Edward Phelan’s article, “The Digital Art Debate: A Lesser Art Form?” (2014) claims digital art and traditional art can coexist in the form of digital art prints. Phelan supports his argument by outlining the difference between the art forms, discussing the opposing viewpoints of real artists in the debate between digital and traditional art, and describing the digital print process requiring both hand-draw work and online tools. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that digital art is a competent art form and clarify that traditional and digital art are not always opponents, they can work together and enhance each other. Phelan provides basic definitions, background information, and uses plain language throughout the article this suggests the intended audience is artists and art lovers who would want to get more involved in the argument.
Personally, I appreciate Phelan’s idea, not only are they equal in ranking, but they work together to create something that everyone can enjoy. Recently I commented on a fellow author’s post asking why traditional and digital art cannot coexist and now I am pleasantly surprised to find an example of just that. These digital prints start as hand drawn designs and move to the computer, which is very innovative in a way. Technology seamlessly assimilated into other aspects of our lives cameras allowed us to record and re-watch performances, email sends our letters instantaneously, and Google is just an expanded library accessible at every moment. All of these examples are seen as technological advances so enhancing traditional art styles shouldn’t be any different, should it? On the other hand, there is a counter-argument I think Phelan doesn’t take into account. Traditional art supporters might criticize digital art prints as cheating because after uploading your printed art you don’t just add to the work you edit the mistakes. By physically manipulating the hand drawn art it could be argued that you don’t need skill, just the right tools. I wonder, has anyone has anyone made this claim? Moreover, is this coexistence actually bringing the opposing sides together or pushing them further apart?
Phelan, Edward. “The Digital Art Debate: A Lesser Art Form?” Storify. Storify, 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
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