The controversy over digital art remains as a contention between traditional artists and digital artists web-wide.
When speaking of digital art, I refer to art which is painted stroke by stroke in a program such as Artrage or Corel Painter, and not a cloning program which I don't consider original art. There is a massive difference between the two, and that is a valid point I feel the puritanical traditional artists need to be able to see in action, or even try for themselves before they can legitimately state that digital art is not art.
What are the main reasons given against digital art?
1. There is no original.
2. There is heart and soul in the traditional work which is created by a human hand.
Before I get deeper into my own opinion on this matter, I wish to state that my first love is traditional art, but not for the reasons other's give. I love traditional art just for the love of the mess, smell and feel. I'm also developing an allergy to some of the products which are forcing me to study the digital realm in depth and ask myself the same question about digital art. Is it art?
When I open Corel Painter or Artrage, I am faced with a blank canvas, and from there I paint stroke by stroke gradually building up my underpainting, getting in all the darks and lights before I lay on more paint to bring the work closer to the finished product. After a time, I forget I am sitting at a Cintiq with a graphic pen and am totally immersed in my Painting. Time is lost. My brain can no longer feel a difference between digital or traditional because my entire focus is switched from mechanics to heart and soul.
The description above equally applies to traditional art except my original digital file is immediately printed out at full size, then backed up and it is MY original. Please do not tell me there is no heart, soul, or human hand lacking in digital painting.
It took a lot of thought to come to the conclusions I have regarding digital art. I didn't arrive here by some miracle, but by deep and serious introspection and the need to leave behind any pretence.
My mind meandered to singers, dancers, composers, and writers.
Firstly, lets take the almighty composer Beethoven. His final performance was a failed attempt to play his own artwork Piano Concerto #5, otherwise known as the Emporer.
That very final performance was the very last Original of Beethoven's works if we compare traditional art to music.
Can you then explain what this gentleman is playing? Or maybe tell him his piano work is a mere derivative, or not real art because there is nought but a recording left after he has performed, and oh my, the recording is a mere digital and cannot be considered art, and lo and behold, it doesn't smell. I love playing devil's advocate even against myself, and did, and am playing that very role in order to arrive at these conclusions.
Shall we move on to writers? MS word? That's digital. Ouch. Sorry. Singers who once the huge high C is sung are left without an original????? I think you get the idea.
If not, it's your choice to remian in what I see as a closet with your blinkers on. All of this is my own opinions and not meant or intended to convince you, which I couldn't be bothered to waste the time with. I had enough problems convincing myself until pure logic, humility, and a total lack of prejudice forced me to see reason.
There more I think about it, the more digital art is closer to the other art forms than traditional art. After completion there is nothing left except a digital copy of the work perfomed, or a recording as such.
Does that make tradition art divine? No, although on many forums the traditionalists who would never paint digitally [their words, not mine] speak of their traditional art as if it was the holy grail and yet would do anything to sell a Digital print of said work.
The one thing I can say is that despite all the traditional art training I have had, and still undertake, the very first time I sat in front of a digital canvas and tried to paint was a total and absolute disaster. It took me about 5 years to learn how to apply all my traditional skills to the digital world, and that was a long 5 years and still going. I'm at a point now where I love to combine the two worlds, loving each of them.
To me, both digital and traditional art are most certainly art. Neither worth more than the other in the heart and soul of the creator. Both deserve the recognition for their hard earned efforts.
And as the day draws to a close, I shall forever love traditional art, I just don't worship it, or believe that it should be idolized or worshipped at the expense of other forms of art. For myself, the outcome and emotional feeling I gain from viewing another's art no matter how it was created is what means the most. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, that is all that counts : the effect on the viewer.
Credit for the Public Domain Image of Beethoven : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beethoven.jpg