The 9 Best iPad Accessories for Artists and Creatives

It’s no secret that I love my iPad. I have it with me all the time.  I’ve gathered up some of the best iPad accessories to share with you. These would also be great as gifts for your favorite iPad artist.

My Favorite iPad Accessories for Procreate, shows a colorful acrylic drawing of a dog in Procreate

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I use my iPad for lots of different things including taking notes, typing out my blog posts, drawing and painting with Procreate, and creating printables in either Affinity Designer or Canva

I like to bring my iPad with me everywhere. Whether sitting on my couch or at my desk, sitting outside on my gravity chair or laying in bed, I usually have an iPad with me!

Today I thought I’d share the different accessories I use every day with my iPad.

My iPad

Of course the most important thing is my iPad. I wrote a blog post on selecting the best iPad for using Procreate recently and highly recommend the iPad Pro 1 TB version because it maxes out the RAM and therefore gives you a ton of layers. 

If you’re interested in things like creating sketchbooks or using a digital planner in Procreate, you really should consider getting an iPad with the most amount of RAM so you can have a lot of layers/pages. 

I’ve never had the 11 inch so I can’t comment on that; but I love the size of the 12.9 screen for creating art. 

I’m so grateful that I have an iPad with 16 GB of RAM because I can import documents with multiple pages and use them right in Procreate with page assist. 

I also love the opportunity to tweak and refine my projects using layers. I use layers a lot in my work. Learn more about how to use layers in Procreate in this post. 

I purchased the 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2 TB version, though I don’t think the 2 TB is necessary. I don’t think I”ll ever come close to filling that. 

Apple Pencil

If you’re going to use Procreate or any other app that allows you to use the pressure sensitivity of the Apple Pencil, then I highly recommend the Apple Pencil.

Other styluses just don’t compare. 

The Apple Pencil acts just as you want it to. 

Do you need an Apple Pencil to use Procreate? Can you get away with using a cheaper stylus? 

I would say while you can use a cheap stylus you’re ultimately wasting your money. If you end up lovng using the iPad you’ll eventually want to get the Apple Pencil anyway. 

So can you use a different stylus? Yes.

Should you? No. Even though there are some people who can draw beautiful complex art using their finger on their iPhone in Procreate Pocket, that seems like way more work than it’s worth. Just get the pencil 🙂

iPad Case for Drawing

Typically I don’t like to use cases with my iPad, but I found an iPad case that I absolutely love. I love it so much that I wrote a full blog post about it. For more information on the best iPad case for drawing, click here (coupon included).

Lap Desk

I love using a lapdesk when I’m sitting on the couch or when I’m sitting outside on my gravity chair. 

The one I use the most is the Mindreader from Amazon. It’s inexpensive but works really well. You can adjust your iPad in several different angles allowing you to create a comfortable position for drawing or writing. 

I also use this when I’m typing on my iPad (or on my MacBook actually). It works well with both. I don’t like typing on a laptop that is down flat on my lap. It isn’t a comfortable position for my arms and tends to flare up my tendonitis. 

I had the 2019 16” MacBook Pro until very recently. One of the complaints about that particular model is that it gets really hot sometimes. I never really noticed because I always use my lap desk when working with it.

Since I originally wrote the post, I started to use a Zugu case for my iPad which makes it so I no longer need to use the lapdesk. You can see my review of this awesome iPad case here (and get a coupon).

Sketchboard Pro

In addition to my lapdesk, I also like to use the Sketchboard Pro (use the coupon “apenandapurpose” for 10% off) This is similar to a lapdesk, but also so much more than a lapdesk. I guess it’s more like an easel for your iPad.

You can also purchase this on Amazon by clicking the picture (my coupon won’t work on Amazon though). This link goes to the 12.9 version:

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The Sketchboard has built in legs so that you can set it on a table and have your iPad at the perfect angle for drawing. I’ve used it on my desk as well as on my lap (When using on my lap, I’ve used a lapdesk pillow underneath it to prop it upward toward me.

My favorite thing about the Sketchboard Pro is that your iPad sits in the sketchboard instead of on to of it. This means that there is not an edge or cliff between the iPad and your table.

When not using the sketchboard you have to rest your hand on the screen when drawing, which kind of limits what you can do at the edges of your screen. When using the sketchboard, you rest your hand on the sketchboard instead. It’s a similar feeling to when you’re drawing on a piece of paper on a table. There isn’t an edge to “fall off of.”

It’s very nice to draw with the Sketchboard. You can purchase the Sketchboard Pro here. Be sure to use the coupon “apenandapurpose” for 10% off!

For more info, see my Sketchboard Pro Review blog post or the video below:

Magic Keyboard

I love love love the magic keyboard, which is also the case that I use for my iPad. It’s a joy to type on and it’s easy to have with me all the time. I like that I can adjust my screen angle to have it perfectly aligned how I want it whether it’s on my desk or whether I’m using it with my lapdesk. 

I’ve also found the ability to adjust the angle really helpful when laying in bed watching videos. I love this keyboard. I’m typing on it right now! 

