If you want to become a digital artist and you have an Apple device, there’s no better tool for you in the App Store than Procreate (for iPad) and Procreate Pocket (for iPhone).
Considered by many to be the gold standard for creative professionals, Procreate lets you sketch, draw paintings, and create the most amazing animations, all in an app on a tablet or phone you can take with you wherever you go.
But unless you aspire to be a starving artist—which, let’s be honest, nobody does—you will probably want to make art for others or sell your art on online marketplaces, like Creative Market and Etsy. This begs the question: can you use Procreate’s brushes commercially?
Can Procreate Brushes Be Used Commercially?
It would be so easy to tell you “yes” or “no” and then get on with it. But, when it comes to copyright, you and I both know that the answer is never that simple.
The good news is that the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of Procreate’s website is pretty clear about what you can and cannot do.
In the answer to the question “Can I use the art and videos I make in Procreate commercially,” it says, “Any art you create with the tools that come with Procreate and Procreate Pocket by default (brushes and color swatches), including the progress videos, is your content and you can use it however you like.”
To give you the long answer short, yes, you can use the brushes in Procreate and Procreate Pocket commercially as long as you use them to create unique artwork.
You can use the brushes and the color swatches that come standard with Procreate and Procreate Pocket to create and sell your own art. However, the brushes themselves are copyrighted and you can’t claim them as your own work or distribute and sell them.
Think of it this way:
The brush is basically a tool. The copyright owner of that tool is the tool’s creator. So if you want to distribute or sell that tool, you will need to go to its creator and ask for their permission.
The sketches, graphics, animations, and progress videos that you create with that tool are unique works of art, and they’re yours. And as long as the tool’s license allows you to use it for commercial purposes—which is the case with the default brushes and color swatches in the Procreate app—you’re good.
A few examples to help you put this into perspective:
If you export the brushes, claim them as your own, and sell them, whether standalone or in a brush package… well, I hate to break it to you, but you’re in trouble!
But if you’re a freelancer and you use the default brushes in Procreate to create paid art for your clients, that’s perfectly fine. It’s also fine if you create graphics, templates, or products to sell, and you use those brushes to create unique design elements to include in them.
What About the Brushes I Download From the Internet?
Now, if you don’t use Procreate’s default brushes and you download brushes from the Internet instead, it’s a whole other story. Each brush has its own license, and the terms of that license are set by its creator and/or the marketplace that sells it.
Some free brushes can be used commercially, and others can’t. Some paid brushes have permitted and prohibited uses. Others even have caps on the number of copies that you can sell of digital or physical products that you’ve created with them. So read the terms and mind the fine print.
Are Procreate Fonts Free for Commercial Use?
No, you can’t use the fonts in Procreate for commercial purposes. According to the FAQ section on the app’s website, the three included fonts—Eina 01, Impact, and Jack Armstrong BB—are licensed for use within the app only, for compositing and personal artworks.
So if you’re working on paid art or graphics, templates, or artwork to sell on products, you should use other fonts that are free for commercial use (in other words, fonts that you’ve licensed yourself).
Yes, you can use the brushes and color swatches in Procreate for commercial purposes, as long as you make them into unique works of art and don’t distribute or resell the brushes and swatches themselves as your own.
The fonts in Procreate, however, cannot be used commercially. So if you’re working on a project for a client or you’re creating templates and products of your own, you will have to license your own fonts.