Art in the digital age



Before I talk about the news piece, I would love to express that I am extremely impressed by the fact that the scholars in our readings conducted empirical researches on the career and work of artists. I myself can only imagine this kind of study focusing on their wedges or other quantitative indexes but their work and career, in my very personal opinion, can be the most “qualitative” thing in the world.

Now get back to the right track. The news piece I am sharing today is about digital artists, a group of creative workers use digital tools to perform art. As the technology develops, art itself is witnessing a change in its format, tools and platforms. For example, painters do not only work in oils, acrylics, pencils, charcoal or whatnot, they “happen to use the computer” and other digital tools. There are misconception about the digital artists: they are believed to work on pixels, layers and rasterization — art created using the computer, but this article shows that the group is more than that. Moreover, digital artists don’t “manipulate photo”, which is “entirely different than painting, starting out with a blank canvas and starting from scratch.” 


However, there are several problems to deal with for digital artists, which is really interesting to think about.

The first challenge digital artists can be confronted with is that they are unable to “see the brush strokes, the texture of paint on the canvas or the thought process.” As far as I’m concerned, art is always about the inspirations artists gain from their lives or other artifacts they admire. It’s also about the strongly feelings occurring in a short moment when they feel something they want to express. But the digital format can force you lose the opportunity to admire other artifacts and my cost you the wonderful thoughts and ideas.

The Menger article shows that artists can have this identity crisis problem: is the artist a professional, an entrepreneur or just a highly skilled contingent worker? In the news piece, the author talks about the confusion presented by digital artists (or workers?). For instance, it raises the popular opinion that graphic design “isn’t a true art, but does have some art aspects.” And this brings up the interesting problem of “Art VS. Design”.

A fascinating idea raised by one of the characters in the news piece is about the types of digital artists. According to the character in the article, there are three types of digital artists:

  • People who push the medium’s limits, such as artists who design video games, 3D models and whole new worlds;
  • People that use digital art as they would a fine art;
  • People who utilize digital art as a tool.

We cannot say this is art in the digital age, or digital design in the art format. But the occupation and the questions definitely bring a new and interesting topic about the convergence of creative industry and art industry to our face.


To read the article, click HERE.


by Feiran


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