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The New Renaissance: A Glimpse Into The World Of Creative App Development By Sarah Jarrett – Part 4

We are delighted to publish our wonderful Columnist Sarah Jarretts 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 – over to you Sarah (foreword by Joanne Carter).

This is my final installment in my series looking at the world of the creative app developer 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.

On Tuesday 01 October we published my interview with Gilles Dezeustre from the 11ers, developers of Glaze: See here

and previously Teresita Alonso Garit from iColorama: See here

and previously James Cuda from Procreate: See here

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 Repix and interview one of its developers Ilkka Teppo.

Key –

SJ/Sarah Jarrett

IT/Illkka Teppo



‘Cool Britannia’ – ©Sarah Jarrett

SJ – I was lucky to be a beta tester for Repix and really enjoyed watching its development. Repix has huge creative potential and many fantastic brushes and presets that enable some really unique effects. The development team have consistently worked to add new effects and improve the performance of the app. I asked Ilkka how the app came into existence,

IT – ‘We are a small team based in Helsinki, Finland. We have a background in image editing and painting apps and wanted to create an app that would be a combination of photo editing and painting. That is how Repix got started.

We have been working with Repix already more than a year and have been developing and experimenting with lots of stuff.Our aim is to make Repix an app that really get people excited and gives them inspiration to create.’

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

IT – ‘We believe there are three things that makes Repix unique. First of all, the simple and clean interface on Repix. We spent lots of time and created many versions before finding the right UX. Secondly the unique Repix brushes. Creating a truly unique experience with the brushes is something we have put a lot of effort. Fortunately for us, users of the app so far like our work and are asking for more. Thirdly, the real-time Repix engine, gives users smooth experience independent of their device.’

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?

IT – ‘We follow the #repix in Instagram and Twitter as well as the Flickr group. We also get a lots of feedback to email and Facebook. We truly appreciate all of the support and feedback of our users. It’s them that are shaping Repix going forward and we love that.’


‘The Longing’ – ©Sarah Jarrett

SJ – 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?

IT – ‘The technology and app business changes so fast, that an app is never ready.’

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

IT – ‘Every year the smartphone performance and OS capabilities are increasing opening up completely new opportunities.’

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

IT – ‘Not much, its more the users and new OS and hardware opportunities that affects our development plans.’


‘The Polkadot Bow’ – ©Sarah Jarrett

SJ – How competitive is the market?

IT – ‘Its true that there are lots of apps in photo category, but overall quality is still fairly low. We believe that by building something that’s beautiful to use and offers something totally unique, you have a strong chance of getting success.’

SJ – How difficult is being an app developer?

IT – ‘It’s a risky and hit driven business just like movies and music. But it’s a very exciting and amazing channel for small teams like us to get their work on hands of millions of users. So, its difficult, but fun ’


‘Reach’ – ©Sarah Jarrett

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

IT – ‘Our aim is to ensure we keep innovating and introducing new features and apps that our users will love. Ten years is very long time in this business. With Repix we are looking fairly short steps ahead. Right now we’re working hard on some super cool new brushes with some stunning effects, more generic editing tools and overall quality and usability improvements. On top of Repix we are working on two new apps for the photo category. More about those later this year.’

SJ – Thank you very much Ilkka for generously giving your time.

Repix/iOS link

Repix/Android link


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.


  • Kevin Kuster

    I have been a big fan of your work for sometime and have recently be loving your features on Look forward to reading more!

  • Carolyn Hall Young

    Thank you for another terrific interview. Your time and effort, Joanne, Sarah, and Ale, is very much appreciated by me.