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Is digital Art really art?

So, is digital art really art?

There are new artists coming out with work every day via the internet - but there is still a question going around debating whether digital art should be considered art or not. This question threatens the lives of those who consider themselves digital artists. And, if you are one who asks this question, we just want you to know that the answer to it isn’t as simple as one might think.

So, is digital art really art?

Well, yes. Digital art is really art. It may be considered to be cheating by some individuals, but the truth is that it requires just as much skill, thought, and effort to create a piece of digital art as it does to create a piece of traditional art. Either way it goes it requires time to learn how to create a piece of digital art. The same as it does to learn how to make traditional art.

Is it easier to create digital art?

When it comes to creating art, digital art is oftentimes seen as the easier method of art creation, especially when compared to traditional art. Just because we see digital art produced and used everywhere doesn’t mean that anyone can make it. Just because there are facets of digital art that are easier doesn’t mean there aren’t other aspects that are a bit more challenging, an idea that we’ll explore throughout this article.

If you look at the components of digital and traditional art in comparison it becomes simpler to understand why digital art can be difficult to learn.

When you’re trying to understand why digital art is difficult to master you have to consider the skills, training, and materials used in its creation.

Before we get into that we must understand some of the advantages of creating digital art.

What are the advantages of creating digital art?

  • It saves space: Most artists who create digitally due so in less time than it would take to make traditional art. This is due to a few factors including the lack of need for physical materials and shortened set up time.

  • It’s easier to start with digital art: Because of the fact that there is very little maintenance and setup with digital art anyone can try it and make something fairly quickly. On top of that, the learning curve isn’t very steep.

  • It takes less time to make digital art: Usually, it takes less time to complete digital art than it does traditional art. A reason for this is that you don’t have to start each piece from scratch. Once artwork is made it can be manipulated and turned into something unique .

  • You have infinite tools to work with: There are digital tools available to suit every need you have. Most types of artistic software tools you have in mind can be downloaded quickly and used instantly. Not to mention that new tools are being created at all times.

  • You can fix your mistakes swiftly: Opposite that of traditional art, mistakes made when doing digital art can be fixed easily. All you have to do is press the undo button.

  • You can do it anywhere: Because your work would live on your tablet or laptop, you can travel while working on your art

  • There are endless copies available: If the art is produced digitally, once it’s finished, one would be able to make endless copies of it.

  • You can work from home: You don’t need to have studio time or space to produce this form of art; you can work from home.

  • The digital art market is an international one: Simple, digital art can be shared via the internet - an international marketplace is created.

  • It’s effortless to work with others: It’s easy to collaborate with other artists when you’re a digital artist. This type of art is much easier to share than traditional art forms. Even if all you would like to do is get some feedback on your work, all you would have to do is send an email.

  • You may be able to find more work: Depending on the type of digital art you make, you may be able to find more work as a digital artist than you would as a traditional artist. To be completely honest there are more platforms and avenues available for digital artists than there are for traditional ones.

  • The work is durable: Digital art quite literally lives on a hard drive. Meaning that it doesn’t have direct exposure to the elements. Traditional art, on the other hand can get damaged by a plethora of things including heat, rain, etc.

  • There is less mess when doing digital art: Digital art is stored on a hard drive, meaning that there is essentially no mess to clean up when it’s finished.On the other hand traditional art requires physical materials which can cause a mess.

  • It saves time: Most digital art is made in shorter time than it takes to make traditional art. Digital art takes much less time to make than traditional art because of a few things but the main one is that it doesn’t require physical materials, a major plus.

Is digital art cheating?

Despite all of the benefits that digital art yields, there is still the question of whether it should be considered cheating or not. In the past (and now), it has been questioned whether it should be considered a legitimate practice or not. The reason for this is that some artists will take a photograph of an original piece of art and use digital software to manipulate it to make something new.

Included in this is the changing of things such as photographs into cartoons drawings, or anime, something that relies very heavily on the artist’s ability to use the software’s AI to change the photograph into something new. We see this oftentimes on social media.

What are the skills needed for digital and traditional drawings?

There are a few similarities between the skills needed for digital and traditional drawings. By looking at the similarities we will be able to visualize how digital art isn’t as simple as one would think.

What skills are needed for digital art?

  • One would need to be able to use a handheld stylus

  • One needs control over the direction that lines go and the general flow of the strokes made on the screen

  • Being able to vary the pressure made on the screen

  • Being able to be precise with the movements on the screen or tablet

What skills are needed for traditional art?

  • One would use a hand held pen or pencil

  • One needs control of the direction the lines go or the overall flow of the strokes

  • One would need to be able to apply correct pressure on the page that would vary

  • One would need to be precise with their movements on a canvas or page

Although the work is made with different tools the comparison above shows that both art forms are very similar. So, when considering whether the art form is cheating based on the tools used the answer should be a stern, no.

What are the disadvantages of digital art?

Even though the popularity of digital art has been on the rise in recent years both in and outside of the business world, it still has its disadvantages.

  • One could ruin their posture: You’re on a computer. When you’re creating digital art you’re usually hunched over a tablet or laptop and sitting at a desk. On the other hand, many traditional artists like to stand while they create.

  • One would miss out on certain skills: There are skills such as texturing, blending, and mixing color that one could miss when they only use digital art.

  • One may have to pay for ongoing subscriptions: The tools you use as an artist are going to cost some money. Some digital art platforms are subscriptions based - you have to pay a monthly fee to continue using it.

  • Digital art is not safe from thieves: Most of your art won’t get stolen but it is much simpler to copy, replicate, and use without one’s permission.

  • It is like going down a rabbit hole finding digital art: A lot of time can get wasted if you’re trying to continue searching for different, new, and or improved tools with which to make your digital art.

  • Making the art is dependent on having access to a computer: It will be difficult to create high quality art if you don’t have a high-end computer. The processing power, and speed of the computer dictates the quality of work you produce.

  • It isn’t as fluid as traditional art: The lag in digital art can be a bit off-putting for a few people. The latency in the tools can be a bit discouraging for those who are transitioning to a new medium from traditional art.

Why would someone choose traditional over digital art?

There are more benefits to digital art than there are disadvantages to it. Most people with experience should (and oftentimes will) tell an aspiring artist that the first step to becoming a digital artist would be to become a traditional one. Many of the techniques, skills, tools and ideas from traditional transfer over well to digital art. Not only that but you get a tactile and physical love of the artwork before you start moving over to the sometimes less fulfilling and colder world of digital art.


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