Common Misconceptions: Digital Art
Hello everyone! This is the second installment of the series of “common misconceptions” surrounding different areas in art. This blog will cover the most prevalent myths that surround the medium of digital art. (it's chock full of super sweet images, check out the wonderful artists!)
Digital Art requires less skill than Traditional art
This is probably the top ranking myth. There is no “shortcut” when it comes to making good quality art period. It is not any easier to paint a beautiful image on a computer than it is with a brush and canvas. Most people who make that argument don’t really have any personal experience with creative software or they chalk up digital art as simple drawings in MS Paint.
Digtial Art requires less practice, anyone can do it
Like any skill out there, digital art needs the same amount of practice as you would need with a pen and paper. Actually perhaps even a little more, because not only would you have to learn to handle a mouse/tablet, you would have to learn the software you were using. Some obviously pick up certain skills faster than others, but that shouldn't deter you from practicing like you would for anything else.
You need expensive software/a certain brand of tablet to make good art
Also wrong! Sure the Adobe Suite is nice to have, but honestly, you do not need it to create wonderful works of art! There are many many many open source image softwares out there that seriously offer the same things for FREE. On that same note, if you choose to buy a tablet, please don't think that you have to spend hundreds on one! Yes, more expensive tablets have more settings, more options, better sensitivity ect, but if you're like me, it probably isn't wise to spend that much for one. Mine was $20 from Amazon, it's lasted me almost 3 years and I'm very happy with it. However, you don't need a tablet to make really good images either! A trackpad or mouse in an artist's hands can do amazing things as well! Here are some examples of really great artwork made without Photoshop or Illustrator for you skeptics out there:
Painter Classic/Corel GIMP Inkscape PaintTool Sai
Pixia Paint.net DAZ Studio Apophysis
Digital Art is "low brow" or kitsch
Kitsch and "low brow" art existed LONG before the advent of computers so it's incorrect to give this medium that label. I'm not one to say that all art is inherently good either, because that's impossible. However, there is a small trend I've seen circling about dA of people somehow thinking that digital art cannot also be fine art, that somehow it's a perversion of skills that others who work traditionally spent years honing and now it's become a fad. For starters, digital art isn't even the largest gallery on dA (it's not traditional either)...it's Photography! So before you grab those pitchforks, get a little insight It's no secret that there are numerous fan groups here in dA (I'm a part of some of them myself!) so naturally there are MILLIONS of images relating to the fandoms, many of them are digital works. Some astounding, some not so much, but those images are not all the digital gallery has to offer. If you seriously think you can sum up the entire digital gallery in a mediocre Sonic the Hedgehog drawing, you're being lazy.
Digital Art does not exist outside of the internet
This is also an incorrect idea. Digital art has been gaining more and more respect over the past decade and yes there are exhibitions out there around the world specifically for digital art and new media, I've been to a few and they are awesome! The Soho in New York has a gallery made specifically for digital media in fact. There are juried exhibitions for photographers and digital artists set up at exhibitionswithoutwalls.com. Here are some examples of digital exhibitions:
Collider 3: Transform, Enusu Kang
Superflat, Takashi Murakami
Nothing New, Lowell Nickel
If you guys have any more questions about myths surrounding digital art, post them here and I'll do my best to answer them (or find someone who can!) The next blog will be about copyrights and fair use