen-like enclosure so that you can draw 3D objects and models. The potential for fun, creative applications are astounding! What’s more, it is very safe! The da Vinci 3D Pen Education Package (sold separately) is a helpful guide for educators to incorporate the da Vinci 3D Pen in the classroom or at home.
If you want to get the virtual reality set with most creative applications, then look no further the HTC Vive. With programs like Tilt Brush and LAB4242 PaintLab VR, this headset has really set itself apart regarding its artistic potential. Imagine being able to download an immersive scene created by a legendary Disney animator then being able to edit it yourself. This is what the HTC Vive offers. The only drawback is that it doesn’t come cheap. If you are looking for a more reasonably priced introduction to the world of virtual reality, we can also recommend the Playstation VR headset, which obviously has great gaming potential but is limited in terms of its submersion abilities. How often in your lifetime will a new creative medium like VR arrive? That’s exactly what this is! Keep in mind that VR is not recommended for use by younger children as it can be very disorientating.
Kano Computer Kit
Along with being a Raspberry Pie powered laptop that is easily assembled, it is also a powerful art creation tool that can also teach the basics of coding. With the Kano Computer Kit, you get all of the essential components making it the perfect first computer for your child. After the easy build, you can use written code and blocks to create interactive art, animations, and beautiful masterpieces of both sound and image. This is a fantastic device that has many learning benefits and advantages over your average tablet device.
Photos: Taobao, JD.com, Amazon.cn
This article appeared on p18-19 of beijingkids February 2018 issue.