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Put Your Pens To Work With Sktchy Portrait App

Sktchy logoSktchy is a nifty little iPhone app we recommend for those of you with an artistic bent.

The concept is extremely simple: People upload pics of themselves and artists then create sketches, paintings, etc. based on those pics and add them back to the Sktchy collective.

The app – which is free – allow you to browse a library of photos provided by people hoping to be captured by artists, and also allows you to follow specific artists that you like.

The photos serve only as inspiration; it's up to the individual artists to determine how to interpret them creatively.

We didn't want to post any of the artists' work without permission, but you can see examples of their creations and interviews with Sktchy artists at the Sktchy blog.

In the video below, Cambridge artist Dave Gaskin explores the Sktchy app, including one cool portrait a fellow artist created of Gaskin wearing a Storm Trooper biker scout helmet. (He also shows and talks about his mobile art kit, which is small, but packed with useful gear.)

According to WLRN, a public radio/television station in South Florida, the Sktchy app began as a series of art parties in Miami focused on portraiture. From there, the idea to take the project international began.

From the station's website:

After the popularity of Sketchy Miami parties and the subsequent online fervor, [Jordan]Melnick and his team decided they needed a more streamlined process for sharing this idea on a larger scale. A simple blog was too unwieldy in terms of time and presentation, and more complex coding seemed necessary. Uploading each picture and artist bio took too much time.

Melnick muses about the process by relaying some questions that the team asked, “what would the ideal website be for this project? Which led us from website to app. We started thinking, what should this thing be? What’s the right home for it? Essentially what we developed is a social network.”

Now, artists from more than 60 countries reportedly are part of the Sktchy community, and there are 30,000+ pieces of original artwork in the Sktchy library.

Unfortunately, Sktchy is not yet available to Android users. In a Facebook post last month, the Sktchy guys reported, "Our small team is currently working hard on improving the iOS app, but launching on Android is one of our biggest goals. Stay tuned!"

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