Are you sitting there, bursting with an urge to be creative but not sure where to start? In the past you would have to shell out hundreds of pounds just to get the tools start bringing your ideas to life. Fortunately, there are now dozens of high quality creative tools available for free. So if you want to edit audio, video and photos or start realising your vision for an app or website, check out this curated list showcasing five of the best.
1. No Photoshop. No problem.
The full version of Adobe Photoshop costs £17.15 per month, which soon adds up. You can get many of the popular features for free in online tool Pixlr. It runs in the browser so you don’t even have to download anything. If you are looking for a desktop app, check out GIMP. It’s a well-established, full featured editor available for both Mac and PC.
2. Want to make (audio) waves?
If you are looking to create and edit audio files, perhaps to make a podcast, then Audacity is a very useful free audio editing package. You can do multi track editing, apply effects and then export to MP3 (separate free download required for MP3 export).
If video editing is more your thing then try Lightworks. The Pro version is extensively used in Hollywood and therefore it has everything you could need and more. The free version has all the same features as pro, the only difference being the limited quality that you can export at. If this is all a little bit full on for you, don’t ignore Windows Movie Maker. For simple projects, it is the quick and easy option.
4. Burning to blog?
Blogging is one of the easiest ways to start being creative online. When it comes to free tools you are spoilt for choice with the likes of Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr all offering the opportunity to create a good looking blog in just a few minutes.
5. In my head it looks like this…
Can you see your dream website or app in your head but are not sure how to communicate it to others or potential developers. Fortunately, there are now a number of tools that allow non-designers to quickly wireframe (layout) and prototype a potential project. At the incredibly simple end of the spectrum is Wireframe.cc, which allows you put simple placeholders on a page to demonstrate how the layout should look. If you are after a full working prototype, then you can download Justinmind, which will let you create something that looks like the real thing but using techniques similar to desktop publishing.
I hope this list helps you get started and saves you some money! If you want to explore more ways to express your creativity in the digital space, then checkout the Premier Digital Conference, taking place on the 14th November 2015 at The Brewery in London. Featuring 32 sessions and 6 parallel seminar streams, there is something for everyone, from beginners to old-pros alike.