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What is Digital Art?

Victoria Blackburn
Victoria Blackburn

Digital art is defined as an artistic creation produced using digital technology. Traditionally, art was considered to be painting, drawing or sculpture physically produced by the hand of the artist. The traditional definition of art has expanded beyond paintings and drawings to encompass different forms of artistic production that include digital and computer generated designs.

Media art is the modern term for works of art that are produced using non-traditional methods such as technology, which were not available in the past. Today, media art describes the output of works that are being produced because of the discovery of digital technology. Computer graphics, animation, virtual art and interactive art are all considered to be in the class of art now referred to as new media art. Digital technology is defining and expanding the traditional definitions of art.

Digital art techniques can be applied to photography.
Digital art techniques can be applied to photography.

The 1960s saw the birth of much new technological advancement. The advances in technology began to spill into the art community, giving way to many unique styles of art. Once the Internet took off, this new digital media allowed the opportunity for artists to design unique creations using traditional and contemporary combinations that are now classified as digital art.

Websites may showcase forms of digital art such as animations and drawings or paintings posted to the site. Synthesized music is also considered a digital form of art because technically it is only possible through digital technology. Drawings, interactive installations, screenshots, digital prints on canvas and installation views of photographs are all considered forms of digital art.

Colleges and universities have adopted new majors in various forms of art, including new media and contemporary art. Digital art is fast becoming considered a reputable form of art that is a growing part of society. It is derived from the concept of traditional art forms, but with the components of new technology. There are even museums that are solely dedicated to showcasing different forms of digital art.

Art has crossed all boundaries because it is one of the few things where the meaning can be solely defined by the viewer. The advancements in digital technology allow the artist to create a piece that can now be seen and appreciated all over the world. Digital art has not only expanded the defining of art but has increased the accessibility of art to the world.

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Discussion Comments


I think that it's really cool to see just how far digital art has evolved as newer and more powerful kinds of digital art software have been invented.

I mean, just look at photo-manipulation programs like Adobe Photoshop -- with that, you can even make hyper-real artwork of impossible things, such as hybrids of two very different animals, people made of materials like clouds and water, and more.

Digital art software has gotten so powerful, in fact, that once a person learns how to make digital art, the only real limit to their work is what they can think up for subject matter.


My favorite form of digital art is 3D digital art. There are several ways to go about creating 3D artwork, but the most friendly one to newcomers is by using 3D programs such as Poser or its free competitor, DAZ Studio, to load and pose other people's 3D models and render them into unique scenes like paper dolls.

There are thousands of unique textures, hairstyles, outfits and "morphs" (a way to reshape the basic form of the 3D model itself) to help the artist create characters that are uniquely theirs. New content to make characters with can be purchased, but there are also tens of thousands of free items available for download on various web sites.

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    • Digital art techniques can be applied to photography.
      By: olly
      Digital art techniques can be applied to photography.