GDC 2012 - Call for Submissions


  • The selected submissions to be used as the theme (background) of Autodesk M&E’s Twitter account for 1 month.    
  • Get an article published in “In the News” section at AREA, recognizing the author and linking to his/her portfolio or personal website.

If you love games, film, and television, this is your chance to contribute to a media showcasing the best work of industry professional and aspiring artists. Let Autodesk help you make your friends jealous by showcasing your Sketchbook as the theme for our 5 000 + followers Twitter account and the 400’000 registered users of AREA.

Deadline: March 9/2012




Thanks to everyone who submitted a sketch for the YEAR OF THE DRAGON Fun Challenge. This was definitely a popular theme with contributors from around the world.  Check out the slideshow below to see the awesome variety. 



SketchBook Sightings

It is always a treat when we see or hear about SketchBook appearing in different places,  print, advertising, or being used by interesting people.  Last year's appearance in Virgin America national multi-media campaign is a classic example that still brings back memories of randomly seeing SketchBook on billboards and bus shelters. 

We thought we would share 3 recent 'SIGHTINGS' of SketchBook Pro for iPad...

FEBRUARY 7 - Harper's Bazaar UK

SketchBook gets listed among 3 apps in The Apps You Need This Fashion Week by Isla Cunningham.

"...fuse the art of the past with the technology of the future and get sketching on the front row with SketchBook Pro – perfect for a spot of old-school illustration with cutting-edge technology."

The art of Francesco Salvati (Italy), Justin Rawcliffe (UK), and Kyle Runciman (Canada) get featured with the post!


 FEBRUARY 2 - Valentine's...

You may have spotted SketchBook in some of the recent Valentine's Day material from Apple.  Sporting a beautiful heart-shaped sketch, SketchBook Pro is a natural fit for...


JANUARY 16 - Zoom Vapor 9 Tour

Nike's design legend Tinker Hatfield partners with Roger Federer to introduce the Zoom Vapor 9 Tour!  The iPad and SketchBook Pro played a big part in this cool collaboration between Hatfield and Federer! 

We hope to share more about Mr. Hatfield in the very near future!

If you catch any cool sightings of SketchBook from anywhere in the world, email us and let us know!


Art for Hope Interview - Joseph Strachan

Over the next few weeks, SketchBook News will be highlighting some of the contributors to the ART FOR HOPE e-book; Featuring 40 artists with 100% of proceeds going to Architecture for Humanity for Japan Disaster Relief.  For more information go to

Joseph Strachan was born in the town of Brookfield in Illinois, but spent most of his childhood in Mexico City. After graduating high school, he went to the Art Institute of Seattle.  After graduating he started doing storyboards for numerous production companies in Mexico.

Today, he continues to work from Mexico City.  In addition to storyboarding, he also does illustration and prop design. Some of the most recognized projects he has worked on include Dragonball: Evolution, Nacho Libre and The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.

Joseph's contribution to ART FOR HOPE, "Flight of the Phoenix" is featured on page 74 of the e-book.


I felt a strong pull to contribute in my  own small way to Japan's cause, and this [Art for Hope] seemed like a very good, very enticing vehicle to achieve that, since it was an open invitation to artists and sponsored by companies I quite admire and respect. I am a fan of the country as well, culturally and historically, so that was my "grain of sand" to lend them a helping hand. To put it simply, it was a very appealing convergence of elements, so I jumped in at the opportunity wholeheartedly.

I remember spending about three days trying to come up with a good visual concept, especially since the idea of "hope" can have hundreds of interpretations (almost all of them very vague for artistic purposes), so how do you translate that in visual terms, and in one single image? That was the biggest challenge. When you're doing an illustration, a basic concept is always a plus. Otherwise you just end up doing something you've done over and over again. So this tested my ability to think it through, not just treating it as mindless artistic practice. I hit upon an idea that was very appealing to me, which was a samurai standing on top of a heap of rubble, raising a banner with the kanji equivalent of the word "hope". An army of phoenix birds rose to the call, swarming all around this samurai.

It sounds pretty exciting, right? Well, in actual execution, I wasn't all that pleased with it at all, so I abandoned that idea. Then, while taking a shower, an image of a little girl cheering a phoenix on came to my mind, and it felt like a winning idea. It just seemed more appropriate for the overall tone of the project, and much simpler. If you have any experience with illustration, you will know that simplicity is always more effective. Next was catering to the style that the piece required. "Cartoony" style is not something I tend to gravitate to, but it just seemed like a better fit. I'm also a trained animator, so that style wasn't that foreign to me. Once I settled on those basic elements, work began...

Hope to me is similar to feeling a "second wind". You are tired, exhausted all possibilities, and you feel like you can't go on... but then a small particle of positive emotion shines through telling you that there's always another chance, or another possibility, and that feeling inspires you to keep going. Hope is blind, because it's rare to have visible evidence that things will get better,  but it is a choice, and it is always available to us. It gives you eyes in the darkness, to state it poetically. That idea that maybe, just maybe, there's more to the story, and through hope, we open the doors to find out. We all find relief in that.

With having that general idea in mind, I chose the girl as the symbol for hope, since children seem much better equipped to be hopeful, and more imaginative and positive about the future.   Stories tell that a phoenix can't be killed, and neither can hope, hence the saying:  "Hope dies last". So that was my thought process while developing the piece.

As a fun side note, the flag that the girl is holding is actually from the japanese Navy, so while not completely appropriate or accurate, it just looked better in the image than the national flag, so I kept it that way! 


How did I become an artist? By trial and error!

Alright, let me elaborate. I became an artist after realizing that I had some early skill with it, and also because I wanted to break in the comic book industry since I was a teenager. That never happened, but I was left with a more developed skill set, which helped me career-wise later in life. Going back to my childhood, I remember that quite a few of my classmates would compliment my drawings since I was about 8 or 9 years old. Keep in mind that my drawing ability at that time was very rudimentary, but was comparatively better than other kids my age, so that gave me encouragement. Another big influence growing up was being fascinated by watching other people draw, so I naturally wanted to do what they did. I would tape documentaries showing Disney animators working whenever there was a new movie coming out. I loved that stuff, and was very inspired by that, which motivated me to practice. By the time I chose to pursue an artistic career, I already had fairly decent knowledge of the various aspects of art: anatomy, storytelling, composition, proper tools and so on. However, my first love was film. I wanted to make movies long before I considered art as my primary career, and the interesting thing about doing storyboards is that now I am able to make a movie by drawing it! I get to do both simultaneously, which is a good blend for me. On reflection, the art I enjoy the most is when I don't have to think about it, and the work just seems to create itself. I tend to be very critical of my own work, so when that happens, I can just forget about myself, shut off the mind and just watch it unfold. It's very intoxicating, as anyone involved in any art form can tell you, which makes you come back for more. That and the strange compulsion to create something new. Repeatedly.

To learn more about Joseph Strachan...


Best Artistic Apps as voted by you!


With over 1.5 Million votes casted and a record number of nominations for the 2011 Best App Ever Awards, SketchBook Pro takes both iOS & Android divisions for BEST ARTISTIC APP!

Thank you to for hosting the BEST APP EVER AWARDS and a special thanks to all the customers who's votes made this possible!

Pixlr-o-matic also takes BEST PHOTO EDITING APP for the Android division!