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Creativity Express Review

A Virtual Art Class

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Characters from Creativity Express

Characters from Creativity Express

Madcap Logic
Creativity Express by Madcap Logic is an engaging software package that encourages art fans of all ages to explore art history, famous artists and their own creativity.

Pros

  • Entertaining and colorful animated characters
  • Full of interesting information about art and art history
  • Includes the starter edition of ArtRage, a drawing program
  • Ability to move at your own pace and focus on your own interests

    Cons

    • The starter edition of ArtRage is missing some of the more advanced and engaging tools

    Digital Art Class

    Creativity Express is like an art class in a box. There are different themes, such as color and movement, which you can explore through short animated videos, quizzes, games and art projects. As you progress through the activities, you develop your own art portfolio (which you can upload into the software) and learn more about art history. In addition to the lessons, there are paintings by famous artists and a glossary of art terms.

    One of the most fun aspects of Creativity Express is the “Creativity Builders” section. Creativity Builders are fun activities you can do to reinforce the lesson you’ve been working on. They might encourage you to draw a self portrait, design a new product or study origami. Some of them have pages you can print to use as a base for your art project. Others send you to the "Idea Gizmo" which helps you come up with a starting idea. Most of them suggest ways you can share what you’ve learned with friends.

Self-Paced Learning

Screenshot from a Lesson in Creativity Express

An Art Lesson

Madcap Logic

Login to your profile and Creativity Express allows you to progress at your own pace, spending more time on the subjects that interest you and less on others. You can also tackle the subjects in any order, returning to favorites as desired.

As you complete the lessons, you are rewarded with Artist cards and puzzle pieces. Each card contains information about a famous artist and a portrait of the artist. They are grouped in your personal portfolio area by artistic period. The puzzle pieces are part of a final challenge. Once you’ve mastered your lessons, you’ll have all of the pieces to complete the final puzzle. These are both fun ways to stay motivated and track your progress.

ArtRage Painting Program

Creativity Express comes with a starter edition of a painting program called ArtRage. This edition of ArtRage is actually free to download from their website, but it is convenient to be able to install it with Creativity Express.

ArtRage is a fun program for drawing and makes a nice complement to Creativity Express. Unfortunately, many important and fun features are only available in the full version. The starter edition has no layer features available, which is problematic for more advanced drawings. It also has no access to the ruler, painting with metallics and airbrushing, to name a few. Since the buttons and menu items for the features are simply grayed out on the screen, users may find this frustrating.

Bottom Line

I never liked art class, never considered myself particularly artistic and was bored with art history in school. So, when I say that I really enjoyed learning more about art and famous artists with Creativity Express, it says a lot.

This is a wonderful way to learn more about art and explore artistic ideas and media. While Creativity Express would really shine as a classroom or homeschooling resource, it’s also fun to use at home. Make sure you have your printer ready, as well as plenty of art supplies to let your creativity run free.

Specifications

  • Recommended for ages 7+
  • Rated E for Everyone with some Comic Mischief
  • Windows XP or Vista; Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher.
  • MSRP $29.95
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