Digital Art: Future Or Past?

Digital Art: Future Or Past?

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I bet, during the last year, during this pandemic, the majority of the people with regular access to the internet have found, even randomly, even without knowing it, something connected to digital art!

Digital art is becoming popular and commercial? Maybe!
Digital art is evolving with our skills, talents, and programs/apps?! Maybe!
Digital art is catching more and more our taste?! Let’s say one more time, maybe!

Is art something you can share? Is art something you can understand? But more than everything, the basic question, what is art?

So, if you don’t have a personal idea about these questions, entering in the idea of digital art is just an extra step, an extra question for your brain… but, if you have a personal idea let’s try to make a point about this topic.

The Definition

Tate museum proposes the following definition: “Digital art is a term used to describe art that is made or presented using digital technology”.

With the development of technology especially from the ’60s (of the XX century) we started to have, decade after a decade a wider panorama with more inventions and expression ways. Digital art took several shapes and colors, changing, transforming, or, most simply, evolving.

Probably the most proper way to categorize it is to collocate the different pieces in the specific decade or period when they have been realized but, always, whit a common element: the fact that any piece has always to be part of the so-called “new media art”.

New media art is that kind of art that has been conceptualized and created mostly over the last century and it is distinct from the classic one through the forms, no more the classic idea of painting and statues of landscapes and gods.

New media art is modern, with modern meaning and modern ideas.

Art historians tend to divide digital art into two main categories:

1. one focused on the touchable art pieces so, even if there is a manipulation of the form but you can still touch.

2. one dedicated to the other senses; this second form, could be created in several ways, from the classic visual effects to the more weird elaborations of the sounds.

History Of Digital Art

Digital Art: Future Or Past?
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We can not talk about digital art without mentioning computer art from the ’50s of the previous century.

During those years, mathematics who used to work a lot with computer machines started to play and develop new ideas, new concepts that, few years after would have brought the existence of the most articulated programs or applications.

With the development of the computer in the 70’s and 80’s new form of interactions have been created, from the communication between people to how people could have spend free time; in this case for example the console and their games.

It was exactly in the early 80’s when was used for the first time the term “digital art” when Harold Cohen used, for the first time, a paint program machine. This machine took the name of AARON. It was used to drawing, on a large scale, papers displayed on the room’s floors.

In less than few decades the computer machines became smaller, personal and that was the moment when it started to became more popular and, as a consequence, to develop different forms.

Mobile phones and after smartphones started to own cameras to produce or reproduce images, videocameras as photo-cameras evolved without needing anymore the film inside, music that used to be contained in objects, became digital and thanks to these ideas, the evolution on proposing other form of entertainment jumped in the head of people from all over the places .

Digital art grew in so many fields that nowadays it is really hard to not have a field without the implication of it!

Some Of The Main Forms Of Digital Art

  • Computer poetry
  • Digital photography
  • Digital imaging
  • Electronic art
  • Electronic literature
  • Electronic music
  • Immersion/Interactive art
  • Net art
  • Pixel art

Is It Important Or Not? Will It Replace The Traditional Art? Is It An Aasy Art?

When we think about digital art, these three questions will always come out in the discussions like mushrooms from the ground after a warm autumn rain.

It’s really hard to find the perfect or even the good answer, but trying to remain the more objective possible we can say that it is something that has been present in our life for a long time; digital art is the child of concepts and evolution when all the other forms are more connected to representations, this element explains us the peculiarity and the uniqueness of this form.

When we enter in the idea of replacement or change between the traditional art and the Titian one, is important to remember that the world will never forget what is beauty.

Any form of expression as long as it is pure and deep has always remained along time but it is also true that evolving, along the centuries, we have added more forms.

At the beginning of 19-century people had no idea what was a photo, nowadays the majority of this planet has seen a photo in their life!

If the majority of the people along the following decades/centuries will value this expression as something important, something to add to the other ones, probably digital art will remain or it will be just a trend of this moment!

Digital Art: Future Or Past?
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Even if any kind of column in our society has began as a trend!

Drawing with a mouse, from a computer, sounds almost fake but for sure it is more accessible.

