Steve Sprang is the developer and publisher for Brushes, an image and painting application for the iPhone. Until recently, Brushes sold 60 to 70 copies a day at $4.99 each. Even after Apple’s cut, Sprang would net over $200 a day. That all ended when Jorge Colombo used Brushes to create a cover for The New Yorker magazine.
On the web it’s not about location, it’s about getting noticed. Brushes got noticed and Sprang is raking in the money.
Mr. Colombo drew the June 1 cover scene, of a late-night gathering around a 42nd Street hot dog stand, entirely with the iPhone application Brushes. Because of the smears and washes of color required by the inexact medium, it comes off as dreamy, not sharp and technological.
Brushes may be a one hit wonder, but it’s done wonders for Sprang’s bank account. To date, Brushes has sold over 40,000 copies at $4.99 each. That’s a whopping $200,000 in sales. His cut after Apple’s charges is still a healthy $140,000.
Sprang is not an Apple software newbie. He worked at Apple for seven years before leaving to develop applications for the iPhone.
Still, the success of his Brushes application is a surprise, despite some unique features which budding artists and digital media professionals find enticing.
Brushes is a natural media painting application designed from scratch for the iPhone and iPod touch. Featuring an advanced color picker, several realistic brushes, extreme zooming, and a simple yet deep interface, it is a powerful tool for creating original artwork on your mobile device.
Brushes records all of your actions when painting. These actions are stored in a .brushes file which you can download directly from your iPhone or iPod touch via Brushes’ built-in web server.
The ability to record all your actions makes Brushes a standout among iPhone users who collect graphic applications.
Sprang said that Monday was the best day ever for Brushes, which sold 2,700 copies for a one day revenue haul of over $13,000.