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Thaddeus Komorowski
Graphic Design Teacher

Digital vs Traditional Art

In today's world of digital considered a lesser art form by many compared to traditional art. What are some activities, projects, discussions that you have had in education that touch on this issue?

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Lauren Petiti

Posted on 10/10/19 9:03:16 PM Permalink

​That is one of my biggest pet peeves. I won a "Best in Division" award at my county fair for some digital work last year. Normally that means getting a nice sum of money...or at least it does for traditional art. I've always gotten the impression that digital art is like the Jon Snow of the art world. It gets minimal recognition, maybe a place in the family home (in this case, labeled as "art") BUT it's not actually given the rights and recognition of being a full family member

The best way I've changed students ways of thinking about that is by giving students assignments that require them to work and creative problem solve. So...basically anything similar to what they would do in a traditional art class. The only difference is the tools students use; some students may feel more confident doing digital work.

Carly Manhart

Posted on 3/30/19 7:56:21 AM Permalink

It's just another method. That's what I tell students. Art's "superiority" is so subjective. Anyone can draw, anyone can paint, anyone can make digital art... but some people are significantly better with some mediums than others and are significantly better than other people. Simply inviting digital "noobs" to watch you do your thing can open their eyes. It's just a matter of the tool. A pencil does two things, draws and erases (sometimes). Illustrator does MILLIONS of things. It's easy to learn how to use a pencil, not easy to learn to draw. It is NOT easy to learn Illustrator. In digital art's case, you spend days, months, even years learning the TOOL (software) and THEN you have to learn how to make the art. I think that in itself makes digital art something to be acknowledged.

One of the first things I do to tackle this idea (at least with students who are used to traditional art and are intimidated by digital) is teach them to paint in Photoshop. The paint workspace is a great place for them to start getting familiar with Photoshop's interface, while also kind of giving them some painting concepts that they may be used to. The kids LOVE it. It sort of eases them into digital art. Project Gemini will also be an excellent way to do this. ​