The Digital Experience As Art

While art has been a human practice since the time of the cavemen, digital art today remains a vastly unexplored territory where developments continue to shed light on new techniques and ways for us to — digitally — express art. A recent study found around 75,000 artist job listings on professional networking platform LinkedIn offering a salary of over $60,000, and most of them are related to digital art. It’s no surprise that more and more people are pursuing digital art in their careers, given the rising demand for it in the job market.

As we navigate an era of digital artists, NFTs, and virtual art exhibitions, the question of whether or not it all counts as art rises. With people generating complex, surrealist artworks at the click of a mouse or a tap on a screen, the lines between human as artist and AI as artist can start to blur. Today, we’ll talk about how our digital experiences online impact the way we experience art:

Testing the limits of art

While digital art may seem like we’re straying away from more traditional methods of creating art to some, artists and creators are able to access new levels of creativity, which may not be as feasible if not for their digital nature. We’ve written about the digital sculptor who creates surreal, digital arts that mix images of flora, fauna, and original characters. While Sam Clover’s style of art may be doable using physical, traditional methods, it may prove to be more time consuming, resource-hungry, and likely expensive compared to the ability to digitally sculpt and render works. Digital as a platform and medium has given way to so many new ways to not only experience art, but create them as well, allowing artists to do things that were less accessible when only painting on canvas with oils and pastels, for example.

Paving new career paths

We mentioned the rise in demand for digital artists in the job market, and for good reason. Aside from a high starting salary due to a niche and specific skillset, digital artists have the opportunity to be truly flexible and remote with their work, as opposed to their traditional counterparts — essentially, killing the myth of the starving artist. Digital media career paths have broadened rapidly over the last few years, as a multitude of industries seek professionals with the right skill sets. Graphic designers, web design specialists, digital media specialists, and the like are all using their talents to create immersive experiences for tech and social media users. Digital artists are also sought after in various fields, from gaming to retail, and even education. Websites like DeviantArt and Behance, meanwhile, have replaced traditional portfolios, allowing digital artists to reach new audiences everywhere.

Making art accessible

On top of making the art creation process more forgiving and flexible for artists, the rise of digital art has given birth to countless new art experiences. Digital art exhibitions have even entered the Metaverse, modeled after real art events such as the Biennale to give Meta users true-to-life scenes. Meanwhile, NFT art exhibitions are also popular on the online space, as part of a move to attract NFT adopters while likening the NFT experience to that of traditional art. This is important because the digital medium serves as a bridge that connects the masses to art, away from elitist perspectives that required expensive traveling or higher education for people to “appreciate” art. In contrast, the building of platforms to showcase digital and draw newcomers in is an open invitation to people who may have once been intimidated by art — or artists in their ivory towers — to finally get a glimpse of this world, even if only digitally.

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