Old vs. New Part 1: Comparing Traditional Techniques With Modern Digital Techniques

Throughout history, innovation has always been met with resistance. In many cases, this ends with 2 separate groups using various pros and cons to try to persuade you to join their side. With the art world mirroring this, the recent boom in digital art has prompted some debate about the appeal of digital art and the techniques digital artists use to appeal to online audiences. Accused of using gimmicks and novelty for appeal, rather than using their art to encourage thought and provoke questions, digital artists point to their popularity and accessibility as hallmarks of success and insist that it is the digital element that keeps them relevant. This is an unbiased comparison of traditional art and digital techniques for both artists and audiences.

Traditional Art Forms:

Pros

• A Tangible Product

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the tangible nature of traditional forms. Sculptures, paintings, constructions, and installations all offer a physical object for the audience to interact with. Even in a painting the various strokes and layers might give the piece further appeal when viewed in person.

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• No Limits on Media

Although many traditional artists stick to traditional methods there is no obligation to do so. Unconventional mixes of media can create incredible results and present the freedom to use exactly what you want to create a piece. Sculptures have been created from a brilliant array of materials and paintings have been embellished to make them 3D, too.

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• Familiar To Audience

This might not appear like much at first, but presenting familiar forms such as sculptures or paintings can increase the chances of selling your work as there is a ready-made audience already actively seeking such works.

Cons

• Accessibility

The physical nature of traditional artforms can also hinder accessibility. Many famous works are privately owned and many more are simply not on display at any given time. Installations have a shelf-life created by the need to use those spaces for further installations, meaning that if you miss a show, there is no catching up.

• Relevance& Reference

Being products of their time and with many depicting worlds wildly different to our own 21st-century existence, younger audiences might struggle to relate to older works. There is also a chance that certain works may be found offensive. Works depicting things such as colonialism in a positive light may well provoke a different reaction in this day and age than they did in their own time.Now order at the comfort of your home and get your print and frame online.

• Mistakes By The Artist

Painting or sculpting by hand means there is a chance for mistakes to be made. Although not always unrecoverable, fixing a mistake will take some skill and is likely to leave some kind of lasting blemish in your work. The upside here is that practice can help you improve, either at fixing mistakes or at getting good enough that you don’t make them start with.

Don’t make your mind up just yet, though. We have another part detailing the pros and cons of digital art next week.

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