App Review: Hanoch Piven’s Faces iMake

In an earlier post, we interviewed Hanoch Piven, illustrator and children’s book author, about his brand new iPhone app, Faces iMake. The Teaching Palette has been testing Faces iMake for several days and below is our review.

Faces iMake is a collage portrait creator with a clean, user-friendly interface, which makes it great for primary students to navigate.

The catchy music (you can turn off the music in the settings) accompanying the app encourages a happy mood while choosing colors, head shapes and objects for your portrait. A wide range of objects, grouped into different categories — such as food, tools, toys, kitchen, school, buttons, letters — provide the app-using artist a plentiful palette. You can even favorite your favorite objects for quick selection the next time around.

One feature we found helpful was that you can save finished portraits to a storage gallery where they can be assigned to a contact, saved to your iPhone photo album, emailed to a friend, or shared via Facebook. Or you can re-select your saved portrait and continue working on it.

As part of the interface, users can rotate objects after placing them on their portrait and easily layer objects above or below one another.

The only feature that seems like it is missing is the ability to scale objects, but as Piven explains, “It would have been very easy to scale objects up and down, but I wanted to have limitations that are real life limitations.”

The app’s included video art “lessons” are a great way to get started, and they’re presented in a style much like Piven’s own hands-on workshops.

Overall, the Teaching Palette gives Hanoch Piven’s Faces iMake app two thumbs up.  It provides an excellent way to explain assemblage and portraiture as an art form. And it’s a lot of fun to play with.

One disclaimer, Faces iMake unexpectedly quit on two of our iPhones during testing. A simple restart of the iPhones solved the problem. From what we understand, an update is coming soon to prevent this minor glitch altogether.

Watch the demo below to see how this app works.

While many of us still have limited iPod Touch and iPhone access, here are some classroom/student integration suggestions:

  1. Use your personal iPod Touch or iPhone and project images under a document camera for the entire class to see. You should definitely check out IEAR (I Education Apps Review) for additional ideas and tips for using Apps in the classroom.
  2. Create a list of great iPhone apps for your students to try at home. An earlier post offers some great art app suggestions.
  3. Talk to your school administrator, perhaps s/he would be willing to pilot an iPod Touch or (if you’re very lucky) a classroom set. Or try writing a grant.  You never know unless you try!  For a list of grant opportunities, click here.
Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee

The founders and primary authors of this blog are Hillary Andrlik and Theresa McGee, who both teach elementary art in the Chicagoland area. Hillary has been teaching art since 2002, received her art education degree from Illinois State University and masters from National Louis University. Theresa has been teaching since 1997 and received her bachelors degree from Northern Illinois University and masters from Benedictine University. In 2008, Theresa became a National Board Certified Teacher. Both Hillary and Theresa have earned the honor of being Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year. Together, Hillary and Theresa have presented at Illinois Art Education Association Conference on topics ranging from classroom management to technology and each have presented on numerous other occasions for other organizations.


  • […] Faces iMake Appropriate for younger students, this app uses a creative mix of collage materials inspired by author and artist Hanoch Pivin. Upgrade to the premium version for additional features. See our full review of Faces iMake here. […]

  • February 24, 2012


    Is their another video to replace the “Faces IMake” video that has been removed from this blog?

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    February 24, 2012

    Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee

    Thanks for letting us know that the “Faces iMake” video was removed from the original source. We’ve updated with another video that gives a great overview of what the app can do. My students and my daughter love creating art with this app!

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