This is a story of starting small.  I’m a librarian, and much like many of you reading this, I’ve had more than my fair share of run-ins with clip art.


It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with clip art--I want simple graphics on a regular basis, and that’s what it’s for--great!  Maybe my expectations are too high, or perhaps I consider myself a little too sophisticated for what’s available.  Either way, I have decided that I am just going to make my own from now on, and if you have a smartphone and the drawing capabilities of a 6 year old, you can too!


A few weeks ago, I wanted something very specific.  I was creating a Valentine’s Day display sign at the library and got my mind set on a graphic of a book shot through with a cupid’s arrow.  Go ahead and do a quick search for that.  My options were….limited.


Enter Jot Not.  I could have hand-drawn a sign, but again--I am aiming for a slightly higher air of sophistication.  Jot Not is an app billed as a document scanner, which uses your smartphone camera to create PDFs.  In between picture and PDF, the app processes and enhances your photo, so if you’re using a (perhaps childlike) drawing instead of a document, it can look like a rather quaint computer-generated graphic.


Voila--any “clip art” your heart desires can be made a reality:

blind date with a book


Clip art robot selection got you down? Hand draw your own!


drawn robot 


Combine your drawing with some colored paper and a button machine, and you’ve got a whole army of custom robot pins!  This happens to be one of our small prizes for a Teen Tech Week scavenger hunt we’re running, and so far, kids and staff alike are loving these guys:

army of robot pins


If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I really want to get in on making, but I don’t have anything to get started!” don’t worry--that’s where a lot of people are right now.  Start small, then build your robot army, little by little.


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I’ll Just Make It, Myself!--DIY Clip Art

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