PicsArt allows you to easily turn photos into art on your smartphone [App of the Week]

Bring your A-game to Instagram with this photo editing app

If you have an Instagram account, I’m sure you’ve run into a few difficulties with photo editing.

For starters, Instagram has a limited editor, allowing you to change the brightness, contrast, warmth and more of an image, but without any clear direction on the effects.

Filters are the same. Though Instagram has a decent selection to choose from, none of them screams originality.

You can’t make a photo collage in Instagram either, as it requires the user to download an additional app: Layout from Instagram: Collage.

And let’s face it, for the average person, getting into Adobe Photoshop Express can be quite daunting.

That’s where PicsArt comes in, aiming to be accessible to every day users without skipping out on the depth that comes with photo customization.

Upping your Instagram game

Getting started on editing is quite simple due to the app’s interface.

There are a couple of categories to choose from, Photos, Collages, Drawings, Cameras and Colour Backgrounds.

Choosing photos will get you straight into the photo editing studio, where you can add different visual effects, touch-ups and other edits to it.

The Collage section does exactly what the name suggests, but PicsArt gives you a few more options.

You can either use Grids, the standard collage layout; Freestyle, which gives you the freedom to make your own collage by moving photos in your set desire; and Frames, which gives you a set-layout with numerous themes to boot.

Drawing lets you choose a blank slate or a canvas, where you can select what background to draw on and the sheet size. From there, you can just use your finger or a stylus on the screen.

Cameras allows you to take photos using your camera straight through the app itself, where you can use pre-downloaded frames like on Instagram and Snapchat.

Colour Backgrounds allow you add a background to your photos, allowing you to even make your own with its Colour Picker.

These selections gives the average user all they need to create more interesting social media photos.

Adding that extra bit of zest

When you get to the actual photo editing section, a lot of tools and effects open up to you.

The Tool bar is reminiscent of Photoshop, allowing the user to create their own effects and touch-ups to their photos.

However, there are pre-selected options that are very useful for both newcomers and experienced photo editors out there.

The Effects tab opens up a huge list of filters that one can choose. There are two sections, specifically, that make your photos more unique, Magic and Artistic. These sections completely change your photography, such as making it look like pastel art or straight from a cartoon.

Using these effects adds another dimension to regular pictures and it’s cool to find new ways to make certain objects more aesthetically pleasing.

Another great option that PicsArt adds is to tweak the selected filter down to a tee, changing things like the density, fade and lighting.

There are other additions that you can put in your photos, such as stickers, text bubbles, backgrounds, masks, and more.

Along with that, there are a bunch of touch-up tools, such as red-eye correction, skin tone, blemish fixes and even a teeth whitening option.

All of these options add an extra layer to standard photo editing software, making it easy for people not familiar with technical tools to play around with.

Overall, PicsArt does a really good job introducing casual users who want to enhance their social media photos, while keeping tools that experienced photo editors are used to.

PicsArt is free on iOS and Android devices. However, there is an upgrade called PicsArt Gold that costs $59.99 per year, which removes ads and gives members additional content (filters, effects, backgrounds, etc.) and video editing.