Posts Tagged ‘Digital Media’

Digital Art is Real Art – Really!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

There’s an old adage that most people can’t define art, but they know it when they see it. The definition of art was debated long before the digital age. From Greek philosophers to the United States Supreme Court, wise people have tried to define what art is, the process by which it is created, and its meaning to society.

Defined in simple terms by Merriam-Webster, art is “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.”

As the process of creating digital art evolves and becomes more commonplace, we see debates in internet forums and hear conversations in museums and coffee shops about whether art created digitally can really be considered art.

Open for interpretation

Many would argue that art cannot be defined. In fact, the legal system has declined to “define” art and has instead left it open to interpretation. It allows for societal norms and does not put limitations on the evolving process by which it is created.

For the most part, fine art has been defined as something created primarily for beauty rather than utility and placed into categories such as painting, sculpture, poetry and music.

What is digital art?

Digital art is any form that utilizes digital technology during production. Fairly broad in definition, we know, but there are as many forms of digital art as traditional art. For the most part, though, a digital artist sits in front of a computer monitor to create, rather than a blank canvas or hunk of unformed clay.

Sometimes the image created is done from scratch; other times the artist is manipulating an existing image into something different and unique. Like other forms, digital art can take on many forms, from illustration to multimedia to interactive.

Commonalities exist between digital and traditional art. As in traditional art, there are very few successful, self-taught artists. The best digital artists study traditional techniques in order to become better artists. There is skill involved. Like a painter, a digital artist has tools available to help him create. But those tools do not create; the artist does! And like a painter, the digital artist must be well-versed in light, color, texture, saturation, and depth. Perhaps most importantly, each artist has to possess a desire to create and express through the medium.

Does digital art meet the definition of art?

Of course it does. At its base, art is merely a form of communication. The artist, through creativity, is attempting to express an idea or evoke an emotion. The same is most certainly true for a digital artist.

Like any other form of art, digital is merely the newest evolution of art. The potential of digital will grow as technology progresses and will be limited only by the artist’s imagination.

Cogswell College’s Bachelor Degree in Digital Art & Animation is designed to prepare students for exciting careers throughout the entertainment, media and art industries. Through extensive coursework, students gain hands-on experience using the latest tools and applications for 3D graphics and animation.

Artists speaking truth – The Tech hosts talk on “The Future of Play”

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Future of Play talk stage with Mr. Snibbe and Mr. Wilcox

Michael Martin, dean of Cogswell College, invited all students to attend a talk presented by Joe Wilcox and Scott Snibbe, two well known modern artists, about the “Future of Play” in our world today. It was hosted at the Tech Museum of Innovation, nested in the heart of Downtown San Jose which was very fitting for the talk since the museum is dedicated to the future of play through technological advances. The whole talk lasted no longer than about two hours, but in those two short hours the guests got to see some of the prior works of these two artists and hear their view on the topic at hand.

The two of them felt that play hasn’t really changed in the years that it has existed since they explained that play is a state of enjoyment and pleasure doing any one thing; getting lost in something you like to do. Mr. Wilcox continued more on that by bringing up the fact that today the play that we had 12 to 15 years ago is so different than today’s “re-invention” of play. To justify this claim of re-invention, he referenced the interaction between people and the play that would come of interactions and how it has changed today. He described that back when children and teenagers wanted to hang out or have some quality time together they would not have the luxury of texting or instant messaging. Instead they would have to plan it out ahead of time, call them through phone, or just go to their houses in person and see if they wanted to do anything. It was a bit harder to judge when or where a person would be without the connection tools of today, Mr. Wilcox went on to say, but it was still a way for people to interact face to face and still have that feeling of interaction.

He then moved to today’s reality that has the medium of the internet and cell phones to transfer information and provide alternate forms of play by means of video games, interactive applications, and lightning fast text messages. Both then went on to describe that these mediums, although helpful, distracts the real interaction that play needs to be enjoyed to its fullest since most of these new products need no one else to operate them than the user from the comfort of their own room. They made sure to remind everyone that they didn’t say these new advances in technology were bad, but to say that their influence was essentially “re-inventing” the definition of play in such a way that would mean less interaction outside of one’s household.

The night ended with a raffle, some thank you’s, and pictures to remember the event by. The whole experience was great and I really can’t wait until the next time The Tech holds another one of these talks. Plus, their view on “Play” got me to get out of the house that weekend to work out with friends, which I haven’t done in weeks. Looks like they have some truth to what they say!

Special thanks to our dean, Michael Martin for letting the students know about the meeting!


P.S. Here’s a picture of both Wilcox and Snibbe that I drew during the talk. I showed them from where I was sitting and they gave me a thumbs up. Even Mr. Snibbe said that it was good (although I think he was just being nice!).

Sketch of Wilcox and Snibbe