Stuck at home? Many of us are. But while some are working from home and content to let that be their productivity for the day, being quarantined is also an excellent time to let out the true artist in you. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to take up photography, but need the right camera to do it. Or, you’re a musician who wants to start recording music -- but don’t have the tools.
No matter what art form you’re interested in, there’s great tech out there that can help you achieve your artistic goals. Here are nine gadgets that will speak to the artist inside of you.
Sony Alpha a6100 Mirrorless Camera
- Excellent image quality
- Quick, AI-based system
- Good viewfinder
- Can be a little complicated at first
If you’re looking to step up your photography game, then the Sony Alpha a6100 is an excellent way to go. The mirrorless camera is relatively compact, but it’s ultra powerful -- making use of artificial intelligence for many of its features. The camera has a great viewfinder, making it easy to take high-quality photos and videos on the go. It can shoot in 4K, or in 1080p if you want footage at 60 frames per second, so it’s got you covered in not just the photo department, but the video department too. In other words, with this camera you’ll be getting studio-quality photos and videos in a matter of minutes.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB Audio Interface
- Easy to use
- Two inputs
- Works with most computers
- Too small for some musicians
If you’re a musician who wants to get started with home recording, a good place to start is a solid audio interface. Focusrite has been making high-end interfaces for some time, and the Scarlett 2i4 is perfect for the bidding recording artist. You’ll get two microphone preamps and four outputs, along with support for MIDI, and the ability to plug into your computer straight through its USB port. You will still need to look into other parts of a recording system, like microphones, microphone cables, and microphone stands. That said, once you have an interface, those other parts will be easy to add.
- Easy to use
- Great sound quality
- Some potential durability issues
Musicians aren’t the only group of people that use microphones. Podcasting is another art form that has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years, and the Audio Technica AT2020USB+ makes it easy to get started in basic voice recording. The microphone has a number of controls built right into it, including a volume control, headphone jack, and more.
- Sleek and stylish
- Works well
- Only works with select iPad models
The humble iPad has come a long way over the past few years in offering tools for artists and graphic designers, and if you’re interested in unlocking the full artistic power of the iPad, then it’s worth getting an Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is currently on its second generation, and offers features like built-in touch sensors to help you quickly switch tools, wireless charging with your iPad, and more. It’s important to note that the second-generation Apple Pencil only works with iPad Pro models -- for other iPad models, you’ll need to look into the original Apple Pencil.
Apple iPad Pro
- Ultra powerful
- Updated camera array
Speaking of the iPad Pro, if you’re an artist who doesn’t already have one, then it’s absolutely worth considering buying one. Sure, they can be a little expensive, but the fact is that the iPad Pro is easily the most powerful tablet on the market, plus it offers a ton of tools and software for artists. Even Adobe has versions of its apps for the iPad. The device was recently updated with a new camera array and slightly more powerful processor, and whether you’re a musician, visual artist, or any other kind of artist, you can easily get use out of an iPad Pro.
HP Envy 5055 inkjet printer
- Sleek design
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to use
- Ink is a bit pricey
What do you do after you finish a work of art? Save it into a folder? Or hang it up for all the world to see? HP has been making some of the best printers on the market for years now, and the HP Envy 5055 offers excellent value-for-money. The printer offers a resolution of up to 4800 x 1200, which should be perfect for most photos and designs. It also supports HP’s Instant Ink, and has a scanner built into it too -- which could come in handy. Safe to say, if you’re an artist who wants to bring your digital creations into the physical world, this printer is a great way to go.
- Tons of great games
- Portable design
- Innovative design
- Slightly short battery life
Perhaps your art involves starting a new YouTube gaming channel or learning to game better than ever before -- in which case it’s worth considering the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch offers an innovative design that allows you to play both on the TV, or on the go -- making it the perfect choice for those who want something they can play in all different scenarios.
Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 MIDI Controller
- Drum pads built in
- Supports most major DAWs
- No weighted keys
Looking to get started in electronic music? A great MIDI controller is the way to go. The Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 has 61 keys, eight drum pads, and nine sliders, all of which can be used to control major digital audio workstations like Pro Tools, Logic, and GarageBand. The keyboard comes with some of Arturia’s own much-loved software, and using it you can build songs with all kinds of instruments.
Pioneer Electronics DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller
- Easy to use
- Relatively inexpensive
- A bit basic for seasoned pros
Are you looking to get into the DJ game? DJ gear can get real expensive real quick -- but this controller from Pioneer lets you get in on the action without shelling out an arm and a leg. The DDJ-SB3 offers an awesome pad scratch function that imitates DJ Jazzy Jeff’s signature feel, plus it’s well-designed and easy to navigate. It even comes with Pioneer’s Serato DJ Lite software to get you started.
Now is the time to create!
Sure, you may not need everything on this list -- but even a few tweaks to your overall workflow can help ensure that you’re as creative as possible. A great camera, audio interface, or microphone can seriously kickstart your artistic side -- and who knows, your art could eventually become your trade. Adorama has plenty of stock to ensure quick shipping times. Head to the Adorama website to browse for things to help make your day as artistic as possible.