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Digital Can’t Displace Oil Paintings

Digital Can’t Displace Oil Paintings

September 24, 2013

…But it can make them more affordable and time-saving and oops…not necessarily effort-saving.

Photographer, artist and philosopher Larry Bolch once wrote, “Photography is not an art. It is a medium through which an artist’s may create art.”

I would say the same about digital art. Digital is just a tool it’s not a medium like oil or water. Computers have invaded and transformed every nook and corner of our life. It has also transformed our art forms. Digital has made it possible to create record, manipulate and distribute music; create animations and do film editing; do word processing and with one touch of a button manage complex changes that artists can’t do manually, even if they may otherwise be very gifted.

Ask an animator if digital technology has made special effects a child’s play. Or, quiz a scribe about an easy flow of ideas because there is now a device called a word processor to assist his thought flow. Or ask a Mathematics teacher from your old school if calculators should be allowed in schools and they will all vehemently shake their heads, express shock and say ‘no’. Yet we all know that these devices are being freely employed at work stations and in schools, not because they make simplified art, but because they simplify the process of art-making and, mind you, there is a huge difference in those two statements.

In short, digital doesn’t help you cheat. It only makes your art better. It gives you tools that can be manipulated like material tools, so I don’t really understand the term “digital art” – pray, what’s that?

How is my art or digital art different from the work of an artist, who doesn’t use a computer but brush, paints and canvass instead?

How is software cheating? Could you, even if you were a skilled artist, be able to use Photoshop to make a painting, exactly the way I would make it?

I guess not. So where is the divide? In our minds? Or rather in the tech phobia that we hold in our minds?

Can a computer be programmed to paint on its own? God forbid!!!

Therefore it’s not the gun that matters but the man behind the gun. Art is more than a play of lines and shapes; more than just a color study. These days, it’s also about using 3D models to create an old castle set a top a majestic peak that soars to 1700ft above the picturesque island of Saba, even if you may not have visited the place once in your lifetime!

Would it be art? Illustration? Virtual reality or an illusion?

I would have personally had no problem with any of those descriptions because no one art form can be more salient than the other – what say yaa?

Therefore I find it a tad difficult to comprehend why digital art is not considered the “real thing”. People tend to junk it saying all you tend to do is press a few buttons and Viola, you have a masterpiece!

How I wish life or art was that simple!

But it ain’t.

At the risk of sounding brash, I would say, “Browse our portfolio and see for yourself how real some of our work is” – real as in the sense of an oil painting that’s a 100% manual output.

As for me, our digital paintings draw a lot of work out of me and then some. And when I am finally done, I feel as exhausted with the creative process as any other artist worth his/her salt might feel, so I again wonder – why this bias for digital art?

On the contrary, I’ve found it a very useful tool not just for multiplying our work but also in storing and caring for it. It’s easy to transmit it to a client, retrieve it from a folder and blow it up to any measurement or size.

The greatest gift is that when you begin to play around with these technological tools, you begin to discover new applications and uses for the same tools, and manipulate them to your end in ways unimaginable before. Form the consumer’s perspective, digital art is also more affordable and take less time (not necessarily less effort) to be made.

All said and done, they can be a perfect gift for any season, reason or occasion.

Doubt that?

Check out our prices.

You’ll be scandalized.

I bet.

And that’s the worst-kept secret of digital art – it almost takes the same amount of effort, but fetches us less money.

But who is cribbing?

Not me, for sure.

And with that, I rest my case.

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