I’m very excited to release my latest digital painting: “Welcome to My Humble Abode”.
I posted a small zoom in of this character on Instagram and it seemed to generate a good bit of buzz! Something that I’ve been mulling over recently is the “There and Back Again” journey I’ve had between traditional and digital media. I think it deserves a longer post than what I have time to write about today, but it occurred to me recently that I’ve had a really strange relationship with digital media for most of my career.
For a really long time after I got out of art school, I had serious hangups with working digitally. Only recently have I come to really embrace creating art that has no physical copy other than a printed reproduction. I think it had something to do with my identity as an artist and wanting to feel legitimate and accepted.
For years, I thought it was wrong to work digitally and had a Puritan steadfastness against it. I think it mainly stems from my professors in art school. Don’t get me wrong: I had a great education and in no way do I regret going to art school. But, I think my professors felt threatened by the changes in the industry as more artists were switching to digital media. As a young student, I felt compelled by their arguments and was rewarded every time I held aloft the banner of traditional art. Somehow I got it into my head that making art digitally was “cheating” and wasn’t “real art”, and though my professors may never have said this kind of statement outright, I certainly internalized it.
What is “real art” though? The truth is, it’s all real regardless of how the sausage is made. Making a living as an artist is freaking hard, no matter how you do it! The method has no bearing on this straight up fact. I think that this is the hard lesson that I have had to learn over years: working digitally is not “cheating” and is just as legitimate as traditional media.
Cheating implies that somehow an artist can break the rules of the game by working digitally… but it’s totally not, because the game is still played in exactly the same way. I still make the same color and value studies before I start a digital painting in exactly the same way I would for an oil painting. Knowledge of composition and anatomy is just as important as before. It’s just as easy to fall into the same traps and run in circles when working digitally as it is when working in oils. In fact, it’s almost easier to waste inordinate amounts of time because you’re not so worried about wasting paint and materials and bad habits can crop up really easily.
Anyway, I felt compelled to share this somewhat recent revelation. I hope you are all having a great week. When I have some spare time for editing, I’ll share a full time-lapse of this latest piece. I’m excited to show the process up close and personal!