If there’s one thing that you can learn from New Pixels, it’s that you don’t always have to think outside the box to make cool art. New Pixels presents you with a grid — the size can be of your choosing — a handful of patterns and colors. Tapping on a color and pattern, then a grid square, fills in each square accordingly. Put it all together, and you may be amazed at the art you can create. Half-circles and dots quickly turn into blocky self-portraits, landscapes and other fun tableaux. Part of the fun is figuring out how to sketch what’s in your mind’s eye with just the basic building blocks of colors and shapes.

Need some inspiration? New Pixels also lets users flip through a gallery of work others have submitted to the app. You can even tap on it to import it to your own grid to modify a picture or as a guide to figure out how to stretch your skills even further. You can also save your creations or share them easily to Facebook and Twitter. Saving a picture requires access to your phone’s photo album, and sharing obviously requires you to have your phone connected to a social network. While you may not be creating masterpieces, it’s a nice way to get a more frequent dose of doodling. After all, any excuse to be creative is a good one.

Free, for iOS.

Hayley Tsukayama