Is Digital Art “Real” Art? Facts and Myths About Digital Creating

Morgan Bland

Monika Zagrobelna’s article, “Is Digital Art “Real” Art? Facts and Myths About Digital Creating” (2014) argues digital art creation requires the same amount of skill and effort as traditional media. Zagrobelna supports this claim by comparing the processes for creating different forms of traditional art to the digital versions and emphasizing the importance of skill through example art pieces crafted on digital media. The purpose of this article is to outline the pros and cons of all art mediums and stress the effort required to create digital art is equal to all others in order to counter those who claim that digital art is “cheating” or easier than traditional forms. Due to the specific terminology and Zagrobelna directly speaking to the reader her audience is aspiring artists and critics of digital art.

After reading Zagrobelna’s article I must agree with her argument, technology cannot replace skill and, although it can speed up the process, without good fundamentals you will not create anything better on a digital medium. Therefore, any digital art created requires the same amount of skill as every other art media. For me, the author really sold the argument with a clever analogy “If you can’t drive a cheap car, a Lamborghini won’t be any better.” That was a surprisingly apt comparison that makes the argument clear; fancy tech tools do not change how well you can draw only practice can do that. I appreciate her point of view mainly because, at this time in my research, it accurately reflects the view of the artistic community who mostly defend digital art. At the same time, she has some common ground with the author from my previous post agreeing technology should be viewed as a tool for creation and all responsibility for the artwork belongs to the user. Whether the user’s choice of a technological medium is positive or negative, however, is where they differ. Zagrobelna argues it as a positive and contradicted many critics claim that digital art is “cheating” because the work doesn’t require anytime to set or dry, by saying that painting is faster than drawing because a brush covers so much more area than a pencil. Yet, no one has ever claimed painting is cheating. For some reason that argument would sound completely ridiculous comparing those two mediums. This makes me wonder why don’t we compare other media in the way we compare digital and traditional art? As well as, why do we need to compare digital art to traditional art? Is it even reasonable?

Zagrobelna, Monika. “Is Digital Art “Real” Art? Facts and Myths About Digital Creating.” Envatotuts. Envato, 30 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.

Images: Created by Monika Zagrobelna

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3 thoughts on “Is Digital Art “Real” Art? Facts and Myths About Digital Creating

  1. Traditional and digital art require similar sets of skills, and have the same foundations. One thing I’ve noticed is that people don’t see this and complain that digital art is “cheating” or “posing” because it’s “easier”. They also complain about how a computer “does all of the work” because digital painting isn’t using “real materials”. Well, that’s the equivalent of saying that traditional isn’t art because the paint and brushes do all of the work for you. It’s not the tools that do the work, if not the person using them. To me it is a matter of the artists preference as all forms of art have their flaws. I appreciated this article and how it explained what exactly goes into creating work both in the digital and traditional sense.

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  2. I completely agree with this article. From experience working with both traditional and digital art, I know that you can’t create a digital masterpiece without any skill. I do believe that many aspects of digital art make creation quicker, easier, and more varied than traditional art options. Most critics’ arguments probably stem from there. However, that does not mean that digital artists lack talent. Conversely, they may be even more creative by knowing how to utilize the wide variety of tools available on their programs.

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  3. I agree with the points of view presented in this post, and also enjoy the quote from the article that compares driving a Lamborghini to graphic design. It really connects the reader to something that isn’t as debatable as the perspectives of artistic design. I do want to point out that many digital designers do dedicate a lot of time to their art, just like traditional artists. I think in these arguments, a lot of people do not give credit to these designers because it is “quick and easy.” However, I believe digital designers can take just as much time trying to perfect a piece than a painter can. There are people who will paint a masterpiece in three hours, or it may take weeks. The same can be said for digital artists.
    Kaitlyn Ancell

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