I love to procreate. I procreate at home, procreate in the office, and even procreate on the plane. Procreating is life.
Procreate, for the uninitiated, is the world’s most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app designed for a mobile device. My mobile device is the iPad Pro. And after going through an art walk at Apple Park, Cupertino—as part of the new ‘Today at Apple’ sessions offered at all Apple stores globally—the iPad Pro, and Procreate app, are my new best friends.
What is ‘Today at Apple’?
“'Today at Apple' is the in-store experience we launched about a year ago,” explains Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail. “Just like we have software on our devices, 'Today at Apple' is the software for the stores. And we are now rolling out a new lineup of 58 sessions across three formats: skills, walks and labs.”
Skills are workshops designed to teach participants new techniques and focus on product features and software knowledge; walks foster learning by getting participants to venture out of the Apple store with the session host; and labs go deeper with the creative process, helping participants make their own creative project, and are often co-created by well-known musicians, artists and developers—for example, there is a new video lab co-created with YouTube sensation Zach King teaching participants how to create a jump cut with the Clips video app.
“If you look back 18 years at Steve Jobs' vision for retail, he told the team, when he hired them, that they won't have to sell,” shares Ahrendts. “He said that their job was to enrich lives and it was always through the lens of education. And so, with the new lineup of ‘Today at Apple’ sessions, we’ve tried to keep that alive—enriching lives.”
The three formats of skills, walks and labs are available for six different passion points: photography, videography, music, coding and apps, art and design, as well as new interest area for 2019, health and fitness. And, true to the original vision of ‘enriching lives’, all these sessions are completely free. You just have to register online prior to the session at your local Apple store or, if you happen to just drop into an Apple store and there is a workshop currently in session, you can just join in if there is space available.
Since the launch of ‘Today at Apple’ in 2017, Apple has held over 18,000 sessions per week in over 500 stores globally. For the refreshed lineup of sessions, there has been an increase in walks due to customer feedback and popularity.
“Walks will be super exciting,” says Karl Heiselman, senior director at Apple, and the man in charge of designing the new ‘Today at Apple’ programming. “It has been our most popular sessions, like photo walks and sketch walks. Now we're expanding them to video walks and music walks. What made them so popular is that it provides an opportunity to meet new people and explore the neighbourhood together, which is pretty unique, as this is something you can't do on the Internet.”
After my art walk in Apple Park, I now find myself sketching on my iPad in an Uber, painting over a picture that I captured on my iPhone at a local café, and even colouring in with charcoal as I wait for my lunch order. And all this without the hassle of paint palettes, cleaning brushes, or a kit bag of full of colourful crayons. It’s art for the creative digital adult. Naturally, my inner child is loving it. I’ve even started sharing my work with friends and family through the flick of an email.
“If you guys have kids, there might not be a lot of things you can do that are free and enriching," shares Heiselman. "But we do coding sessions on Saturday mornings, so kids can learn how to code robots and they make them on the Apple store floor with their parents and other children. It’s been a great way for families to connect.”
Ahrendts concurs. “Today at Apple is real social. Human to human. And we keep that in mind, we celebrate and want everybody to participate. It's built to encourage human connection and we measure success of a session on whether we are doing that or not. Because if we do encourage people to connect more, maybe that, ultimately, is part of enriching their lives.”
For the full listing of, and to sign up for, ‘Today at Apple’ sessions at an Apple store near you, just visit apple.com/sg/today