Digital Art Versus Traditional Art - No Competition
When digital art tools first emerged onto the scene there were many critics. Traditional artists and galleries were reluctant to acknowledge digital art as a "true" art form. It was a common misconception that the computer, not the artist, was responsible for creating the images.
To make matters more complicated, the term "Digital Art" has become a very broad brush used to paint a wide range of creative processes that make use of computer technology. These processes include an array of products and styles commonly referred to as graphic art, graphic design and multimedia. A closer look exposes the beauty of 2d and 3d art, vector graphics, raster graphics, fractals and so much more. Too often, digital artists were dismissed as not being "real artists". However, artists that tried digital art technology quickly realized they had discovered an expansive set of powerful tools.
The difference between software packages and tablets can be viewed the same way as one would view the difference between creating an image with watercolor, charcoal, pen, pastels, acrylics and oils. Each medium has it's own unique look and feel. Which artistic medium to use depends on how the artist wants the final image to look. They must determine which choice will best express their artistic vision. The decision is often driven by which artistic medium will meet the requirements for a specific project and how quickly the project needs to be completed.
As our schedules have become more hectic, time is an important factor in selecting which artistic medium to use, especially if there are deadlines involved. The choice to use a 3d model or not is like choosing whether to have a real-life model pose, or to work from a photo reference. It's all about choices, personal preferences and time. 3d models can save time. But, only if it's the right model for your needs. Even still, 3d models alone will not produce a finished work. Great images requires captivating content, interesting perspective, creative use of color, realistic lighting, "touchable" textures and a well defined focal point to create a masterful image...of any kind, regardless of the medium.
Speaking with a curator at a local Nashville museum, she commented that digital art didn't have the depth of traditional art. When pressed to explain, she said it "lacked the brush strokes of real art". These words have haunted me from time to time, particularly when I see the comparative works of artists such as Don Seegmiller and Bao Pham. With the use of digital art software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, pressure-sensitive tablets such as Wacom, and canvas printing, it has become nearly impossible to tell digital art from traditional art.
One would be hard pressed when looking at these examples of Don Seegmiller's works to know which medium he produced his images with. Likewise compare the two examples from Bao Pham. Both are lovely. Is one inherently better than the other based on what was used to create the art work? Is is "real" or digital? You make the call.
It takes time to adopt new technologies and even more time for a majority of people to embrace them as "real". There will always be those that have a preference for one medium over another. However, a personal preference does not negate the beauty or value of any of the other choices.
Art is about vision and the expression of that creative vision.
There is no competition between traditional art and digital art...only plenty of beautiful choices.
by Lillian Hawkins