Every worthwhile journey has its ups and downs, but what’s important is the drive to keep moving forward. It’s this exact sentiment that has helped us reach a very important milestone on our journey with Drawing Desk.
This month, we celebrate 10 years of your favorite art app, a decade of inspiring creatives of all ages to bring out their inner artist through the Drawing Desk app!
So if you’ve ever wondered how exactly Drawing Desk came to be what it is now, here’s a quick look back on the app’s humble beginnings, and its rise into the spotlight.
Creating the Right Artistic Platform
Our adventures with Drawing Desk began in 2013 when the app was released on the 23rd January. Our intention back then was to produce a creative app for both adults and children, that would encourage them to be creative with the right set of digital art tools.
In its humble beginnings, the app featured just 2 modes: Pro Mode for regular drawing and Kids mode for children’s art. But soon changes were made that would bring the app closer to what it is today. The app’s ‘Desk’ structure was introduced which brought in Kids Desk, Sketch Desk, Doodle Desk and Photo Desk, with Coloring Desk being included much later in 2017.
One of our biggest updates for the app was released in 2021. Our team worked hard behind the scenes to update the app’s Creative Engine, which significantly improved overall performance and allowed for a brand new host of features. This gave rise to Drawing Desk V 6.0. With this new version, users were soon able to work with an extended Brush menu and a system of unlimited layers.
This update further opened the door for many other tools that we knew our users would love. The Symmetry Tool, Layer Transform Tool, Custom Canvas, Shape Library and more were among several in-demand features that were included for a more complete drawing experience.
By the end of 2021 we’d also included two new additions to keep our users engaged; regular Drawing Challenges that encourage users to test their skills, and the Kids Arcade to help little kids learn through art.
Then in 2022, we began working more closely with Artificial Intelligence (AI). This led to the inclusion of our now-popular AI Colorization tool, and an improved Import feature both of which now help speed up the creative process for our users.
Finally, we ended 2022 with yet another step forward in the form of Drawing Desk V 7.0. This brought about our collection of Drawing Courses for users to actively work towards improving their artistic skills.
Bringing Drawing Desk to Everyone
From the moment of its creation we’ve always wanted to make the Drawing Desk app available for everyone everywhere. And for the past 10 years, we’ve worked to make this happen across multiple platforms.
After its launch on the App Store in 2013, Drawing Desk was brought onto the Google Play Store (2014), the Amazon Appstore (2021), Huawei China (2021) and the Huawei AppGallery worldwide (2023). We also extended our reach into the world of VR, with Drawing Desk VR being released on the Oculus store (2022).
To add to this, several of our Drawing Desk AI-powered creative tools were launched onto the web in 2023 so that our users could enjoy online drawing and editing too!
As a result of our expanding reach, and all of the new improvements made, Drawing Desk has seen a steady increase in popularity over the years. By August of 2018 the Drawing Desk app had reached 16 million downloads and has since then remained among the top 5 apps on the US Apple App Store (Source: SensorTower)(Source: SensorTower)
Similarly, the app began climbing the ranks on the Google Play Store, and has continued to remain within the top 20 apps in the Arts and Creativity category since 2019 (source: SensorTower)(Source: SensorTower)
Later, in 2021 Drawing Desk made a significant breakthrough within the China region, gaining a significant number of new downloads that saw an increased revenue from the app.
Owing to a successful 2021, Drawing Desk easily exceeded 50 million downloads by August 2022, a further indicator of its increasing presence in the world of digital art.
Where We are Now
At present, Drawing Desk is the second best iPad app within the Graphics & Design Category on the App Store. It also occupies the 10th position on the Google Play Store in the Art and Design category (SensorTower).(App Store Rankings. Source: Sensor Tower)
(Google Play Rankings. Source: Sensor Tower)
Furthermore, Drawing Desk now runs on 3 main cloud operators – Google Cloud, Huawei Cloud and Amazon Web Services – making it a secure and stable space for digital art across multiple platforms. And, we’ve also worked to build native engines across iOS, Android and the Web to ensure a steady future for our flagship app.
There’s no doubt that the Drawing Desk app is now a far cry from its humble origins 10 years ago. Starting out with just a few basics, we’ve successfully broadened the app’s horizons, making it the perfect app for digital art enthusiasts.
Encouraged by the successes of the past decade, we’re super excited to continue our journey and we remain determined to further revolutionize the digital art world with Drawing Desk!