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I had a conversation with a friend the other day about Digital Art. He wanted to know if I was going to be taking a mix of all my work (i.e. acrylic paintings) or more of my computer art to my upcoming show. Throughout the chat the words were never said, but the implication was there. The acrylic paintings were “real art” and the digital stuff…well….not so much. I myself was resistant to computer generated artwork for years. I did not think it belonged in the same category as paintings or drawings. To me it looked “different” and as a traditional painter, I was having trouble with that. I also did not understand how much hard work it was! There is also the argument that states that you cannot get a “one of a kind” piece with digitally produced media. This is true! But you also cannot get a one of a kind photograph either unless you have the negative or file yourself and then you can only enjoy it as a small inverse image or on your computer. To fully enjoy photography you must have a print made of it so you can hang it on your wall. It is the same with digital art.
I do not create ANYTHING entirely with my computer. I do not do fractal work. I always start with one of my original paintings or a photograph. I copy my own hand painted patterns from original works. I draw designs. Every piece I create on my computer starts with something I did with my hands away from the black box. My mandalas start from my paintings on Yupo. My Stone Rock’d Art starts with patterns from my Labor of Love pieces which I painted by hand.
I am sure that the charcoal and fruit ink painters were incredulous when oil painters came along. It was something new and untested. How could something so radically different from charcoal ever become popular? To me “real art” has nothing to do with the mediums used. If you lock a creative person into a room without anything, they will make art from dust particles. Art is the expression or application of creative skill and imagination, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. But is it “real art”? Is it collectible? In the last year I have sold over 1000 prints that I produced with the aid of my computer. Now to me that is beautiful and oh so powerful……and undeniable real!
Digital artists….rock on!
Enjoy all of my work here…both traditional and contemporary:
Reblogged this on B.E.S.T. Arts Gallery.
Mark Ballard said:
From our perspective as ‘Digital Artists’, we recognize the investment in time spent to create incredible art on the computer – not only time spent on a single image, but the investment in learning and applying a never ending chain of hardware/software tools.
As noted, part of the problem is, Digital Art is readily recreated in an endless series of original quality prints. You can claim ‘Limited Editions’, but in reality, nothing other than your own integrity guarantees that to an art collector.
I made a hand painted image in the 70’s that closely resembles the same colorful geometric style I create in Computer Graphics today. But the hand painted canvas is clearly a one of a kind.
Let’s hope that digital art continues to become more and more accepted (valuable) in the art marketplace.
I am already seeing it become so…..some of my old school collectors have not collected them though…that’s o.k…..I am more than happy to bring new collectors as my career evolves to keep up with technology.
It’s real if you created it and I can enjoy it too. 🙂 Otherwise it’s just called imagination!
Good point William!
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It takes Talent, Creativity and a lot of know how to create in this new Medium.
Getting to know the way around computers alone is a chore 😉
The knowledge of the various software available on the market is part of the limitation. Otherwise the artwork created via Digital Art has no boundaries.
Imagine if these tools had been around to the Great Masters…
I agree…I am also delighted to see more and more people appreciating it as a valid artwork and collecting. 🙂
Thank you Rafael!
I applaud this post Sharon, I have been struggling with the idea that my artwork isn’t “real” if it is created on my computer. I finally asked a client who has purchased my work what she thought about it. Her response was that she loved my work and didn’t care how it was created. I thought that was pretty cool. It is the quality of the work that matters and not necessarily the tools that are used 🙂
Yes! It is the end result that justifies the means…my high school English teacher hammered that into us and she was right. 🙂 I wouldn’t have not dated my husband if he had told me he was a result of in vitro fertilization. No he is beautiful and that is all that matters. I do really wish more people would let go of the way they think things “should” be and embrace the way things actually are!!
