There's a lot of folks who say the iPad isn't proper competition for netbooks because it isn't a 'productivity tool'. They're all wrong. Take the visual arts, for example, and you'll find a growing army of examples of artists using the Apple device to create stunning pieces of art, here's six stories to illustrate this. Clearly this illustrates why netbook sales have cramped up and why Apple's iPad is such a success, because it unlocks imagination for users, developers, old and new media.

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David Hockney
One of the UK's leading artists, David Hockney is revered. In his latest project the artist has swapped his sketch book for an iPad, and he welcomes the move to re-empower the hand in touch computing, after years of using mice.

"It can be anything you want it to be. This is the nearest we have got to seeing what I would call a universal machine," he has said.

Hockney last year made a splash when he revealed his work using the iPhone (and the Brushes app), as detailed in this video here.

'Magical' iPad's Manga magic
Manga artist Yoshitoshi ABe is enormpusly talented. Just take a look at the deftness with which he draws this beautiful sketch of a character called Ain.

Yoshitoshi ABe first gained fame in his work on the avant-garde anime Serial Experiments Lain. He is also responsible for the series NieA under 7. In 2008 he introduced his own self-published anime comics aimed at the iPhone and iPod touch.

iPad portraits, the art of David Kassan
Artist David Kassan uses an iPad and the Brushes app to create incredibly realistic portraits of sitting subjects. In this video he creates an impressive representation of the subject. Naturally this is time-lapsed -- the sitting actually took three hours.

Kyle Lambert
If it is possible for the iPad to spawn a rock star artist, Kyle Lambert may be the man. He has a created a mammoth series of such works now, with a portrait of Beyonce turning up everywhere across the internet earlier this year.

He didn't stop there. In this clip, Lambert, 23-years old and from Altringham in Cheshire, creates a portrait of Jennifer Aniston on an iPad.

 

Angie Jordan
Digital artist Angie Jordan turned up at the launch of the iPd on April 3 this year to get hold of the SketchBook Pro app from the App Store and sit down to create charicatures at the event.

In this video she shares some of what she's learned about creating charicatures on the Apple device.

Market Street from Goro Fujita on Vimeo.

Goro Fujita
Animator and concept artist Goro Fujita has been painting with Brushes on the iPhone since it was launched. He picked up an iPad as soon as it was introduced, and uses both Brushes and Sketchbook Pro to create his work.

He writes, "I have the feeling that the iPad is becoming a portable cintiq. Pressure sensitivity is only a matter of Time. I’m sure!"

(Click on the image above to reach the Vimeo video)

More to explore.
This isn't just hyperbole. There's a growing army or artists using the iPad to create works. Also check out:

Xoan Baltar
Susan Murtaugh
Stef Kardos

Now what's this about Apple attempting to stand at the intersection between technology and the liberal arts

Apple seems set to reveal sales of up to six million iPads in its current (September) quarter, according to Rodman and Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.

Those 7-inch models seem like an even better idea.

Note: This blog first appeared on our sister site  Computerworld - read more at http://blogs.computerworld.com/evans - Email Jonny at [email protected]