1. • Inkscape – vector drawing tool similar to Adobe Illustrator. Free, Open Source
  2. • Seashore – image editing tool for Mac only. Free, Open Source.
  3. • Gimp – image editing tool similar to Adobe Photoshop. Free, Open Source
  4. • Blender – 3D creation tool. Free, Open Source
  5. • Scratch – Programming language for kids from MIT for animations, games. Free
  6. • SketchUp – 3D creation tool from Google. Free non professional version.
  7. • ArtRage – Digital painting tool from Ambient Design. Free starter version.
  8. • Other FREE creativity tools
  9. • Recommended ‘creativity’ sites


Inkscape is a FREE Open Source drawing program similar to Adobe Illustrator. It allows users to work with vectors, instead of bitmaps. The tool enables drawing and editing virtually any illustration. A good manual can be found at the Floss Manuals site at


More on Inkscape and download instructions can be found at www.inkscape.org


Seashore is a FREE open source image editor for Macs. It is a bitmap editor (works on the set of pixels) and is similar to Adobe Photoshop. It is a subset of GIMP and a good tool for beginners.

More on Seashore and download instructions can be found at



GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

More on GIMP and download instructions can be found at



Blender is a free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

This is definitely the most difficult tool to learn from the list on this page, but is well worth the effort. An easy tutorial to get started is at


More on Blender and download instructions can be found at  http://www.blender.org/


Scratch is a FREE programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

Scratch is a new programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. According to the official scratch website, it is being used by the One Laptop Per Child project and in schools all over the world.  An excellent site for tutorials is http://learnscratch.org

Great detailed Help screens at file:///Applications/Scratch%201.3/Help/en/allscreens.html

More on Scratch and download instructions can be found at http://scratch.mit.edu/


SketchUp is a powerful yet easy to use 3D software tool that allows one to build and modify 3D models quickly and very easily. It is a powerful tool to teach the concept of space/geometry and thinking in 3 dimensions. It is a tol that is similar to many pouplar CAD tools used by architects. It allows one to create real life 3D spaces that one can walk around and live in. A FREE powerful version of SketchUp is available from Google.

SketchUp manual


Video tutorials


More on SketchUp and download instructions can be found at



This is ‘the easy to use, stylish painting software for Windows and Mac OS X!’

ArtRage offers a FREE starter edition with limited features. (The full professional version with all the features is only $25.)

According to the official web site. , “With ArtRage you can paint with oils, sketch with pencils, sprinkle sparkling glitter and much more. Stencils and rulers let you create precise shapes or smooth curves and straight lines freehand. Tracing and Reference images let you load photos to recreate as paintings either by eye or by letting ArtRage select colors for you as you paint. For professional users, ArtRage offers Layers, Layer Groups and Layer Blend Modes compatible with the PSD file format.”

More on ArtRage and download instructions can be found at



Skencil http://www.skencil.org

vector drawing tool – runs on Unix, written in Python

Alchemy http://al.alchemy.org

for experiment drawing, drawing to sound, written in Java.


Generate word clouds


Multimedia posters or ‘glogs’


Create your own music videos


Create your own personalized speaking avatar


Make your piece of ribbon around the world


Online painting software


Learn about good logos


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