What is it that makes digital art, photography or painting from a traditional way of doing it. I’m going to deliver a quick take on these matters in reference to value. This is not academic, it’s more situational. Because Art is so subjective, you can’t argue that one image is better than another. But what can be argued is when somebody purchases art from a computer, the story behind it is often so much less exciting than the story behind another form of art.
Let’s say you are at an outdoor art festival where hundreds of artists are showing and also selling their work. You can walk home that day with anything you like enough to buy. You run across a guy with these photo quality prints that he made with a computer. It’s got beautiful contrasts and the colors in it will look beautiful in your living room, you can visualize where it will go. You ask the artist how he made it. You are curious about these things. The artist tells you she made it with photoshop and it took 29 hours to complete because of the blending work with the mouse. Wow, that’s a lot, and you feel something from that work. Do you buy it? Maybe.
Then you come to another work. In fact this image isn’t a painting, and it’s not a photograph either. You’re not sure what it is. The colors are similar to the other piece you liked. This one would also go beautiful in your living room. “how did you do this?” you ask the artist
The artist goes into detail about how in Tibet, there are two elements used to create the pigments that will outlast the windy conditions on exposed rock in that region. That same chemical reation when applied to material X, create another interesting effect when applied to material Y. After a number of procedures, the artist can peel off the pigment from baking it at 1500 degrees.
You think to yourself “Whoa, that’s amazing!”
What has happened is that through that knowledge you gained from that process even if it is trivial in the rest of your life, this art now has two manifestations. The piece that is right in front of you, and the story that lies beneath. The story of the art is the adventure, and that story can be passed on to others. Anyone who comes to your house, you will be able to tell that story. Therein lies a value beyond the subjective, beyond how that art makes different people feel.
Now, of those two pieces, which one are you going to buy? I think we both know the answer to that. The science of art and what lies behind it is just as important. The strength of the work, and it’s value lies in this backstory. You’ve heard a million times that the artist loves the process. And it is that process which, becomes the story of the art. This is why there is little fear that digital art will replace actual art. A thousand years ago, an artist who understood a scientific principle which produced a consistent result. By using that science, the art is manifested – and this means that art won’t die, but will advance just as quickly. Every artist looks at something new and says “how can I use that?”