More power to those who are willing to navigate new frontiers 🙂
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Lianne Schneider said:
I shared this to my art page on Facebook because I think it’s so important and affirming. This is how I introduced that share: “So glad to see more and more artists making the case for digital art as REAL art. For too long I felt that way myself – as if my work didn’t have the same value as a painting. I used to paint – I know how time consuming that can be. But I have come to know first hand that digital art is every bit as creative, every bit as time consuming, every bit as much REAL as any other kind of art. Someone asked me once why I don’t post very often – sometimes only once a week or less. The reason is…every single stroke, every layer, every composite is an act of creation. And it takes a great deal of time for me to get a digital painting to reflect who I am, to speak in my own voice. Even when I begin with someone else’s original work – public domain images or stock – the finished piece is ME. It’s MY work, MY heart, MY vision – and I have at last come to think of what I do as ART. Thank you Sharon Cummings for raising this very important question!”
I am glad it helped you and you felt comfortable sharing it with others. I like addressing things that others just cannot. I’ve been told that I have no filter….I do, but the holes in it are quite large. 😉 Hey people make art out of beach sand too! Art is art. 🙂
Kerry C. Mitchell said:
Good blog. I do digital art. Many artists produce giclee prints of their paintings. I love doing the digital painting. I have health issues and am in bed a lot. Digital painting lets me still do my art. It saved me.
That’s awesome Kerry…I also have health challenges and the digital art is a great way to stay creative!
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Wow… This is probably the best thing I have ever read, Thank you. This really helped me accept my art more, who cares if others are too arrogant to appreciate it? Art shouldn’t labeled by one specific medium. I feel anyone that isn’t open to new mediums or puts labels on the meaning of art, can’t be a true artist.
A lot of artists grapple with this and that is precisely why I wrote this blog. I find this type of mentality (conforming to society) detrimental to our psyches. Consider the African American people who go to great expense, danger and emotional strife to be more “white” simply because society dictates that blonde straight hair, slender noses and colored eyes are more desirable. That’s nonsense! Your light comes from within and it is beautiful no matter how you express it! Keep on creating Jonathan. 🙂
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Lawrence Grodecki said:
I’ve had many experts who have seen my art online and have been shocked to learn that it is digital painting. They assumed that what they saw was a reproduction of something done in acrylics or water colors.
There is a lot of confusion that seems so unnecessary. The priceless part of any work of art is in the process…the creating…and as many have stated that has nothing to do with the medium. It kind of reminds me of the first painter to shock the art world by using oil paint out of a tube. I think his name was Gauguin.
The other confusing aspect is the product, not the process. The product is always a commodity, whether there is only one in existence or 1,000. The dollar value, present and future value, of digital art gives collectors a whole different set of concerns when it comes to digital paintings.
A lot of trust is involved in something like limited editions. Many argue that’s a false economy at the best of times. To avoid all these issues I’ve given up on the “investment” aspect of my art. It was never intended to be created for that purpose anyway.
So I’ve gone the route of open editions. Each print is essentially a physical representation of the original art. People can buy it cheaply by art standards, and simply because they love the picture.
The irony is that as investment they really can’t lose. The sad part is that most people have a hard time seeing art for its intrinsic merits without associating it with a dollar figure. Some snobs will dismiss my art as being “decorative” for the approach I’ve taken. The additional irony is that if I decided to print only one of a certain piece, it would be considered “fine art”. The truth is the art is all the same.
Well said Lawrence! And I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
Lawrence Grodecki said:
Thank you. I recently wrote a post on a related issue. It had to do with a friend who advised me to go one route or the other…fine art or decorative art. She meant well. I asked what the difference was…it would be the exact same picture in a museum as in a number of homes…and I do appreciate the dilemma that may cause. It’s all just a little too frustrating though. Personally, I just love the process…so much more special than the medium. 🙂
That’s it! I enjoy creating art…that is my passion! I also like to eat, so I want it to sell. I sell well as a “decorative” artist….Fine Art often sits and collects dust unless you become famous. I really do not care what some people think of me or my art. It sells well, so I let my collectors do the talking. 🙂
Lawrence Grodecki said:
Agreed, though the selling is so also very different…and yet again, it is the exact same art! I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh at that. I’ve come to realize that on the decorative side, many people have no idea that they are essentially getting original art, not a reproduction.
Part of the reason for that confusion is that original art is not supposed to be that cheap! lol
Enjoy your day, as I am mine…my birthday no less, and so I will eat a little more…also a passion of mine!
Happy Birthday! Yes, food is another passion……enjoy!
Real Artist said:
I have to… ERROR
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