iPad artist goes from blank canvas to published ebook

Andy MaitlandCase study, Creative Arts

How publishing your first iPad Art ebook could be a simple matter of “tap, tap and you’re published”.

Since late 2011 I’ve been painting and drawing my local landscape in Surrey on an iPad. I work predominantly outdoors, my painting inspiration – follow the season. I’ve produced quite a few pictures and so the idea of publishing an iBook about my iPad art appealed to me. I liked the consistency of this – my art is created using an iPad and the iBook is also made right on the iPad.

Choosing Book Creator

I found Book Creator after spending time exploring both online and desktop options for making an iBook. I downloaded the free version of the Book Creator app and started to see what I could do with it. I found the experience of creating in Book Creator intuitive, it was similar to that of using an Apple app. I quickly decided the app was what I needed and bought the full version.

Making my iBook

iPad Paintings and Drawings front coverCreating my iBook was a threefold process of deciding on the structure for the iBook, preparing the content and assembling this in Book Creator. None of these processes has to be linear in Book Creator, meaning I was able to focus on and enjoy making my iBook.

Based on the format of my iPad art I started by choosing the shape of my iBook (Book Creator provides both portrait and landscape formats for an iBook). I then added pages and content to my iBook. The ability to design the layout of my iBook was important to me. Book Creator enabled me to do this.

Choosing content, text, pictures and video for each spread is as easy as tapping the plus icon at the top of the screen. My iBook is a 90 page compilation of iPad art: all of the pages contain images. Each image had to be crisp, clear and positioned precisely on each spread. Using the usual iPad gestures of tap, hold and drag I found the Book Creator process of placing, resizing and rotating content familiar. Book Creator also enables exact pixel placement of content which was a necessity for my iBook.

For the next stage I added text to my iBook. I have a few pages of introduction at the beginning of my iBook. I keyed in my text and styled the text block, font, size and colour on each spread and then included email and web links to these pages. Some page text was compiled in Book Creator while other pages were written in the iPad Notes app and then brought into the Book Creator via the usual cut and paste feature.

One of my reasons for choosing to publish an iBook, as opposed to a printed book, was the ability to include a movie in the book. When I’m painting on my iPad, the art app that I use records each paint stroke or line drawn and shows the build up of work over a compressed period of time. I wanted to show how my art work was drawn. The 8 minute movie included in my iBook shows this and in reality took around 8-10 hours to draw.

Book Creator enabled me to put a movie of my art work in my iBook, something that is not possible in a printed book. The app also seamlessly converts movies placed on a page into the m4v format which is a real help (this is the format that Apple stipulates must be used in iBooks published to the iBookstore).

After placing a movie into my iBook I added a contents page and linked my chapters of About, Sketches, Drawings and Paintings to the relevant pages, making it easy for readers to tap ahead to the chapter they might be interested in. Finally I added a contacts page to the back of my iBook with email and social network details.

Final draft edits and testing

During the entire process of designing my iBook, Book Creator enabled me to add, duplicate or delete spreads. With a tap, hold and drag of a finger I could move spreads around my iBook. I could also test any amount of draft books to the iPad iBooks app. I was able to see exactly how a reader might interact with my iBook on an iPad and make adjustments to improve this experience where I needed to. If you want to share your draft book prior to publication then Book Creator has a number of options that enable this, which is helpful.

Publishing my first iBook with Book Creator

If you’re a creative person then you’ll know that when you produce something for yourself everything tends to take longer to finalise, because you want to be as happy as you can be with what you produce. I took a few days to design, finalise and publish my iBook but much can be done in just a few hours. During the project, I received great support from the Book Creator team along the way, not that I needed much. Book Creator really is an incredibly easy and flexible app to use.

The end result

This book is my first iBook and it’s been a labour of love. The book is a collection of iPad Art sketches, drawings and paintings – all made on an iPad since late 2011.

Andy Maitland's work, as displayed on an iPad

Book Creator has helped me to publish my first iPad Art book – “iPad Paintings & Drawings” – really this is my first exhibition in a book. Using Book Creator is as simple as tap, tap and you’re published.

Download Andy Maitland’s iPad Paintings & Drawings book from the iBookstore

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16 Comments on “iPad artist goes from blank canvas to published ebook”

  1. I would love a copy of this book to show our PreK and K students. They have been using Book Creator and are just getting started with using iPads in school. I want to show them what they can create and share a model of what’s possible when combining art, iPads, and Book Creator.

  2. As an ADE and also humble Author on the iBook Store, I’m truly in love with Book Creator. I love the concept not to use a Mac for publishing. And I’m really curious how professional this book looks.

    Congrats to Andy and you.


  3. We would LOVE a copy of your wonderful book. We have also published our own graphic novels using book creator, however have never seen a book like yours published on it as well. Our teacher would use it as an example for us when using Book Creator in the future and also just for all of us to admire, as it is truly remarkable. Thank you!

  4. The clarity and confidence that Andy transmits to us, potential publishers, is powerful. His simple advise, become a leadership tool, as one embraces the Book Creator tool as an expressive extension of one’s life passion to educate. I so value the Book Creator as it offers the bridge between my intentions and experience and the world I wish to serve. With receipt of a ‘ebook’ from Andy, my mission will be intensified as I study his work. Book Creator is such a gate to being able to help others. Andy sees that VISION.

  5. As a teacher who loves using book creator with my class, I would love a professional example to share with them. In the short time they have been exposed to the app, they have made huge progress (for such young students, year 2) and are very engaged.

  6. I would love a copy of Andy’s book if there are any left! We are using book creator to make books at my elementary school as well as using the iPad to create visual metaphors. (As a way of articulating our thinking, documenting it, and then reflecting on our ideas and others). I think this book would be a great reflective piece as well as an example of the possibilities using book creator and telling stories!


  7. Hi, what a beautiful book. I’m a teacher in Denmark, and my favorite app is…book creator. I will love to have a copy of your fantastic book.


  8. I’m a huge fan of Book Creator and of talented artists and entrepreneurs. I’d love to have a chance to enjoy this latest creation! I’ll keep my fingers crossed! – Tony

  9. Oooooo! This looks great. I draw on my iPad and I made a photo book w BookCreator. I want to see what he did. Code please?

  10. Hello Andy,

    Loved the drawing movie! I’ve enjoyed those Surrey woods in the past, and watching the movie brought me back. You’ve captured a nice sense of the light.

    I hadn’t thought about using Book Creator in this manner before, but I may take a more careful look at it for publishing a few photo essays. Our students certainly use it an awful lot in their reading responses, and it has performed very well.

    Lovely to see your work! All the best with your iBook.

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