Clibe makes iPad sketching simple and social.

Clibe makes iPad sketching simple and social. Image courtesy

MANILA, Philippines — For years now, artists and designers have had blogs and social media to give the general public access to their studios and lives. But what if you could peek into artists’ very thought processes? What if you could see their sketches evolve day by day, before they’re actualized into stunning installations?

That’s the idea behind Clibe, a new iPad app out and, for the moment, available for free on the iTunes Store. Taking advantage of the iPad’s large screen real estate and the growing popularity of styluses, Clibe makes the sketchbook social.

As with popular drawing apps on the iPad, you simply sketch out your thoughts, with brush, marker and pen options. You can add photos and text and a variety of colors, while applying different page types. While the drawing tools are not as rich as other apps Clibe adds a simple dimension: social. This isn’t the first service to do that, Mixel was reviewedon Hyperallergic last mont, but Clibe does it differently.

The interface is simple and straightforward, making it easy to just begin sketching. Image courtesy

The interface is simple and straightforward, making it easy to just begin sketching. Image courtesy

“Clibe is a space for collaboration, inspiration and fun,” explained founder Roberto Tagliabue in an email interview. “It is a big challenge because today pen and paper are still unmatched in terms of speed and ease of access, but once you add the social and collaborative aspect that Clibe brings, then the experience is all different.”

Despite my love of new technology, it’s always seemed silly to me to draw on the iPad or iPhone (New Yorker cover artists aside). Why not just use pen and paper? I even tried out a number of sketching apps for the iPad, like SketchBookX and Doodle Buddy, but found myself turned off by making brush-like strokes on glass.

Lena Kim's Learn Hangul journal features fun sketches and Korean script.

Lena Kim’s Learn Hangul journal features fun sketches and Korean script.

It’s the cloud aspect that gives Clibe its edge: by being effortlessly social — as soon as you connect to the internet, your sketches are uploaded — the apps makes it easy to share doodles and thoughts. With a host of privacy features, it can even be used as a dedicated project notebook for focused collaboration. Or, for the eager artist to be seen in you, it can be shared with the world.

“There is actually a teacher that uses Clibe in the classroom to teach Spanish,” Tagliabue noted. “She creates a journal and writes on each page the name — in Spanish — of some objects in the classroom. The kids have to find that object in the class and build a creative page about it, take a photo, make a sketch, or anything else.”

Indeed, the possibility of collaborative doodling gives the app its potential. In the physical world, artists often share doodles and sketches, but Clibe could take that to a different level, allowing easier, more natural collaboration across long distances. The app is straightforward and easy to use, and it’s fun to watch the journals of others evolve.

Interested? You can download the app on the iTunes store. Even if you don’t have an iPad, you can also browse and subscribe to a number of online journals. These are a few I like, and you can find more on Clibe’s Facebook page.

Download Clibe for free in the iTunes store here.

AX Mina (aka An Xiao Mina) is an author, artist and futures thinker who follows her curiosity. She co-produces Five and Nine, a podcast about magic, work and economic justice. 

3 replies on “New iPad App Makes Sketching Social”

  1. while it is nice to see the posts in a sketchbook format and the quality of work is strong, i would rather see something like on the ipad where different artists have the ability to draw together and truly create a dialogue between images.  the only thing social about the app is that you get to see other peoples sketches

  2. another social sketching app worth checking it out is Sketch Club. it does social with sharing of sketches, enabling co-ops, competitions and challenges.

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