Not everyone can afford to buy all the materials to create art, but a lot of people can access a computer, and use the different tools, programs, apps to work and create.

At this point, I’m wondering.. Is it more important to give the possibilities to everyone to express themself (in this way, digital art, is a revolution) or proving a talent by limiting the places just to a niche group of people? Drawing from a computer is it easier or is it cheaper? Taking a photo from an analog camera is more real or is it just more complicated?

And do we want to have a life where if you are not a painter you can not draw or if you are not a photographer you can not take a picture? 

Or, do we want one where if you wake up one day, and you feel inside of you to express yourself, but you don’t know, technology could help you to do it?

How To Make Digital Art?

If you’re curious to try to explore this reality you have several ways to approach this kind of art!

The easier methods involve tools accessible to a large part of the population: mobile phones!

With their cameras are able to record pictures and frames in any occasion, you don’t have to be worried to own a professional camera or videocamera as long as you could own a concept, an idea, something to tell or something to develop a project around.

This method, with a concept behind it, is already a form of digital art and can be used to create expositions or installations.

There are a lot of apps for cellphones as for more technical devices, like tablets or computers, where you can modify, change, adjust or personalize your creations; you can download them for free as you can buy or rent the most expensive and developed ones like the wider packages of Photoshop or Premier, used by really technical and skilled experts.

If you own or you can rent or access a tablet or a computer you can also work/play with another form of digital art, like drawing or painting.

Most of these devices own their illustration software, not all of them are really good to develop your skills but for sure helps to understand the differences between analogical and digital.

Online you can download free trial programs for few days, for a month, or even more, depending on the software, in this way you can literally try different ones and find the one that you feel more comfortable using and playing/working with it!

Otherwise, if you have the possibility to own or to buy a full software here a list of a few that could be interesting to use:

For Computers

  • Clip Studio Paint (windows/macOS)
  • Corel Painter 2020 (windows/macOS)
  • GIMP2 (windows/macOS)
  • Krita (windows/macOS)
  • Paint Tool SAI (windows)
  • Paintstorm Studio (windows/macOS)
  • Photoshop CC (windows/macOS)

For Tablets:

  • Adobe Fresco (Android/IOS
  • Clip Studio Paint (Android/IOS)
  • MediBang Paint (Android/IOS)
  • Procreate (IOS)

For Smartphones:

  • Clip Studio Paint (Android/IOS)
  • MediBang Paint (Android/IOS)

Entering in a more technical dimension, always facing the drawing/painting area, we find the drawing pad or digital artboard.

These ones are boards where you can draw, sketch, paint whatever you want with the use of a specific pen. Normally these boards offer you a lot of possibilities in terms of expressing choices from the normal pencil sketch to watercolor or oil paints tools.

Photos, videos, and drawings are not the only possibility you can reach with these devices, you can really elaborate a lot; electronic music for example is made mostly by using them – even if artists like Daft Punk, have been able to reproduce digital sounds through instruments – and their software, you can compose, write and play music as well as you can record your voice and modify it – with an average software you could be able to record a digital album!

On the other side, moving to something more “simple”, you can work on the different forms of electronic literature.

How? From writing a novel by yourself, making a writing performance where for example more people collaborate to create and write at the same time, adding step by step new words of phrases, a poem, or a short story.

You can develop a blog where you can write in any form, about everything you want – as long as is legal! – creating a diary or a more developed project arriving to create maybe an e-book.

With the digital era, art has evolved, has stopped being an expression of few to becoming a global one. It’s up to us to respect the values of it, understanding we can all be an artist but we can not all live from that, we can have fun with anything but this doesn’t make us or legitimate us to consider ourselves artists!

Famous Digital Artists

1. David McLeod

Digital Art: Famous Artists

2. Stephen Mcmennamy

Digital Art: Famous Artists

3. Alberto Seveso

Digital Art: Famous Artists

4. Sean  Charmatz

Digital Art: Famous Artists

5. Jason Naylor

Digital Art: Famous Artists

6. Aiste Stancikaite

Digital Art: Famous Artists



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