Create Art with Paper + Mix

Paper is a free software app for iPad users that is ideal for sketching simple to complex images, designing blueprints or diagrams for the boardroom, and taking notes in class. Paper has gained popularity for its multipurpose features. Approximately 10 percent of all iPad users have downloaded the app, according to The Verge website.

Paper fans now have the opportunity to use Mix by FiftyThree, an online community for displaying Paper creations and “remixing” what others have shared. Using Paper and Mix might be a great way to find and create summer projects. Here’s how Mix works with Paper to create art, if you drew a simple circle in the Paper app then shared it with the Mix community where anyone could make almost anything with your circle:

Mix is accessible from any web browser. Anyone can visit FiftyThree’s website to save their favorite designs for later. However, in order to experiment with those designs, you will need an iPad then download the free Paper app.

Exploring the Mix site might be a fun way to come up with ideas or explore ideas from other people. Each design displayed in the Mix community is considered an original; however, most are derived from a single image source.

The Mix homepage features six categories for anyone to explore: Learn, Sketch, Play, Write, Design, and Think. These pages narrow down a user’s interest for their next Paper creation.


The Learn page provides a range of designs for those who seek educational remixes including plant cell diagrams, illustrated math problems, drawing tutorials, and blank canvases like musical staffs, chalkboards, or food pyramid charts. Mix serves as an innovative tool for experimenting with others’ work to improve drawing skills while teaching and learning. The diagram of Earth above is as scientific as it is artistic.


Here you will find a variety of sketches from simple to complex, cartoon to realistic, abstract to landscape that, like all Mix projects, can be “replayed” within the Paper app for easy re-creation.


Although Mix allows its members to play with any design, the Play page caters specifically to those who wish to upload more playful drawings and activities created for other members. In the example above, one user provides a specific color palette and asks Paper users to remix with a drawing based on that palette.


Mix users share their favorite quotes and even recipes, inspiring others to replicate them with a unique flair or start from scratch with a design in mind. A line from a poem written amongst the constellations and a colorful recipe are examples of Paper projects centered on writing.


Architectural plans such as a modern tree house or fashion designs like a floor-length gown can be found under the design tab. Artists can remix these images by designing their own clothing for the original silhouette or adding to a blueprint.


The Think page encourages members to participate in problem solving and thought-provoking activities, such as drawing a family tree, finding the answer to a math problem, or illustrating the word of the day.


The combination of the Paper iPad app plus the Mix website makes it easy for anyone to play with design and illustration, whether you create something original or start with work someone else has created.

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  • Emeline Swanson

    Emeline is a literature student at SUNY Purchase College who enjoys writing. She loves animals, relaxing amongst nature, and playing with her cats. Some of her favorite pastimes include gaming, horseback riding, and taking amateur photographs.

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