This educational app encourages no-holds-barred creativity in children as they create whimsical faces from a variety of household objects.
Faces iMake was inspired by the work of imaginative artist and educator Hanoch Piven, and was developed by iMagine Machine, for whom this is the first app. The iPhone and iPad app is designed for the creation of digital collages – creativity without the paper, scissors and glue, and without the need for any artistic ability at all.
How to create your collage
The application is very easy to use: you’re presented with a number of ordinary objects, divided into categories like Candy, Tools, School, Kitchen and Letters. Each category offers up a group of related images that you can tap to add to your “canvas”. You can include your own photos and images as well. Mix and match pictures from different categories if you like, or see what a face made completely out of tools looks like.
Once the objects are on the canvas they can be manipulated with finger gestures (these may be a bit difficult for young children to master). Move them around, rotate them, make them larger or smaller, make copies, flip them to get the mirror image, etc. There are almost no restrictions on what you can do, and you certainly don’t have to make a face if you don’t want to. Once your picture is complete you can share it via email or Facebook. The image below came from a gallery of Piven’s creations, which you can use to inspire yourself or even change any way you like.
One of the best parts of Faces iMake is the video lessons given by Hanoch Piven himself. These are simply short movies of Piven playing around and creating faces out of various objects on what looks like his kitchen table. These videos are superlatively charming and make a fantastic addition to the app. He gives tips like adding pupils to the eyes in order to help the face “come alive”, as well as more general encouragement about making images and indulging your imagination.
iMagine Machine is trying very hard to differentiate itself from the innumerable “creative app” developers out there, and we’d say it’s succeeding. One small example: the “About Us” really is “about” the company – tapping this icon will bring you to a page full of words like “original”, “having fun”, “trying things”, “musical”, etc. Funny!
An app carefully designed to bolster children’s creativity
From the background music to the bright and colorful images to that clever “About Us” page, the app is unrelentingly cheerful – there’s really no other way to describe it. This is something that’s undervalued, in the same way that creativity is often underestimated as a useful skill. The freedom to play and to create art (intentionally or not) is something we all need, at any age, and while we may not have the space or the resources to dump a pile of small objects onto our kitchen tables and rearrange them into pleasing shapes, we do have the ability to do this on our tablets.
Images from Faces iMake.
|Good Point||The app is easy to use and projects a general sense of well-being.|
|Bad Point||It’s a little buggy – the app occasionally froze while I was using it.|
|Comment & Tip||Adults should try playing with the app too – it’s amazingly relaxing and will remind you how little time we generally allow ourselves to be creative.|
|App Name||Faces iMake Premium||Developer||iMagine Machine LLC|
|Price||$1.99||Latest Update||November 18, 2010|
|User Age||3 and up||Category||Games|
|Size||27.3MB||OS||iOS 3.0 or later|