The evolution of art in the digital age
By Ayra Fouad, Staff Writer
Artwork has always been an important part of humanity. A piece can provoke anger, happiness, love, or even, in some cases, extreme despair. The more an artist can tap into a person’s senses, the stronger a connection — whether that be to the artist, or to someone that can relate to the piece in the same way as the person who shared it.
The thing about art is that it is always changing. New mediums are created constantly — especially with the rise of technology. An artist doesn’t need a pen and paper when they have a tablet that can do the processing for them.
“Software is so much more accessible than it used to be,” states Matt Johnson, a graphic designer who works closely with the film and electronic industries in Calgary. “There are a ton of great apps for phones to create digital art pieces in seconds, that would have taken a lot of know-how only a couple of years ago.”
Johnson isn’t wrong when he states that access to the creation of digital art just keeps getting easier, regardless of the form an artist hopes to create.
“Video, audio, interactive; it’s all at your fingertips now.”
It’s not hard to remember a time when a trip to the local art supply store was in order. Although having a physical copy of a created piece is special, it made it harder for some artists to gain exposure.
An oil painting on canvas would need to be displayed in some form for that artist to receive feedback — whereas now, all it takes is the piece to be uploaded online. This isn’t necessarily a good or a bad thing, it just means that with the increasing use of technology, the market becomes slightly more saturated.
“I remember seeking out cool art on [the website] Deviant Art when I was in high school,” says Johnson. “Now, I don’t even know if that site exists. As an artist using the internet, I see art all the time. It’s definitely not all good, but I appreciate that it is so prevalent.”
Much like the proliferation of digital photography, everyone and their dog can be a digital artist – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
“Pull up Instagram and take a look at some of the filters available. They create some pretty impressive interactive art. It’s easier than ever to create digital art and social media has become the go-to way to share it,” says Johnson.
The rise of social media, much like the rise of technology, has given people access to a form of communication and exposure that has never been available before. People do have to be careful, though, regardless of the passion and talent put into their work.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in the likes/comments/follows game and lose sight of why you started making art in the first place. Same with any piece of software — make it work for you, and if it becomes a negative thing in your life, stop using it.”