Price: Free / Up to $52.99 per month
Adobe has a ton of apps for artists available these days. On the photography side of things, you have a couple of different versions of Photoshop along with Adobe Lightroom. People who draw and sketch can pick up Illustrator Draw, Comp CC, and others. People who work in the video medium have a Adobe Premiere Clip and Adobe Premiere Rush (new in 2019). The list goes on and on. All these apps can be connected to their desktop counterparts for a full mobile-to-PC experience. The apps work on their own, but you can get more features and better cross-platforms support if you pick up an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
Price: Free / Up to $4.99
ArtFlow is a drawing and painting app. It features 70 brush types, various additional tools, and all kinds of other stuff. You can do color adjustments, paint on high resolution canvas (up to 4096×4096), up to 16 layers, and even pressure simulation for a bit of realism. Finally, you can export to PNG, JPEG, or even PSD (Photoshop) in case you want to continue your work on Photoshop for desktop. This is about as good as it gets in the drawing apps category without joining a family of apps like Adobe or Autodesk. It’s a lot of fun and it’s even good for older kids. You can get this one for free with Google Play Pass if you use it.
Former Autodesk apps
Price: Free / Varies
Autodesk has been around Google Play for a while. They also have a ton of great apps for artists. Their apps tend to be a little more in-depth and professional than most. You have stuff like SketchBook (Google Play) for those who like to doodle and it comes with a ton of tools. It is now entirely free as well. Pixlr (Google Play) lets people lightly edit photos while AutoCAD 360 lets you design things. Some of their apps, like AutoCAD, is cross-platform compatible with their desktop counterparts. They have a variety of apps and they’re definitely good enough to be worth looking at. Sketchbook and Pixlr broke off of Autodesk officially, but they’re still actively developed and still work well.
BandLab is a music recording app that can also act as a DAW (digital audio workstation). It’s a relatively simple DAW comparatively speaking, but it’s more than enough to get you started on mobile. It features 12 track recording, built-in tools like a guitar tuner and metronome, and cross-platform support with its desktop app. Additionally, there’s a community aspect where you can collaborate with other artists, check out what other people are doing, and find support. It’s a great app for those looking to record some of their own music and one of the more worthy apps for artists.
FL Studio Mobile
Price: $15.99 with additional in-app purchases
FL Studio Mobile is the mobile version of Fruity Loops. This is a music creation app with a ton of features. It focuses more on electronic music creation and you’ll be able to add things like a MIDI controller, various audio effects, a built-in piano roll editor to find specific chords, and you can even share data between the Android, iOS, and Windows versions of the app. About the only downside is that it’s a little bit expensive and there is a rather steep learning curve. You can also buy additional synths and effects in the in-app store. It’s one of the more powerful apps for artists.
LayerPaint HD is a very capable drawing app. In fact, it’s probably one of the best available. It has a laundry list of features including support for Photoshop PSD files, multiple layers, various drawing and editing tools, and various hotkeys like undo, redo, and and more. This gives artists tons of freedom and tools to make all kinds of glorious artwork. The app is usable on phones. However, we really only recommend this on a tablet of some sort. There are so many UI elements and tools that a phone screen is simply too small in most cases. There is a $2.99 version and a $6.99 version. If we’re making recommendations, we’d tell you to just get the $6.99 one. It’s only $4 more.
PowerDirector Video Editor
Price: Free / Up to $5.99
PowerDirector Video Editor is probably the best video editor currently on Android. It works similarly to ones that you find on desktop. You’ll be able to drop clips in, cut them up, add some audio, photos, and other media. Then you can render the video. It comes with some decent features, including video effects, audio effects, basic editing tools, and you can even render video in 4K if your phone can handle it. It should be noted that you’ll need to buy it if you want the 4K and 1080p rendering. PowerDirector won’t replace Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or others like that. However, it’s a great video editor in a pinch if you need to do it on mobile.
Sell on Etsy
Sell on Etsy is app that lets artists sell their stuff on Etsy. A lot of people dabble in physical art including things like paintings, t-shirt designs, crafts, 3D printer stuff, and other things. Eventually, there will be the urge to make some space and sell some of that stuff. Etsy is one of the better places for independent artists to sell their wares to the world around them. The Sell on Etsy app lets you manage your Etsy shop and includes things like order management, stats, activity feeds, and customer interaction. Selling stuff and the business side is irritating, but this app helps make it less stressful. You can also try eBay and, to a lesser extent, Amazon for other options.
Price: Free / $7-$15 per month
SoundCloud is one of the best places for musicians and artists to put up their content. You can upload your music for free (mostly) and SoundCloud provides a rock solid platform for people to stream your stuff. A free account can upload a certain number of tracks. You can pay for a subscription for more access if you have more tracks to upload. This app, along with Reverbnation and YouTube, provide great places for musicians and artists to upload and show their music without costing them any money. It’s definitely worth a shot.
RoughAnimator is an animation app. It allows you to draw images per frame and then connect them all together in a little video. It offers up an unlimited number of layers. On top of having drawing features and layering, there are also some editing features for turning your drawings into a full blown animation. On top of all of that, you can import files into Adobe Flash and After Effects. It’s inexpensive and good for beginners and intermediate artists. It’s not as well known, but it’s one of the better apps for artists.
If we missed any of the best Android apps for artists, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.