Sarah Jarrett
COLUMNS,  News,  The New Renaissance

The New Renaissance : A Glimpse Into The World Of Creative App Development By Sarah Jarrett

We are thrilled to publish our wonderful Columnist Sarah Jarrett’s latest article to her The New Renaissance Column. This section has a wide remit and takes the form of interviews with artists about their working techniques, looking at approaches to a particular theme by different artists, showcase some unusual collaborations between Sarah and other artists and offers insight into apps and their creative uses.

Sarah herself explains, ‘I am really passionate about this whole area, I have my ear to the ground and guarantee to uncover some really inspiring ideas.

This week Sarah interviews James Cuda Co-founder of Savage Interactive, the developers of the hugely popular Procreate app. This is a fascinating feature and is a series of four interviews that we will be publishing over the coming weeks, over to you Sarah. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).

Key –

SJ/Sarah Jarrett

JC/James Cuda


“The digital toolbox of apps for creatives has never seen a better time as the fast pace of developing technology and intense competition opens up more and more exciting possibilities. One area I know very little about is the world of the app developer, curiosity has finally got the better of me and I have been lucky to gain some insight through interviews with James Cuda, co-founder of Procreate, Teresita Alonso Garit developer of iColorama, Ilkka Teppo developer at Repix and Gilles Dezeustre from the 11ers,developer at Glaze.

All four of these unique apps are profoundly integrated into my own creative journey in iPhoneography and the insight and feedback they all gave, makes for a fascinating read. They will be published each Tuesday for the next four weeks. In each installment I will illustrate the article with images I’ve made using mainly the featured app to demonstrate some of its individual, creative strengths. The most striking aspect from all the developers I interviewed is their intense, individual dedication to their app and its development and the genuine pride they have in their achievements.

This week I feature Procreate and interview co-founder James Cuda…”


Portrait ‘La Vie en Rouge’ – © Sarah Jarrett

SJ – Procreate (Sketch.Paint.Create) was recently awarded an Apple Design Award honouring outstanding Design and Innovation. Quite a remarkable achievement in its brief two year existence. I was interested to find out how the app came into being,

JC – ‘We wanted to develop an illustration app that could rival or exceed the desktop for performance and capability. We felt if we achieved that, we could transform the iPad into a true next-generation drawing tablet, free from bulky PC towers and tethered drawing tablets. Unlike Adobe, we didn’t see the iPad as a consumption device or ‘companion’ to the PC. We saw the iPad as the new PC. It was this line of thinking that guided us during every step of the design and development process.’

SJ – What do you think makes this app so unique? What stands it apart from others?

JC – ‘Procreate is the only iPad illustration app aimed at the professional illustrator. And of course it has all the depth you would expect from software aimed at professionals, many of which are unique to Procreate like our 4K canvas size. This ultra-high definition canvas translates into 16 mega-pixel or 4096 x 4096 pixels in size. Other major features include 64-bit colour, blistering performance thanks to our OpenGL Silica engine, custom brushes, up to 128 layers, over 120 beautiful tools for sketching, inking, painting and airbrushing, plus many other wonderful and imaginative digital tools!

But I think Procreate’s most compelling features are the things you can’t really quantify on paper. Thoughtful details, intelligent multi touch gestures and care throughout the app, combine to form a beautiful environment in which to be creative. I think the fact it’s well designedand fully featured, is the main reason artists keep coming back to Procreate.’

SJ – How much attention do you pay as an app developer to the imagery being created with the app? Does this influence its ongoing development? Do you interact with your users?

JC – ‘We’re a very hands-on company. Artists are creating amazing artworks using Procreate and we spend a great deal of our time talking directly to these artists. These relationships invariably impact the development of Procreate, almost always in a positive way.’

Is there a point when you see the app has reached a state of perfection and needs no further changes? Do you feel compelled by competition to keep making the app better?

‘We’re guided by our own compass and driven by our own incessant need to better our past work. In a sense, we are our biggest competitor. And we believe there is always room for improvement.’


Portrait ‘The Blackbird’s Song’ – © Sarah Jarrett

SJ – How fast is technology changing in creating apps that can offer users a better and better experience?

JC – ‘I think the most interesting trend in the software industry is the rise of design. In 2013, great design is no longer an advantage.It’s mandatory. This thinking is really changing how we interact and experience technology for the better.’

SJ – Do other apps influence what changes you make to the app?

SJ – ‘We have a very precise vision of Procreate. The only outside influence we allow into our roadmap, is the collective voice of the Procreate community. We listen toProcreate artists very carefully and make sure that at every stage, we are developing a tool that empowers them to be creative.’

SJ – How competitive is the market?

JC – ‘The high-end illustration market is quite niche, but iOS as a platform, is exceptionally competitive.’

SJ – How difficult is being an app developer?

JC – ‘It’s easy to register as a developer, download the tools and create an app. But to produce compelling software which truly impacts someone’s life, is something else entirely. It’s a lot of hard work and consumes our life. Thankfully we find it incredibly rewarding and meaningful!’


Portrait ‘Things that were left unsaid’ – © Sarah Jarrett

SJ – What vision do you have of apps in ten years time? Where is the technology going?

JC – ‘Ten years might be a bit hard to call. But for the near future, I think the iPad app revolution will continue to expand and disrupt many different industries.’

SJ – Anything else you would like to add?

JC – ‘I recommend growing a beard and taking a short holiday. It really puts things into perspective.’

SJ – Thank you so much James Cuda for generously giving your time.

Don’t miss my interview with Teresita Alonso Garit from iColorama on Tuesday 24 September 2013, only here on

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Sarah completed her degree and postgraduate studies at Harrow School of Art & Brighton University in 1992 specializing in Photography. She was singled out in her final year for special bursary prizes from both Kodak and Agfa. After graduating Sarah taught Art, Textiles & Photography in Brighton and continued to exhibit her work in London, Brighton, Cambridge and Norfolk. In 1998 she began to freelance full time and began to experiment with painting onto her own large color photographic prints with oils and sewing onto the surface with a sewing machine in an attempt to develop a unique way of working with photography. It drew immediate attention from magazines and publishers and secured her first print and publishing deals. Sarah now works with digital media using both the iPhone and iPad. The main focus in her images today is still in making photographic images look like paintings and in capturing dreamlike, ethereal beauty. To have a unique voice in her work is still very important to Sarah.