For ages there have been neverending heated discussions in art groups and now also on social media: What is considered art? When do you call yourself an artist? What is talent, what are skills? Are real artists using tools like grids or a projector to help with outlining their paintings? Is digital artwork really art?
I've just read this morning in one of the Facebook Art groups "Everybody can do digital art".
My answer: Everybody can do art, period!
If you create something, a creation that is coming from your heart, and your thoughts and feelings flow into it, or you interpret something with your eyes and experience, you create art. I don't care for the medium, and I don't care how experienced you are.
Let's just look up the definition for art. Maybe that can clarify it.
According to this, art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."
There you have it. That works for me! Nowhere in any definition of art can you find something like "after earning an art degree" or "by using traditional tools on canvas".
Glass art is art. Fiber art is art. Wood art is art. Recycle art is art. Digital art is art.
If you create art, you are an artist.
Some people need to hear that every day. Again and again. In our "Artsy Broads" Facebook group many don't dare to think of themselves as artists, because they don't have any formal training or because they use materials that are not paint and canvas. But it's simple: If you create art, you are an artist.
So this whole "digital art is not REAL art" discussion this morning rubbed me obviously the wrong way (hence this blog post). And that has nothing to do with me getting a drawing tablet and experimenting a lot with digital art at the moment. This has always been my opinion!
BTW. Here it is, the VEIKK A30 drawing tablet is my newest toy. I use it with Photoshop to sketch, draw, and paint and create digital art such as the "Pride" drawing in this photo or my dog Bailey's portrait in the feature image for this blog post.
Even though I have more than 10 years of Photoshop experience "under my belt", creating digital art is a whole different animal then retouching artwork to prepare them for printing, designing birthday invites or editing photos for listing pieces in Etsy. It's a huge learning curve, but so much fun to explore all the possibilities.
Currently I'm enjoying a style that could be described as a mix of watercolor and sketching, combining both elements in one painting (as shown in the "Attitude" piece at the top of the page).
But as I'm offering digital family and pet portraits now as commissions, I've been exploring also the more traditional techniques such as realistic watercolor and pencil sketching.
Here is an example of a commissioned piece where I used a very traditional style.
Creating digital art is a wonderful technique for me to use in the hotter time of the year. My studio has no air conditioning, and with temperatures well over 90F, it's getting too hot to work either with acrylics or with alcohol inks.
This means, with summer approaching, you can expect me to post more of these digital pieces (unless I find a wealthy patron and are able to put A/C into my studio hahaha).
It's opening up a whole new world of possibilities, and I'm super excited to use this as an additional "offer" in my range of work.
Talk soon, stay safe, do art.
PS. Interested in commissioning a digital portrait, maybe as Father's Day gift? They're more affordable than you think (starting at $60)!
Contact me and we can discuss details.