In defence of digital art

I recently started attending oil painting classes. The teacher, who I’m sure is an extremely talented and qualified artist in her own right, balked when I told her that I’d been trying my hand at digital art.

“Hmm,” she said, “that’s interesting because I don’t consider digital art art at all.”

She then asked the others present – the two women who are taking the class with me – and they agreed.

“Let me put it this way,” the one said. “It’s not something I’d put on my wall.”

Well I’m not entirely sure I would frame some of my favourite digital art pieces either but does that mean they’re not art? I’ll let you decide.

Herewith some brief profiles of some of the digital artists I follow on DeviantArt – because I think they make my point for me and besides, they deserve to be showcased.

Artsangel – sysadmin by day, graphic novel genius by night

Flowers for Sale by Sarah Ellerton
Flowers for Sale by Sarah Ellerton

I found out about Australian artist Sarah Ellerton when a friend pointed me in the direction of her web graphic novel The Phoenix Requiem. At the time she was publishing a page every Thursday. It soon became the highlight of my week. The novel is since complete but she continues to update her DeviantArt gallery with new pieces.

Axlsalles – Holy batman!

Son of the Demon by Alexandre SalleS

Alexandre SalleS is a Brazillian illustrator. He tends to favour super hero pictures in intricate detail, but his DeviantArt gallery is filled with awesome sci-fi concepts and a variety of commissioned work.

Breathing2004 – Epic WoW art

Afternoon in Auberdine by Jian Guo
Fall of Arthas by Jian Guo

Chinese Jian Guo loves him some World of Warcraft (WoW). Really loves him some WoW. His DeviantArt gallery is full of fan art – though he also does original fantasy and scifi illustrations. His stain-glass-styled artwork was featured on popular tech blog Geeks Are Sexy and his more detailed artworks gained the attention of Blizzard – the company that makes WoW – and they featured it on their official website.

ChristinZakh – Mostly elves

Lullaby by Christin Zakhozhay
Lullaby by Christin Zakhozhay

Christin Zakhozhay is a Russian fantasy author illustrating her own stories. You can read more about her and see her work process on her blog (written in English). Her DeviantArt gallery mostly features fantasy scenes and portraits.

Fdasuarez – Dark and lovely

Poisoned Apply by Fernanda Suarez
Poisoned Apply by Fernanda Suarez

I was astounded when I learned that Fernanda Suarez from Chile is only 22 years old. Her art is mostly dark, sometimes twisted, but always stunning. Recently she’s taken to drawing some sketches from life, which look like photographs unless you zoom right in. You can find them all in her DeviantArt gallery.

Lasse17 – The most amazing fanart ever

Jon Snow – Painting by Mathias Olsen
Jon Snow – Painting by Mathias Olsen

If I was surprised to learn Fernanda was 22, it is nothing compared to my reaction when I found out that Mathias Olsen (from Norway) is only 18. Every time Olsen posts something new I at first mistake it for a photograph. He mostly does fan art at the moment, from a variety of shows. You can see more of his work here.

Perselus – professional artist

Girl on the Bed by Patricia S. Demoraes
Girl on the Bed by Patricia S. Demoraes

Patricia S. Demoraes is a professional artist in the USA. Her DeviantArt gallery is an eclectic collection of what look to be traditional oils (but are done digitally), fan art and some more noticably digital paintings. For her digital seems to be just another medium for expression.

RobertMekis – Places and spaces

Lost Vector by Robert Mekis
Lost Vector by Robert Mekis

I started following Czech artist Robert Mekis because of his beautiful photography. Little did I know he’s an amazing artist too. He mostly paints science fiction and fantasy landscapes (I know, you’re seeing a trend here. I like fantasy and sci-fi art so it’s more a reflection on me than on the general abilities of digital artists.). They may look like manipulated photos, but they’re not. He paints from scratch in photoshop using simple brushes and no reference. The featured image above is also by him.

Whenever I’m feeling down or uninspired all I have to do is open DeviantArt and see these amazing artists’ latest contributions, then all is right with the world again. Do I think it’s art? Well I ask this – if not then why not?



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