Digital Art: – Real or Fake? by Neil Sweeny

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Digital Art, by definition, is any art that is made with the help of a computer. It covers everything from drawings made on paper and scanned into a PC or photographs and images uploaded from a camera or digital device which can then be altered, changed or manipulated by the user or software on the computer.

Digital artists or digital graphic designers work in both the 2D and 3D worlds creating their designs and masterpieces, as experienced in most modern movies produced in Hollywood these days. Digital Artists also work in the more traditional art field and it is here where this controversial art style has come under some heavy criticism and scrutiny by many, particularly those who support analogue or painted canvas art.

When Polyphonic Digital music was introduced in the 1970’s with the Yamaha DX7 there was an uproar as many traditional acoustic musicians suddenly realized that one digital device could now replace a band robbing them of their bread and butter. Just imagine with one touch of a button, a professional, in-time drum track would suddenly play to support a live band for a whole gig or a piano/keyboard player, with no violin training, replicate a whole string section of an orchestra. There were some musicians who lost their jobs but on the whole it did force other musicians to practice more and get better with perfecting their arts.

So did digital music eventually take over all acoustic music? Of course not! Today, digital instruments, in fact, enhance musical performances as they work in concert with traditional analogue instruments.

What about Digital art?

The traditional art scene is also going through a very similar transition with the same type of criticisms and fears expressed by natural or analogue artists/painters. The biggest concern with traditional art today is centred around art programs like Adobe Photoshop which can create a masterpiece by simply manipulating a photograph. The user can pass it off as real art which can then be sold for similar prices as genuine painted art canvasses.

How do Digital artists authenticate their canvasses?

Today’s professional digital artist will keep a paint diary as proof of their creativity and “sweat and tears” with each canvas and print they create. Once a piece of art is created it can be printed onto many mediums such as canvas, glass or metal.

Will Digital Art replace traditional art? Of course not! Eventually the new style will find its place among the professional artistic community and be admired for its brilliance and artisanship.

Digital Art: Good or Bad – Real or Fake? At the end of the day each artist is responsible for their own conscience when they put signature to canvas no matter the art medium or style.