Bottom Line: Terrific art app, with instructional videos, a fun music video, and tons of functionality, including importing pictures from the device.
Between reviews and my kids, I've tried a lot of art apps. So, when I test a new one, the first things I notice are what makes it different (or not so different) from the other paid and free apps on the market.
The first part of TJ's Art Studio that stands out is the inclusion of five (!) videos to explain how to use it and, since they are hosted by TJ (a talking pencil), they're going to be more interesting than most how-to videos or instructions. The videos could have been condensed into one, but the way it is done works well because the instructions in each are short and the rest of each is watching how to use it.
The process is simple: Pick a pal (a pencil, paintbrush, or marker), a tip size, and a color, and then draw. There is an eraser, which can also be adjusted size-wise and an erase all button. There are also undo and redo buttons, which can go backward and forward through several actions. I like that the possible selections are all labeled: "pick a pal, pick a size, pick a color."
The app also features a large number of stickers, including numbers, uppercase letters, and basic math signs, that can be adjusted in size or direction and locked into play. (Make sure your child knows how to lock the stickers into place.) Background color or images can be selected. User photos from the device can also be imported and used, which is a important addition since it opens the app up to a world of other possibilities. Completed art work can be shared via email or saved on the device.
TJ's Art Studio really has all of the basics covered, meaning you can buy it and not have to worry about most of the other art apps available.
My oldest son LOVES TJ's Art Studio. Like "OK, buddy, it's time to try something else" loves. I think his strong interest started with the videos, and the instructions they provided made him much more comfortable playing the app. I've heard him singing the instructions while playing...and getting Ryan to stick with an art project is not easy. He loves to take the pictures of TJ and his friends and create scenes around them, even altering their faces to the fit the scene. For Ryan, that's huge.
His love for the app has also inspired his siblings to work with it quite a bit. It's had a tremendously long active life on our iPad.
If you would like to download TJ's Art Studio, please use the links provided. Thanks for your support!
UmaChaka Media, the developer of the TJ's Art Studio, is an advertiser at smartappsforkids.com