Is Digital Art Making Art Creation More Accessible?

Is Digital Art Making Art Creation More Accessible?

The current range of artistic mediums available to the average person is undoubtedly the widest it has ever been. At the forefront of all this is digital art.

As a child I tried many forms of art making, from simple pencil and paper, to painting on canvas, to Copic markers, I realized that the wonders achieved by many of the artists I saw on social media were products of a previously unknown medium was : digital art. Lucky enough to get my hands on my dad’s old Wacom Bamboo tablet, and ready to scour the internet for free drawing software, I embarked on a journey with a medium I’ve loved ever since.

In this day and age, digital art is one of the easiest ways to start creating art. It’s perhaps the most forgiving medium, with the ‘undo’ function always just a few keystrokes away. In addition to the quick and easy customization of every aspect (including brush size, shape, texture and color), it provides a path for every beginning artist to experiment and discover their individual style.

However, unless your dad also has an old Wacom tablet lying around, there will almost certainly be some upfront costs. Assuming you already have access to some form of laptop or computer, one of the two general requirements is a drawing tablet of some kind. Although the Wacom Bamboo is no longer on the market, Wacom still offers a wide variety of products, from entry-level tablets to large, full-display tablets for professional artists and illustrators. For starters (and those who prefer not to spend hundreds of pounds), a small non-display Wacom One tablet is available on Amazon for £29.99, and the slightly more luxurious Wacom Intuos can be had for a price of just under £70, depending on budget. Later upgrades are a matter of personal need and taste. I myself have been immersed in the medium of digital art for about seven years now, and a Wacom Intuos remains my tablet of choice.

The good news is that if you already have an Android tablet or an iPad, these devices can also function as drawing tablets, although they will require a digital pen (the bad news is that the Apple Pencil at the expensive price of £ 89 be sold. ).

The second of the two requirements is art or design software, of which there is also great variation in terms of accessibility. One example of a free piece of software available on both Android tablets and computers is Krita, an open-source art program that includes all the functionality a novice artist might need. I used it for quite a few years when I was new to the medium. Also available, of course, are various Adobe applications—Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, etc.—although each subscription is based on around £20 a month, which takes away much of their accessibility for non-professionals. If you have an iPad, Procreate is available in the App Store for a fairly cheap one-off purchase of £8.99 (although of course you’ll need an Apple Pencil and the iPad itself to get to this point, which isn’t neither is particularly affordable. ). Finally, another popular piece of software for desktop (which I currently use) is Clip Studio Paint Pro, a slightly more complex step up from Krita for a one-off purchase of £36 – although this software unfortunately switches to a monthly ( £3.49)/annual (£19.49) subscription fee in 2023, much to the dismay of his community.

Depending on the desired software and platform, the price of getting into digital art can apparently vary greatly. Nevertheless, with the lowest-priced programs and equipment, the cost can be reduced to a fairly inexpensive one-time purchase, with no requirement to continue buying materials or risking waste (two of the disadvantages of traditional art making). .

Many argue that this accessibility will only make the art industry more competitive, despite the fact that it has always been an extremely competitive environment. Whether it’s true or not, it seems that digital art is already here to stay. According to one study in the US, 66% of artist jobs with an annual salary of more than 60k are related to digital art, and such jobs can be found all over the country.

Despite concerns about competitiveness within the industry, isn’t it better that through digital tools, more and more people have the chance to develop their artistic skills and find their creative passion? The accessibility of digital art may result in a more competitive art industry, yes, but it’s also true that a large proportion of beginners will simply want to explore the medium, rather than suddenly jump into professional art creation. Digital art is both accessible to beginners and a highly effective medium in a professional setting, with a range of software and hardware available depending on budget and need.

Even within itself, digital art is evolving. Some pieces are now created by painting in virtual reality, 3D models are digitally sculpted as useful tools or as art in themselves, and AI art is a base for digital artists to use as a foundation for their creativity. The future of creative tools is bright, and hopefully barriers to art will continue to fall as time moves forward, allowing everyone to explore their intrinsic creativity.

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