A $10 Adobe alternative for iPad... Say what?!

Michelle Berry, owner of Fiddles & Fern, shares insight on her go-to design app.
Michelle Berry was burnt out. As a teacher during the height of the pandemic, she needed a creative outlet to unwind and destress.

She had just gotten an iPad when she stumbled upon videos of digital artists selling products with their artwork printed on it. Turns out, these artists were designing on an app called “Procreate,” then uploading their creations to print on demand websites like Printed Mint.

Michelle had always loved creating word art and designs, so she took a leap of faith and downloaded the $10 Procreate app. 

From there, her creativity exploded. She started posting her art on Instagram and slowly grew her following. Michelle even launched her own company, Fiddles & Fern. Her website and instagram are inundated with gorgeously designed tees, mugs and stickers from Printed Mint.

Over time, her business did so well that she was able to switch from full-time to part-time teaching. She's now able to spend more time designing, and most importantly, watching her two young daughters grow up.

“A lot of times people fail but I think that’s because they give up and they don’t pursue it long enough to give it a chance,” Michelle said. “Stick with it, even when you’re not seeing a bunch of sales or a bunch of followers. Just know that that stuff comes with time.”

Another thing that came with time? Michelle's own online Procreate to Product course. She said the course was the perfect opportunity to teach artists how to turn their passions into an extra source of income.

“I wish that I had had my course when I started,” Michelle said. “I googled for hours to figure out print on demand information, and it was really frustrating. I wanted to consolidate all of the information into one place.”

Her course covers everything from creating designed products, to listing them on Etsy, and finally, pricing and marketing them for sale. 

“You just have to start somewhere and just try it,” Michelle said. “The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, but you won’t know until you try.” 

Procreate vs Adobe Illustrator

As a designer transitioning from traditional art to digital design, Procreate suited Michelle's needs perfectly. The iPad app comes fully equipped with brushes, complete color control, stroke stabilization and more. It’s ideal for artists who like to work with a stylus and don't need to resize their art.

But Procreate isn't for everyone. While it's cheaper than Adobe Illustrator,  it may be lacking features some artists rely on. Use this chart to determine which program better suits your needs.


$ 9 .99

one time fee
  • Create raster-based images
  • Emulates traditional drawing experience
  •  More color editing capabilities
  • Only accessible on iPad or iPhone

adobe Illustrator

$ 20 .99

/ month
  • Create scalable vector drawings
  •  Better for creating logos or designs that need to be resized
  •  Steeper learning curve, but more features
  • Works best on desktop, but is also available for iPhone and Android
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