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#IMakeApps: Meet Faith Ringgold, an 88-year old artist and game maker

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Editor’s note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, this week, and over the coming months, we’ll celebrate our Android community by featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We’ll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computers. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on

Faith Ringgold, an 88-year old artist and creator of Quiltuduko has been a pioneering figure in American art for six decades. She is a painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, author, educator and activist. She’s had exhibits in museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

In her 80s she came up with the idea for Quiltuduko, an art making game inspired by the Japanese number game, Sudoku. The rules are simple, the game can be a challenge, but the solution makes art.

This is what she told us when we caught up with her at ACA Galleries:

Why did you decide to embark into the world of technology?
The moment computers became available, I bought one for myself and one for each of my two daughters. When my granddaughter was very young I acquired a computer for her as well. I didn't want them to get lost in the TV and ignore their work. Computers allowed them to get information easily and learn about anything, anywhere, anytime. 

After I received my BA I considered the possibility of getting a masters degree in computer science rather than art. The computer field was new and opportunities were abundant for those interested. To clarify my dilemma, I went to Europe to meet with a group of artists who had left America. I wanted to see if I should do this too as I considered changing my major. In the end I received my Masters in art and art education.​ I love art​.

How did you come up with the idea of Quiltuduko?
I played the game Sudoku often and was impressed. I’ve always loved games and was good at solving puzzles. As I played Sudoku it became apparent to me that it would be better if color and images were used and not just numbers. When the game was finished I wanted to have something to look at​, not just numbers​.  

Early on, I discovered the Kuba design in Africa which repeats colors and images in a similar way as Sudoku. It introduced triangles as well as squares. I love design and decor. I've traveled all over the world being inspired by the designs of other cultures​, especially Africa​. When I created Quiltuduko, 9 images and different colors were used rather than just numbers.  

What was it like for you to work on the game?
Computers are getting more complicated and I'm still keeping up. I was good at computers and loved working on the game. It combines my love of art with my love of computers and puzzles. I love design and figuring things out and wanted to ​embellish the concept of ​Sudoku​ as an art game​.

Do you think mobile apps and games are a form of art?
Yes, definitely.  Quiltuduko is an art game. This game is an expansion of my own art.  These are my original designs and I consider them art, especially when the game is finished you have a work of art that can be printed, framed and enjoyed!

It's all about art and design. I have created original designs for the game but have also used existing works of art that I created in the pattern of Quiltuduko.  

What has been your experience with Android and Google Play?
I like both Android and Google Play. I played Sudoku on these platforms which gave me the idea of Quiltuduko. This game is great for adults to keep one's mind clear and active and it's also good for children​, and people who love art​.

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