Sticker apps were an amazing, creative discovery for me. I found I could make fun, weird art using a multitude of apps like Cat Effects, I'ma Unicorn, and WigIt. I'd make pictures of cats in wigs riding the train, dogs with rainbow mustaches, etc. There is seriously a sticker app for everything. One time I noticed a no-parking sign that had been changed to say "gnome parking," and thought, "I wonder if there's a gnome app?" Sure enough, there was. You can add celebrities, donuts, martians, sparkles and text to any photo, and you can also create art from scratch using a blank background -- endless possibilities.
I paint a lot, but never have enough time for it, so the apps were a great creative outlet during my commute. I noticed other artists were making sticker apps using digital images of their work, and it dawned on me that my own geometric rainbow art could be transformed into an app that would allow me to share my aesthetic in a new way. I had already been painting record covers in a way that looked like they had been Photoshopped with my art, and a sticker app seemed like a natural evolution. As they say, it never hurts to ask, so I contacted the makers of many of the most creative sticker apps, 99 Cent Brains, and before I knew it, my FarrOut app was in the works.
I can't stress enough what an awesome dream come true it's been to see tiny sticker versions of paintings I've made over the years be remixed, collaged, and commented on by a huge global community of people on social media. And on my end, the whole process was a piece of cake. I photographed tons of my paintings, which consist mainly of hex signs, patterned shapes, and goofy faces, and sent them off to the geniuses at 99 Cent Brains. They cut everything out digitally, then programmed and designed a bright, crazy user interface to match my style. I painted social media icons, buttons for the interface, a few extra stickers beyond my regular paintings, and also included some photographic animal elements from open source content providers, since crazy animal art was my jam when I first got into making app art. I used animals I couldn't find in other apps like dolphins, alpacas, polar bears, horses, and a pink spoonbill bird.
So many things blow my mind about creating the FarrOut app. No money exchanged hands, no contracts were negotiated, and no profit was desired or made. I assume my pals at 99 Cent Brains develop apps to build their portfolio, but maybe they just did it for fun. We never talked about it and communicated only by email. Some people think this is crazy, but I think it's beautiful. At this point I don't worry about anyone stealing my ideas or appropriating my work because that's what it's all about. Appropriate away! My work is now accessible to a worldwide audience, one much larger than I could ever reach without the app. My images are getting out into the world, bringing people joy and fun times for free. What more could I want?
I've seen people commenting and posting their FarrOut images in nearly ten different languages. People have made their own digital art and even little stop motion videos with the app. I've seen my neon rainbow stickers decorating celebratory images when DOMA was struck down and during pride weekend. People have commented on how the app cheered them up with hashtags like #grief. I didn't realize that the app would ignite this burst of positivity in the world, even for just a fleeting moment, even if it's just one more reason to look at your phone and is something people often say is a "fun waste of time." You don't always have to be a zombie looking at your phone for no reason, you can be using it in a creative way, as a portable tool in your art box. And giving my art away in a remixable, free format is what I think the open source philosophy is all about. My eternal gratitude goes out to Franky Aguilar and Philip Ybay, the brilliant guys at 99 Cent Brains, for enabling me to make the world a little more FarrOut.
You can download FarrOut on iTunes for free at itunes.apple.com.