I’ve decided to go over a topic I found over on the Imagekind forums, since it really got me thinking. Simply put, there are still people out there that don’t consider digital art “art.” I haven’t encountered much of this (yet), but I have to say that’s a pretty shallow thing to think. I can understand, to a degree, the role of ignorance here. For some people, they just don’t understand how digital art is actually made. There’s this idea that “the computer does all the work.” No. No it doesn’t. You can’t simply push a button and end up with a piece of art. That’s like thinking you can toss paints at a canvas and end up with the Mona Lisa. The fractalists I know spend hours working on their art, tweaking every little detail over and over. I know for my piece Power I spent, off and on, about 8 hours to get where I thought it was finished.
Then there’s the “but oil paints dont have an undo button” camp. Fair enough, computer programs make it easier to correct a mistake. I’d argue that’s a good thing. I know one problem with wanting to learn oils or acrylics is the difficulty in repairing a mistake. It takes more time and money if you make a serious mistake, and who likes having to scrape off your canvas to re-prime and start over? I think the digital medium opens up art to a much larger group of potential artists, much in the same way inexpensive cameras and their digital counterparts have opened up photography.
That brings up one last point: exclusivity. Art is for everyone. Why are there artists that insist on excluding everyone else from expressing themselves? There are very few things I won’t call art, as long as it is a real, honest expression of the artist involved. Maybe those people feeling threatened by the emergence of digital art need to take a step back and think about why they keep doing what they’re doing.