Digital Art : The What, Who, Why & How

5 min read
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Digital art has revolutionized the way we think about art, offering new possibilities for expression, preservation, and engagement. The rise of technology has not only made it possible for artists to create in new ways, but also for audiences to access and interact with art in new ways. 

In this article, we will delve into the world of digital art, exploring key players, and current trends in the field. We will also examine the challenges and criticisms of digital art, and how it is shaping the future of the art world. 

Whether you’re an artist, a collector, or simply a lover of art, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of the exciting world of digital art.

Summary:

  1. What is Digital Art?
  2. Who is creating Digital Art?
  3. Why is Digital Art Important?
  4. How can you Collect and Appreciate Digital Art?

1. What is Digital Art?

Digital Art refers to any form of art that is created using digital technology. This can include digital paintings, animations, digital sculptures, and interactive installations.

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Digital art, created using computer-generated methods or derived from sources like scanned photos, encompasses various forms like fractal and algorithmic art. While digitized text, audio, and video are not typically classified as digital art, they can contribute to computer and information arts projects. Artworks are considered digital when made similarly to non-digital pieces but using computer software and outputting images as if on canvas.

So what is its superiority over traditional art?

One benefit of digital art is that it is much more convenient than traditional art due to the fact that you don’t need to gather tools like brushes, paints, etc. and require minimal setup. It is also much easier to fix than traditional art due to its ability to undo most mistakes at the touch of a button.

It is also much easier to store and distribute digital art than other traditional art forms because it is stored digitally. Artists can simply submit their prints digitally with a few clicks if the need arises. This process allows digital art to be more accessible, global, and influential.

2. Who is Creating Digital Art?

Digital art is created by a wide variety of artists, including:

  • Digital Painters: Artists use software like Photoshop or Corel Painter to craft digital paintings resembling traditional styles. With backgrounds in traditional art, they embrace digital tools, as seen in Jazza’s “The Dreamer” and H.R. Giger’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
  • 3D Artists: Using software like Autodesk Maya or Blender, artists create 3D models of characters, environments, and objects for animation in short films or video games. They often have backgrounds in animation, game design, or architecture, with examples like Pixar’s “Toy Story” and Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy VII Remake.”
  • Interactive Artists: Artists using hardware and software combinations create interactive installations for visitors to explore various environments or experiences. Their backgrounds often involve programming, engineering, or game design, with examples like Random International’s “Rain Room” and Zach Lieberman’s “The Treachery of Sanctuary.”
  • Generative Artists: Artists employing programming languages like Processing or openFrameworks create algorithmically generated, evolving art. They often have computer science or programming backgrounds, with examples like Joshua Davis’ “The Persistence of Chaos” and “The Reflection of the Future.”
  • Digital Sculptors: Using software like Zbrush or Mudbox, these artists create 3D models for sculptures, which can be 3D printed. They often have backgrounds in sculpture or 3D modeling, with examples like Zach Lieberman’s “Carnivore” and Joshua Davis’ “The Future of Us.”
  • Virtual Reality Artists: Artists utilizing virtual reality technology create immersive experiences for visitors to explore and interact with various environments. Their backgrounds often include game design, animation, or architecture, with examples like Valve’s “The Lab” and Google’s “Tilt Brush.”

This list is not exhaustive, and many artists are multidisciplinary and combine several practices. Also, new forms of digital art are constantly emerging, and new artists are entering the field.

3. Why is Digital Art Important?

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Digital art has transformed art creation, engagement, and preservation, offering increased accessibility and inclusivity. As technology advances, digital art continues to evolve, shaping the art world in innovative ways. Virtual and augmented reality now enable immersive experiences, blurring the lines between physical and digital realms. This medium also finds integration in industries like architecture and advertising, opening doors for collaboration and experimentation.

New challenges and criticisms have emerged, such as copyright, preservation, and authenticity concerns, as well as debates over the value of digital versus traditional art. Despite these issues, digital art gains acceptance as a valid art form, with growing recognition in galleries and museums. As the world further digitizes, more artists and audiences will likely adopt digital art for expression, preservation, and engagement, pushing artistic boundaries and reshaping our perception of art.

4. How can you Collect and Appreciate Digital Art?

Digital art is sold and collected through a variety of channels, including online marketplaces, digital art galleries, and through the artists’ own websites.

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  • Digital Art Galleries: such as Virtual Reality Gallery or VR Gallery, that showcase and sell it in virtual exhibitions. These galleries allow collectors to visit, view and even purchase in an immersive environment.
  • Online marketplaces: There are several online marketplaces that specialize in selling digital art, such as DeviantArt, Artstation, and Saatchiart, which allow artists to upload and sell their work to a global audience.
  • Artists’ websites: Digital artists often have personal websites to showcase and sell their work directly to buyers. This fosters a personal connection between the artist and collector, enabling the purchase of limited edition or unique pieces.
  • NFT Marketplaces: NFT marketplaces like Rarible, SuperRare, and KnownOrigin enable artists to mint their digital artworks as unique non-fungible tokens. These tokens can be bought and sold as digital collectibles, creating scarcity and uniqueness in the world of digital art collecting and trading.
  • Online Auctions: This is also sold through online auctions, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, which allow buyers to bid on digital artworks, providing the opportunity to purchase rare or unique pieces.
  • Physical exhibitions and fairs: Digital art is often showcased in physical exhibitions and fairs, where it is displayed on screens or projected onto walls. This allows collectors to experience and acquire digital art in a tangible setting.

You can freely incorporate digital art into your daily life and work. Some simple ways include printing and hanging it, displaying it on digital devices or frames, using virtual reality headsets, and incorporating it into home decor. Additionally, digital art allows for easy relationship building and community connection through online forums and social media groups dedicated to digital art enthusiasts. These platforms facilitate learning about admired art and artists while connecting with like-minded individuals.

Conclusion

Digital art has come a long way since its early days, and today it is a vibrant and rapidly evolving field that is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in art. Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or just getting started, we highly encourage you to explore and appreciate in all its forms. From online galleries and museums, to online art communities, to experimenting with digital art software and tools, there are many ways to engage with digital art and discover the many ways it can inspire and delight you.

Don’t be afraid to dive in and discover the world of digital art for yourself, you will be amazed at the diversity and richness of this medium.

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