Digital art was the outcast of the art family in the past, but in recent years it has become accepted. The term seems like an oxymoron to some – digital art has been criticized for not being a ‘real art form’ and being too easy to create. According to WiseGEEK, “Digital art is defined as an artistic creation produced using digital technology.” To some, creating an art piece using tools on a computer may seem to lack an artistic quality, but using tools to express a story or emotion is the basis of every form of art.
According to Graphic Mania, “While digital arts does not provide the texture and volume that traditional arts does, at least for now, it is easy to edit and allows artists to use a huge number of effects and filters that can provide totally new creative experiences.” Both traditional art and digital art have limitations, but they provide interesting avenues unique to their genres.
Saying a digital artist is only as good as his software is the equivalent of saying a painter is only as good as his brush. To produce digital art, you must have artistic ability shown through the tools used. If a novice worked in Photoshop or Illustrator, s/he could not produce work at the level of a digital artist. Crafting a piece of digital art may be cleaner, but in and of itself, it is not lacking in artistic process.
Recently, digital art has gained an outlet in Daata Editions, an online outlet where supporters can purchase a piece of video, sound or web-based artwork. Unlike the digital pieces that can be hung on the wall, these pieces live online. “Dedicated to supporting artwork online, Daata Editions commissions works available in editions for purchase and exhibition, while maintaining public access for research,” according to its site.
Daata Editions commissioned six new pieces from 18 artists available for purchase by collectors. The workers are either video, sound or web-based. Once purchased, the collector gets a custom certificate of authenticity and a percentage of the profit goes to host another round of commissions. “In addition to the editions for purchase, artists keep two editions of each work, two editions are donated to arts institutions for exhibition, and one is kept for the Daata Editions archive for continued public access.”
With the move towards a digital world, digital art is inevitable. Expanding horizons for creative expression can only enhance the meaning of art. The pieces of digital art Zatista has in its collection provide a surreal depth that some collectors are looking for, and which only digital art can produce. The laws surrounding internet art are troublesome. Copyright infringement and illegal downloading has hit the music industry hard, so will it spill over into the art world? Now that digital art is being wholeheartedly considered, it has to be protected. In the next few years, this is what the genre will be fighting, but for now, it can bask in the glow of being accepted and celebrated.