Best graphics program for an artistic 11 year old?

I know an artistic 11 year old who would like to start doing some graphic design on a computer. What would be a good graphic design program for him to start with? Preferably something easy to learn and it would be great if it was free, but he can pay a little if required.

Thanks for your help!

I used to use Gimp and got on with it well for graphics as it supports layers. It has some of the same features as photoshop except the brushes - that may have changed now.

To be absolutely honest pen and paper or any traditional media. Anyone can use software these days to shovel around crap design. However, very few have the fundamental design and artistic capability to do it on a professional level that commands respect and not relying on bottom dwellers. With the abundance of spec work going around and overall lack of respect for the design profession things are only going to get worse for the design industry. The only people who really make it to real jobs are those with a well rounded fundamental understanding and ability to execute visual communication services regardless of media. So I would recommend some basic art books that focus on traditional media like still life drawing. I know it probably doesn’t sound fun but realistically speaking learning software at eleven years old isn’t really an informed “career” decision from a visual communication profession stand point. If anyone says different I would ask them their annual salary and unless they make oh say 40K+ annually than ignore them because they are the bottom dwellers barely making a living doing design work so what do they really know. Not that 40K is anything to get excited over but sadly that is close to the median average wage for designers given the current landscape. I’m not a designers myself but I did attend and graduate from a top design school. The well known design schools out there are more concerned with demonstrated ability of basic fundamental art and design principles than software knowledge. In fact many of the top schools don’t even have courses dedicated to learning software anymore.

There isn’t really a “best” but I’d suggest looking through the [many] free image editing apps, here’s a few more… (look for free version)

Image editing apps pretty much all have the same core features, obviously the big boys (Corel/Adobe) have more advanced features as well but you don’t need those for initial learning purposes.

I’d think that most 11 year olds would start to pick things up very quickly, open the editing app and let them play!

Inkscape is free, and (in my extremely limited experience of it) pretty easy to get to grips with.

I don’t know what they are called, but what about those painting programs people use on iPads and Tablets?

I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff come from those.

Thanks Rubble, I don’t use any graphics programs myself and had considered Gimp for him, but was a little concerned that it might be a little complex for him to start off with?

Thanks for all of that oddz, you make a great point about pen and paper. The child just wants to play around with a graphics program for the moment, he likes drawing and is interested in technology. It’s not intended as a career choice or anything like that, just a bit of fun or a hobby really.

Thanks bluedreamer and TechnoBear, they look interesting and I will pass them on to him.

The child in question does use an iPad, so if anyone had a suggestion for a particular program to use on that, it would be great?

Thanks again everyone, I appreciate it!

I would like to suggest paint, Adobe illustrator and photoshop which are very easy to learn and design. In Adobe illustrator you can find many advanced features for drawing…

But they don’t really fit the requirement of

it would be great if it was free, but he can pay a little if required.

Yes I agree for that. But the features are really awesome . You can try the software for 30 days and there are many tools to convert this kind of software into full version…

Yes, but that’s not the point of the question. :slight_smile:

The question is not asking what is the most awesome software with the most features. It’s asking what is most suitable for an 11-year-old child on a limited budget.

We’re happy to have your contributions, but please make sure you answer the actual question asked.