1. What is Procreate
2. Using Procreate for Business
3. Using Procreate for Art Therapy
4. 10 Tips for using Procreate
5. Free Download Tips for using Procreate


NOTE: Procreate is a paid app used on an iPad.

Procreate is a graphics editor app primarily developed for digital painting. As with any software, you can use the app in any way that suits your needs. While Procreate is seen as an artistic app, it can be used for planning, mapping, organising, doodling and so much more. If you can imagine all the possibilities of things you can do with a sheet of paper, then you can imagine the possibilities of using Procreate.

Procreate contains a wide variety of digital brushes, pens, and markers that do a fantastic job of replicating physical art supplies in the digital space. Procreate provides ease of use, flexibility, and portability when everything you create is contained on one device (iPad). The ability to store and organise all of your digital creations is a major benefit of Procreate because it means you can have your entire art catalog at hand wherever you take your iPad.


While Procreate is primarily used for art creation, you can also use it for business purposes in your private practice. Keeping in mind the concept that a blank canvas in Procreate is simply a blank sheet of paper in the physical world, you can use Procreate to develop any document that you need to use in your private practice. You can also use it to plan for your practice using the concept of Mind Maps.

As an art therapist, you can create art elements or handouts for your clients and then print physical copies. By creating them in Procreate you can easily edit your files. As the items are created digitally, you can also easily share them with clients or any other third party.

The use of Procreate in your business is only limited by your imagination.


Digital art therapy is a relatively new concept in art therapy. One of the benefits of using art materials is in the physical and sensory process that is activated by using these materials.

This lack of physicality can be viewed as a limitation to using a digital program for creating art. The entire process is contained within the digital device and therefore the client is not able to fully appreciate the sensory experience of how art materials interact.

However, not all art therapy has focused solely on the use of physical art materials. Photography and film have also formed an important part of the landscape of creativity where the process of image creation and manipulation is mainly supported by the tool, instead of the tools playing a large part in the process.

It’s also important to acknowledge that as the general population ages, clients who begin to come through our practice will show themselves to be more adept and reliant on digital media. For those people who use technology heavily during their everyday life, the use of digital media in therapy may feel a natural progression.

Using digital media, such as tablet devices and software such as Procreate, can be introduced by the art therapist based on the familiarity that each client has with technology.

Digital media has many benefits over physical art media:

  • Easy to clean up
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to share client artwork to client files
  • Supplies don’t expire or deplete
  • Unlimited access to digital media
  • Easy to undo (*see below disclaimer)

The ability to undo an error or make changes in digital media can be viewed as a benefit over using physical art products. It’s important to consider the impact of making ‘mistakes’ and how it can benefit a client to experience making mistakes, accepting mistakes, reframing mistakes, and even problems solving these mistakes so the artwork can be adapted. These processes are a useful part of the therapeutic process for clients as they learn to deal with acceptance, change, and growth around the idea of failure and mistakes.

This can be viewed as a limitation of digital media. Even though it’s easy to undo a mistake on a digital device, it’s not possible to apply this same process to ‘undo’ uncomfortable or painful moments in our lives. This is not a compelling reason to avoid using digital art therapy, however, it’s good to be mindful that these variations in digital vs physical products exist.

Using digital media such as Procreate for clients can be beneficial for clients who are resistant to the sensory experiences of art products. This is especially relevant for clients on the autism spectrum. Digital media is also good for clients who may be experiencing physical disabilities or experiencing sensory issues such as cancer patients who might repel at the smell of some art materials.

Additionally, digital media can be useful for those who may have difficulty holding physical art supplies. Apps like Procreate can be used just using your fingers with no mess. Because an iPad can be held by the person, this is also useful for clients who cannot physically access an art making space.


  1. Organise your content. Procreate allows you to create an organised gallery where you can stack artwork into folders. This is useful if you want to organise your art therapy products or content into folders for your clients to access.
  2. Apply a screen protector.
  3. Learn the concept of layers. This will allow you more flexibility to manipulate and create your artwork.
  4. Learn gestures. Learn the basics of making gestures on the iPad so you don’t have to rely on the Pencil. Eg. Double tap to undo, 4 finger tap to maximise the screen, zoom in and out etc
  5. Learn to import. The creative process can be amplified once you learn how to import other digital media to incorporate into your artwork.
  6. Learn to export. Learning this process will enable you to export your client’s artwork and save it to your client files so that the artwork can be removed from any iPads that are used by multiple clients.
  7. Learn Quickshape to help create quick shapes
  8. Create a collection of colour palettes that your clients may like to use together. Eg skin tones, neon colours etc
  9. Explore how to journal as part of the art making process using different fonts as well as your client’s handwriting.
  10. Create a handy cheatsheet for your clients to use Procreate. You may want to create an easy exercise that introduces your client to how they can use Procreate. This will reduce frustrations and limit time wasting on learning the basic functions


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Using Procreate in Your Art Therapy Practice

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Using Procreate in Your Art Therapy Practice

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