The world of art has been invaded by the computer age and its' many inventions. Artists are now finding themselves in a situation where technical knowledge of computers and programming is becoming as necessary as their artistic instinct. One program alone, Maya by Alias, uses over 1000 predesigned commands and allows for the infinite creation of your own through their proprietary coding language MEL or (Maya Encoded Language). Artists are now being called upon to write "scripts" to make their functionality and productivity more efficient. This efficiency is the key to being profitable as a digital artist. These artists are being pummeled with a myriad of new tools which they can achieve amazing results with.
Tools such as Photoshop and Gimp allow artists to work with layered and editable media. They no longer have to cover up their oil paint with another layer, and worry about distorting the textures. They can now create digital art with as many layers of contrasting color, light and detail as they can imagine. They can reproduce their art in massive quantities and make it accessible to the general public. They can advertise their art for sale on the web with low resolution "teaser images" and can sell their work as a digital download. Some artists still want to see their work printed.
Their are many fine art printers available on todays market that can produce amazing saleable results. One printer is the Roland SJ 1045. It will print media up to 4 feet by 8 feet ad over 1400 DPI of resolution. This is just one example of the types of equipment that are available to artists. Epson, HP, and Lexmark all make equivelant machines as well. This means that an independent artist can custom print his or her work based upon immediate need and current demand. A digital artist can even customize their art to suit the needs of a specific customer, whether that be a regular patron or a business client. This means that the digital artist is able to be flexible and responsive.
Gone are the days when a oil paint artist will be designing movie backdrops or cereal boxes. The digital artists ability to be flexible and adapt to the artistic and marketing visions of the "team" are making them an invaluable part of our modern artworld. This is a reality that is not wihtout its' detracting points. Art made off traditional media does have some advantages.
Oil and latex paint work can have a depth of texture and an originality that cannot be replicated with pixels. colors blend at a molecular level and become amorphous; whereas digital art is grainy if viewed up close, even at the highest resolutions. The sad reality is; digital art is taking over. Not many artists can afford to stick with the traditional media and only turn out one piece of art per month. Only the most elite and conspicuous of traditional artists will survive the digital age.
About The Author
Scott Davis is the VP of sales and Marketing of FerReel Animation Labs, Inc. He also teaches and runs a very popular art website, 3Dexcellence.com. He works with some of the most talented and noteworthy digital artists in the world. He has a degree from the California State University of San Bernardino and has done extensive post graduate work at the University of Redlands in CA and at the University of San Diego.