Should You Do Traditional Art Or Digital Art?

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People starting a passion for art often ask the question: should I do traditional art or digital art? Some also ask, is traditional art better than digital art and vice versa. For that reason, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject.

So what’s the difference between traditional and digital art? The simple answer is traditional art uses traditional mediums, while digital art uses digital technologies to produce art.

The advantages of traditional art is you have an original physical artwork. And an original piece of art is often considered worth much more than a print or a digital file. Not to say that the flaws and defects of an original piece makes it look more authentic. The imperfection is key!  Furthermore, traditional art is longer and more complex to make physically. Mistakes can’t be deleted, they have to be covered up or completely redone.

traditional art

On the other side, Digital art is much more efficient and quicker. It makes it the ideal medium to work with clients though!

You can work on lighting, experiment more of course, but it is less real!

Some view technology as a threat to originality and as seeking to replace traditional art. However, studies suggest the use of digital tools in art education increases artistic development and creativity. Not every student has a set of brushes, watercolors or acrylic paint sets or canvases at home, but many students have access to some type of digital device like an iPad or smartphone those days.

And because we are in the social medias era, digital art creation is already stored on a digital device and is shared immediately.

On the other side of it, learning to manipulate a paintbrush for example provides a physical, tactile experience and this is quite unique. Mixing yellow and blue paint to create green is an experience one cannot get the same way by digitally mixing colors.

digital art

Digital art will not replace traditional art, especially in the fine art world. While digital art has begun to be used across many creative professions, there will always be a market for original, unique artworks that have been handmade by artists. It has been thousand years humans are creating, from the paintings on cave walls to the beautiful affrescos and paintings of the Renaissance, arriving to the modern era with Dali, Picasso or Basquiat!

Similarly, digital art has now come about since the start of the Digital Age. Today it is being used by millions of creators all over the world, but this doesn’t mean the other media will stop or be completely replaced. Do you think the Louvre or the Met will decide one day to replace their paintings by digital files? There could be a cohabitation though…

Nowadays, artists who produce illustrations for advertising will almost exclusively use digital art, on the flip side, there are still many children’s book and editorial illustrators who still work using traditional media.

Children’s books can range from purely traditional watercolor, to collage, to digital images.

To my opinion, although digital art is fantastic, traditional art is not going anywhere! And I am reassured!

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