The Reality of Digital Art

Categories: MuseumPainting

Artwork throughout the histories has been known to be a creative, open minded space. It’s a form of expression, like famous artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, and Edgar Degas. But, as time passes on, up to the 21st century, where technology is beginning to reach pikes we dreamed of, the form of digital artwork has began to sprung out. Many individuals have taken accustomed to pursue making comics, or animation, or just digital works. However, not many people agree that working in Photoshop or Adobe is considered “real” art, that it’s just a form of digits and numbers, and that since technology has grown, you can do everything in a simple press of a button.

But is it true? In an opinionated set of eyes, digital art is considered a real form of art, throughout what’s classified as digital work, what jobs and careers it opens for people, and how making art is set on skill and practice.

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According to the web search engine Google, digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process. In short, what is digital art exactly? What could be classified as art in a digital sense? To go over some aspects, photography is the concept of capturing a moment in time with a device, photo painting combines disciplines of photography and painting, digital collaging is a technique of combining many images one image. vector drawing uses vector drawing software and creates the image totally in the virtual environment, The art here lies in the invention of the mathematical formulas themselves and the way the programs are written to take advantage of the display capabilities of the hardware.

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Digital artwork is classified into so many aspects that have turned into daily jobs and have sparked talent and interest into the daily lives of people all around the world, even dating back to The Great Depression where a photographer named Dorothea Lange captured with digital technology of the life that puddled with the Depression. (Holt pg 1-3)

Following up on that, there’s also a wide range and variety of job opportunities that involve the media of digital artwork. When going to a college, an example being Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD), they specialize in forms of digital artwork, like 2D and 3D animation, photography, etc. Digital artwork unlocks many careers with a digital arts degree, leading to jobs in multimedia design, game design, model making, digital composer, and so much more. These jobs consist of creativity, and the flow of development. (Flashpoint Chicago pg 2-6)

Digital art is a conflicted issue when it comes to considering it a “real” art form. It brings on discussions in an art community that brings up several issues. If you consider it, we do the same thing that traditional artists do. In traditional media, you can make artwork from sculpting, drawing, and painting. We can do the same thing with digital work: 3D modeling is sculpting, drawing with tablets or on screen with a stylist, and painting, like photo painting. With it all being so technical, some people could consider this work easy, that it could be as simple as pressing a button and the computer does all the work for you. However, it’s important to realize that, you are equipped with the tools in order to do the work, but they don’t have technique assigned to them. Traditional art isn’t easy, and it does take lots and lots of work to project the image into materials. It’s the same with digital art. As stated in the article, “Drawing a line on paper or dirt is no different than drawing a line with a stylist pen. The result is created in a different format, but it doesn’t change anything.” It takes skill and practice to become better at handling the tools given to create something beautiful.

Digital art is one of a long series of formats that were once new media and have since become traditional media. At Bucknell University, a whole article involving experts, like Richard Rinehart, a director of the Samek Art Gallery, discusses how important digital art is in his gallery’s collection. He expresses, “Digital art is not digitized art, that is to say, pictures of paintings that have been digitized to go on a website. Nor are digitally assisted prints where somebody uses Photoshop to help design a print but then prints it out on paper and hangs it in a frame on the wall in a gallery. That is still traditional art, though it might be digitally assisted.I define digital art as that which requires computational technologies for its production and its reception; computers are an essential component of making the art and viewing the art.” (University pg. 1)

Now, this wouldn’t be a complete essay without a simple-minded counter argument. It is concerned that computers do all the work, since they’re developing technologies. It’s arguable that in more traditional artworks, there’s more effort to be placed, making it more unique and appraised, rather than pixels with 1’s and 0’s, and it’s a very valid point. With digital artwork, you can resize images, change color easily, fix up any mistakes with the undo button, and there’s a bunch of benefits they have that traditional artists don’t have. Unlike digital platforms, traditionals are stuck with erasing, waiting hours to color over something, getting messy, and sometimes be so discouraged that they throw away their hard work. They also struggle to sometimes get the right color if they need to mix colors again, which can be frustrating to the artist. ( Zagrobelna pg 24-25)

In conclusion, the general argument that digital art should be classified as a true medium in the art community still stands strong, as we further advance into our world, where new technology is being built and generated everyday. We’re consumed by technology, and everything is digitally on screens, and based on our society, we plan to stay that way for a long time. Of course, unless there’s a zombie outbreak and we crumble and fall apart, but it’s (almost) unlikely that’ll happen. Yes, both digital and traditional forms of artwork are widely appreciated, and in fact, both are heavily respected. It’s just the matter of recognizing that digital artwork that’s done on Photoshop and other programs should be classified as real art, and not just “cheap shortcuts” in the art community.

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The Reality of Digital Art. (2021, Oct 14). Retrieved from

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