Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thinking out loud

It's no secret to anyone who knows me how much I love my Wacom tablet. Since I got it a few months ago, I've quit using the traditional forms of media almost entirely. This brings me to a couple of questions: Is digital artwork valid as art and will it eventually replace art in conventional media? Because I create all my work digitally lately, I never have a physical finished work - nothing you can hold in your hands. Of course, I can always print it out (or have it printed out), but then is it still an original? One generally thinks of a printed image as just that - a print. Even if it's a one off, it's still a print. Although most of the work I've done lately has been more in the realm of design that's meant to be added to the products in my Zazzle store; I have done a few paintings and drawings that I think could easily stand on their own, but they only exist on my hard drive. How does that impact their relevance? Does it impact their relevance?

At this point, the number of artists that use strictly digital media is probably relatively small, but this is the digital age. I suspect more and more artists will begin turning to digital. After all, who can resist the lure of dozens of different pens, brushes, paints and most any other medium you can think of right there at your fingertips? (Not to mention any color you want without having to blend or deal with the hassle of cleaning brushes.) Will art galleries eventually be filled with artists' work who have never so much as touched a real paintbrush or pencil? Maybe. Maybe not.

All I know is that, either way, I will keep happily using my tablet and hope that my computer doesn't crash.


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  2. Having wondered the same thing, my research netted that as a photographer the only way I could call an image the original, was to print one and destroy the negative or file. Copy the original and everything from that point then became a print.

    I would imagine the same would be true for digital artwork. Just like with film, there are purist who will only consider images that have been created using the original medium, as the "real thing".

    In photography I see the difference, a film camera is a simple camera offering no buttons or preset effects, everything depends on the photographer catching the right light and composition. The digital camera affords us some "help" along the way. However recent Ansel Adams negatives show his genius was in the developing or post processing, just as it is with the digital photographer. So, is it really that different?

    Having painted on my tablet, I still do not know..but, I too enjoy the convenience and versatility the tablet offers, though the texture and tactile characteristics are missing.

    As for the future... I think holographic will be the way to go.. now where did I put my projector?