I used to have the smart keyboard and liked using that well enough when it was what I had. But the stability of the magic keyboard is above and beyond what I experienced with the smart keyboard. I would never go back. 

With the smart keyboard you have to fold the cover around to make a triangle. If you don’t do it correctly it might flop over. Not so with the magic keyboard. 

I actually have 2 magic keyboards because I have a 2018 iPad and my 2021 iPad. I use my 2018 iPad a lot as a screen for watching videos while using my 2021 iPad to draw, doodle, or take notes. The keyboard is a sturdy setup for having my iPad stand up so I can view the screen when I’m on the go or at my desk.

I’m not sure if I would highly recommend having 2 of them. The price is pretty steep. The only reason I bought both is because I didn’t think the new iPad fit in the old keyboard. (It does). 

Once I had both though, I didn’t want to give up either one of them. I use them both a lot. 

Rolling iPad Stand

I like to do cross stitch and I tend to purchase giant cross stitch patterns in PDF format. Although I used to print them off on cardstock and stick them to a magnet board and use them that way, I wanted to find a better way to keep track of the parts of the pattern I was working on. 

I found an app that would automatically select the symbols and color code them, so I wanted to use my iPad for this. 

I found this really cool iPad holder that allowed me to have my iPad next to my cross stitch chair so I could use it while I was working. 

Since then I’ve started to use this thing even when not cross stitching. I have it next to my couch and when I’m in my living room I put my 2018 iPad in there and use it as my second screen. 

This means that when I’m working on my Macbook I can have a second screen while sitting on the couch. 

It also means that when I’m taking art tutorials I can watch those on my 2018 iPad while drawing along on my other iPad on my lap.  

Of course you could also use split screen on your iPad and watch a video right on your iPad screen when making art; but that reduces the size of the area where you can draw and paint on your iPad. 

If you have 2 iPads like I do (I just didn’t want to trade my old one in), this is a great option. 

Another great discovery I’ve had recently with this stand:

Recently I wasn’t feeling well but wanted to watch a video while laying on the couch. I was able to put my iPad in this holder and adjust it so that while I was laying on my back the screen was directly above my face. That was so convenient. No craning my neck and the stand rolled away pretty easily when I wanted to get up. 

I’m thinking of buying another one of these for my bedroom. That’s how much I like it. 

AirPods Max

Since I watch a lot of videos on my iPad in the living room, I often use the Airpods Max headphones. My family isn’t really interested in the videos I choose to watch so using the headphones allows me to watch my videos while they are watching television. 

I love that the noise cancellation feature allows me to focus on what I’m doing without distraction from the television. 

My favorite thing though is the transparency mode that allows me to hear what’s on my headphones while also being able to hear what’s going on around me. 

During the summer months I like to spend time outside listening to the sounds around me while working on my blog or playing with my iPad. I often watch videos or listen to audio books. When I have the headphones on with transparency mode I can still hear all of the birds, the blowing of the wind in the trees, etc. without scaring off the animals with my videos. 

I can even walk with these without worrying about not hearing cars. 

You can get these same features with the Airpods Pro, which are the ones that go in your ears. I find the Airpods Max much more comfortable though. Unfortunately I can’t ever get the pros to stay in my ears and always feel like they are going to fall out. 

My only complaint about these is that sometimes if I’m listening to them while outside, or while doing something like cleaning, they feel hot and make me sweaty. That can be uncomfortable. 

Screen Protector

I like to use a paper feel screen protector on my iPad because it makes it feel so much nicer when drawing or writing. 

I have a whole post on the best screen protectors for drawing on Procreate. But by way of summary, I recommend the Bersem screen protector. 

This just in! I’ve recently been trying out the Rock Paper Pencil set from Astropad. You can see my review here.

Pencil Grips

If you have trouble with the thinness of the Apple Pencil when writing or drawing for a long period of time, you may enjoy using pencil grips. There are two that I recommend. I don’t use these very often though because I think it’s annoying ot have to pull them off when I want to charge them. 

The first pencil grip is thinner and comes in some cute pastel colors. It’s comfortable to use and the only gripe I have about it is that you have to remove it if you want to charge your pencil.

The second pencil grip is thick and bulbous. Sometimes I like to use a thicker pen and this one is reminiscent of that. 

Apple Pencil Tips

I like to have some spare pencil tips so that I’m always ready to change my tip if needed. I recommend only purchasing the official Apple pencil tips, which you can purchase on Amazon.

I recently started using the Rock Paper Pencil set from Astropad, which comes with metal Apple Pencil tips. These are the only tips I would use other than than the official Apple Pencil tips, but only with a screen protector (especially the one that comes in the set. See my review of Rock Paper Pencil here).

Procreate Brushes

Last but not least, I love buying Procreate brushes and talk about some of my favorite Procreate brushes here.

Best iPad Accessories

Those are the best iPad accessories that I’ve purchased for my iPad. I use most of these every day. Do you have any accessories that you use for your iPad that you’d recommend? If so, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new things.

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