Is Digital Art “Art”?

Art is art, correct? Well what about digital art? 3D animation? Is that considered art, or is that just fake, cheap art? I’ve been told that digital art is fake and only used for people who copy others art. No actually, most digital artists don’t copy anyone. Digital artists go from paper to screen.


Melanie Swingle, Journalist

Art is art, correct? Well, what about digital art? 3D animation? Are these considered art, or is it just fake, cheap art? I’ve been told that digital art is fake and only used for people who copy others’ art. Most artists make their own art. 

I remember watching my family draw for years. My earliest memories are watching my grandma take a paintbrush and drag it across the wall, color after color until she made a Unicorn. I was so mesmerized I thought years later as I painted over the work “What if this was on my phone?” Making art with pencil and paper vs on a screen with a stylus are two different things. Your right, they are. Digital art and traditional art. Are they different? Or is digital art even art? “Digital Art is not real art, and you’re a fool for thinking so.” (Paola Vinci). How many times have I heard “this is crazy”? Digital artists learn from traditional art. Yes, digital has many more tools, everything right at your fingertips, layer after layer easy to shade. Ibis Paint X, Procreate, Krita, Graphics, Art Set 4 are all made for digital art. If digital art isn’t “real art” then why would people support it? The consensus amongst the art community seems to be that digital art requires talent and should, in fact, be considered “real” art. They argue that it usually takes just as much skill and technique as traditional art and that many digital artists are also skilled in traditional art.

If you look at Disney, they do digital art. So does Pixar. Disney is world known and praised for its movies. But people don’t tell them that their art is fake! No, that doesn’t happen to either of these mega entertainment artists. Pixar also makes digital art, how do you think Toy Story came to be? Digitally created by someone’s hand. Pretty cool right?  

Did you know that photo bashing is a technique where artists merge & blend photographs or 3D assets together while painting and compositing them into one piece. A concept artist will begin with a sketch or base photograph, then use colors and brushes to make it a complete picture. Even this, this is considered digital art, yet, people still say it’s cheating. No, it’s actually considered helpful to new artists or people trying to make a unique logo. 

Some traditional artists go from paper and pencil to computer/tablet with a stencil. Art is art no matter how it’s made. So, don’t forget that the next time you see art on social media or Google, remember no matter how it’s created it’s still art.