Time for Art to Get Back to Basics

I think all this digital revolution, computer age, graphic computed art and software aids and plug-ins have made us all lose something in art.  Illustration is no longer what it used to be and the whole Graphic Arts Industry has been decimated by “advancement in digital age”.

Take a Cartoonist (think Norman Rockwell) for a magazine, years past this was all done by hand and now it is mostly digitally created.  The same applies to cartoons on TV or Disney movies for that matter.  Computer Animators bring us these forms of art. Besides an artists imagination, they also have to understand and use various software and hardware to complete their tasks.  Besides composition, color and style, artists seem to also have to be software gurus and overcome these tools as well.

The print industry has changed a lot in the last 25 years going from typesetters and laying out material on coldpress board and layers of rubylith – then sending it off to printers who take that and create bluelines and sometimes color proofs for approval prior to printing.

Now it is all handled digitally, from an artist’s imagination to printing and appearing on covers of magazine, packaging, and all manners of advertising.  All this put a lot of people out of business.  This advancement for the digital age and supposed advancement for humanity has taken its toll in human jobs!  And with the constant change, it’s no longer enough to learn your trade and advance from there, your chosen career is constantly changing, upgrading, progressively getting harder and more advanced as the years go by (and especially as we age).  Sometimes it seems that you spend more time learning software then advancing your art skills!

It’s time to slow down and get back to the basics and advance art skills without the aid of computers.  Although they have helped, it has also cost jobs and people’s futures. At  one point a print shop employed hundreds of people, now has been reduced to a hand full of people – all for the betterment of humanity!

This is why I like Oil painting, especially my figurative Portrait Painting as this is something that will not change and an area that computers can’t touch.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of composition in photoshop on the computer to aid me but I don’t have to rely on it to complete a painting.  And one day when I retire, I can forego this “digital revolution” and just spend time in the studio, painting the world and telling the stories of a world before the digital age.