Drawing a Fox

I started learning Flutter and successfully created my first iOS test app. The app only displays an image, but it’s a start. I was poking around with creating the framework for this app when I realized I didn’t have any images for my end goal app. I need buttons, icons, and backgrounds. I’m not going to pay someone to make this artwork (I don’t have the money!), so I will have to learn how to do it myself. Where do I begin?

I actually Googled how to make app icons. I learned the leading software for drawing artwork like app icons is Adobe Illustrator. I have some experience with Adobe Photoshop, but I have no experience with Illustrator. Back to Google. I found a rather lengthy series of videos teaching the fundamentals of Illustrator. The first lesson was on how to draw a sleeping fox. I present to you my first artwork from Illustrator.

It’s not much, but it served to bolster my confidence. I went on in the series to create other graphics, and I am still several videos away from attempting artwork for my app.


Languages and Frameworks

Where does one begin when creating a mobile app? I think there are many good answers to this question. Is it wireframing? How about user stories? What about graphic design? I started by answering the question, “Which device will my app run on first?”

I own an iPhone 11 Pro Max. My wife owns an iPhone 12 Mini. We like our phones, but I recognize the majority of the market owns Andriod phones. I want to be on both platforms if I create an app. What about people who prefer the experience on a web browser? Okay. I want my app to run on Apple, Andriod, and web browsers. Does that mean I have to learn Swift, Java, and Javascript? Not necessarily.

I am experienced in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP. However, mobile apps are not built in PHP. I could use the Javascript framework “React Native” to build an app for Apple and Andriod, but it doesn’t play nice with web apps. That’s out. I could use the C# framework “Xamarin” to build an app for Apple and Andriod, but it doesn’t play nice with web apps, either. I am not learning both Swift and Java.

I learned about an interesting language and framework while reading about React Native. Google has a language called Dart with a framework called Flutter. Flutter allows you to write one code base for Apple, Andriod, and web browsers. One article claims Dart is similar to Java, and I have limited experience in Java.

I should probably be concerned about which language and framework offer the best performance and operability on respective platforms, but I only care about getting my app to market–all the markets. I do not need obscure platform features; I need text, buttons, and embedded videos.

A New Idea

I need a hobby. I tried leatherworking, fishing, and playing instruments, but I didn’t stick with any of those. There are leatherworking tools stuffed in a closet, fishing supplies gathering dust in the garage, and a piano hiding in the basement. Now… Now, I want to try something new. I want to build an app.

I’m not comfortable sharing my app idea just yet. There are still too many ways to fail before releasing a minimum viable product (MVP). I don’t want nor need that kind of pressure. My intention is to share the steps I take in pursuit of a new hobby. Maybe–just maybe–I could someday call this a side-business.

Here’s to courage and creativity.