Digital art ? not real art, right? Do you reckon you could do the same, if you had just enrolled in one of Adobe's Photoshop courses? And maybe had a couple of thousand dollars to spend on cameras, and computers? We don't mean to downplay your technical abilities, or your own special talents, but we do want to show you how digital artists create something unique, beautiful and touching, just as much as physical artists do. It seems to be a generally held perception that digital art, whether it is photography of the real world, or manipulation of reality, can be made by anyone? and therefore, why should you pay for it! Digital art has its own special skills required ? fusing technical expertise with craftsmanship is not easy! And you can see so much of the artist in the art, just like you can in a painting, or a sculpture. You see fears, dreams, hopes, random thoughts, and the world as another person views it, just as much as Michelangelo or Picasso showed us these hallways in their own minds. If you can break down this barrier in your own mind, you will be opening yourself up to a whole new world of art, seeing beauty in the straight line and form in the cursor's movement? Unfortunately, not everyone has the facilities to be able to buy a great camera, an excellent computer, a copy of Photoshop and enrol themselves in a course to learn how to use it. If everybody did, nobody would have this concept, that art comes from money! We will have to look at several parallel arguments, and extrapolate the original ones, to see if the conclusions we come to are still true? If you are a parent, do you think you are good at your job? Do you think you are raising well-balanced kids, and you have a good understanding of their needs and their psyche? I hope you do! Now, did you do a course in child psychology? Have you read many books on parenting and child psychology? Do you have the money to provide everything they need, and would be great for their future development? You may not, but we would never suggest that makes you a 'fake' parent ? that would be unfair. Parenting, like art, is not about money ? it is about something a bit deeper within, that comes a little more from your soul than your hip pocket.
In the same vein, technical skills cannot be substituted for by money (in the form of good equipment). David White agrees: 'I think that most of us ascribe attributes, mistakenly in a lot of cases, to people based upon their possessions, whether it is automobiles or cameras' (White, 2006). If you do a bit of cooking, do you think that you could make your favourite dishes just as well in an oven without a digital timer and thermostat control? Would losing your electric whisk make you a bad cook? We certainly don't think so ? we appreciate that the art of cooking is more about an instinct for flavour and texture, than the means you use to get to the end. So, if having the best equipment doesn't make somebody better at something, it follows that having worse than usual equipment shouldn't dampen someone's creativity, either. Van Gogh, along with many other artists, was not well-recognized in his time, and therefore he was not rich! He could not necessarily buy the best quality paints, or even enough paint to always have unmixed colors. He could not necessarily buy high-quality canvas to materialize his vision ? although this may have changed the dimensions of it slightly.
Yet, he is now one of the most recognized and appreciated artists of the last centuries. His equipment had no bearing on his art ? the feelings we get looking at his paintings and prints come from something other than the fibre ratios of his canvas, and the chemical composition of his paints. Digital art requires a whole different set of artistic skills ? you don't necessarily need a delicate touch to mix colors, but you need an excellent eye to judge how the colors you click on will affect your work. You don't need an awe-inspiring setting, but your mind needs to be in that awe-inspiring place, nevertheless.
You do still need to be a great judge of a model, and you do still need what so many of us mere mortals lack, which is an eye for balance, and intimate knowledge of how our mind works. When you know how people will perceive something, you know how to challenge it. You must be able to define beauty to create it.
JD Jarvis agrees that digital art is unique as an artistic genre. He explains how digital art can seem a little mundane, since we only have the same old words that we have always used to describe it. We use these words to help it become accepted, to lessen people's fear of new and different things, but? 'Such shortcomings in our use of language to describe digital imaging processes demonstrate, if nothing else, how unique these tools and their results truly are' (Jarvis, 2006).
If they cannot be properly described, they must be truly new, truly groundbreaking, and not just something any schmoe with a computer can do! 'Here, on the flat surface of the digital print, the aesthetics of mimicry, simulation, facsimile and illusion become even more important' (Jarvis, 2006) .These are all new skills, which you need to make people feel something through your art? If we could, we would invite everybody around, to give you a rundown of our programs, lend you our equipment and send you off to create some great art ? we are sure that, not only would you come back with some gems among the rubble, but you would have a much better understanding of the vision it takes to uncover and form those gems!.
Domen Lombergar is a surreal artist now working solely in the digital medium. To learn more about about art visit his digital art community.