Jakkal (jakkal) wrote,

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Digital Art

Yeah, another rant. I seem to be full of them lately. Well kids, today's rant subject is the value of Digital Art. Yeah, broken record, I know I've bitched about this in the past but I saw something recently that sparked my ire once more.

Okay so anyway, I'm reading this rant, don't even remember who wrote it, but who isn't important. It was the arrogant tone that got my goat, and then the thing that burried the hatchet of absolute condescention within my heart and soul. Digital art isn't worth as much as traditional art because there's no 'undo' button. And when I say worth, I don't mean monitary value. I know Digital art won't be worth as much as tradition because you can make "multiple originals." Or more appropriately, there really isn't much of an original.

And you know what? That's bullshit. Yeah, there's a lot of bad digital or digitally enhanced art out there. There are lots of people that use and abuse filters to get a cheap and quick look, and then want all the praise and attention for what an uber awesome pic it is. But guess what, there's just as much bad traditional art out there, using "real life filters". Want an example? Let's look at the salt in the watercolor. Oh what about the celophane rocks. How about the toothbrush grain. Just like in photoshop, these "filters" can be used as a tool to make awesome effects, or give the impression that you're drawing/painting something. But by themselves-> cheap ass art just as much as the noise/blur, lens flares, and bevel/emboss. How many traditional pics do we see now a days that has a monochrome background done with prang cake paints with enough salt to make the dead sea dry up? Lots.

But now let's get to the real point of this rant, the "Undo". First and formost, painting digitally takes just as much skill and practice as traditional painting. You need good tools (tablet) just like painters need quality canvas, paints, brushes, etc. I'm sick and damn tired of people saying "oh it was done on a tablet" like that means the tablet is a magical tool that directly connects to your brain and draws the images FOR you. I don't walk up to painters and tell them "Oh you didn't use your own HAIR to paint that picture?!" *scoff scoff*. I'm sorry, it's ignorance, or lack of self esteem, or something. Anyway. There's lots of tutorials for making kickass details and things for digital art. Kinda like there are books and other tutorials for traditional paints. But where you can easily take some celophane and smack it against some masonite, I can't do that digitally, so I have to find other ways to do it. That's when I use the filters. And just like the celophane, you can't leave a filter as the 'final', you need to touch it up. Let me repeat YOU need to touch it up. The filter can't do it, photoshop can't do it, the tablet can't do it. You and your skill has to do it. The undo button, the filters, the tablet, none of that will do you any good when you want to make a painting in photoshop ANYMORE than your brush, your celophane, your sponge, salt, or pallet knife will make the paintings for you. No trick, no tutorial, no filter will make up for raw talent and skill that a person must -earn- over time, by practicing and learning the tools of the trade.

Also on the tract of tutorials, having the ability to easily make realistic textures, effects, and objects makes it sometimes more difficult to compose an image, because you have to keep the image consistant with the effects you're using. If you have a cartoon colored character on what appears to be a realistic-textured rock with no shading, then your art is going to look like crap. Having the ability to easily make realistic looking features does NOT mean the image will automatically look kickass awesome and realistic by itself.

In addition to that, with the level of detail that the upper echelon digital artists put into their pictures, the Undo button is worthless. I don't know about you guys, but when I paint fur, I use the regular old round brushes, I paint the hairs with single strokes, working the size of the brush down until it looks like fur. When you're putting in hundreds of strokes for one clump of fur, the undo button will do you very little good to fix a problem. Infact, it's easier for me to fix a problem by painting over it and starting fresh than it would be to use the undo button. And there are ways to "undo" things in real life-> Water, linseed oil, turpentine, paint over it. Hell, rub the paint off with your finger, sometimes that works. And even still the original undo button is that little pink thing on the end of your pencil: the eraser.

I had to work hard, for years, to get to the skill level that I'm at in photoshop. It's the same dedication and practicing that's required for traditional art. Just because I use a media that's not as tangible doesn't mean my art is worth any less than any other media.

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