The fast development of computer technology and the internet has changed many things in our daily life. We can easily find everything we need, from groceries to cars and everything in between. It can all take place in the blink of an eye, and we take many things for granted which were beyond our imagination 10 years ago.
These modern technologies have changed our life style, but have they also changed our view on art and the art format itself?
Instead of being in front of the easel, spending time painting with brush and oil, pictures can be made using computer software and a mouse in only a few minutes. This can be demonstrated by the potential to allow vast time and labor consuming art work to be simplified and easily produced. An example of this would be the animated cartoon industry, where computer animation is slowly replacing the traditional cell method.
In addition to it’s useful role in film production, one of other advantages of digital art is that it has helped people with little skill, experience, judgment or perspective to create fairly sophisticated-looking and often interesting images. The fact that less training is often required to work in this creative world is one of the reasons that more and more people are moving towards it, in their goal to become an “artist”.
However, in the eyes of traditional artists whether this kind of work could be called “art” is still in doubt. Some artists worry that in the future people will become so dependent upon this tool, that they may eventually lose their ability to use oil colors to create the magic.
But even digital art still needs the training and skill used in traditional painting. Like some famous abstract artists, many digital artists are also capable of painting realistic depictions in oil.
Digital art is more than just computer skill, it is the integration of artistic talent and computer technology. Making a great painting in a digital format is as same as making it on the canvas, requiring the artist to have the same creative design, passion and skills; it can be seen as just another powerful tool to express yourself. A great painter/draftsman can use the same skills in the digital format, of course learning how transfer these skills to a computer is also essential.
For me, as an art graduate, although I use computer in my daily life and work, I still prefer to rely on my natural abilities to draw, design, and paint pictures. I still prefer to use my brush, knife and oil to make myself dirty in front of my easel for several hours or even days and weeks. I still enjoy the moment when the knife touches the canvas, and the satisfaction at the moment of the final touch.
About the author: Cherry Xu is an Art Design graduate, and a teacher and practitioner of traditional Chinese art. She works as the Director’s Assistant at Aspect Art Ltd