.....and other random stuff......

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I’ve Been Thinkin’……..

Years ago I bought myself one of those fancy schmancy sewing machines with an embroidery attachment.
I made all sorts of things for friends and family. My sister-in-law asked me how I did it so I showed her.
Looking over my shoulder she said, “Oh! So you don’t do anything, the machine does it all for you!”
Not the most tactful comment, but true.

I get that same vibe about my digital art.
Oh, the program does it for you.

Except it doesn’t.

I don’t push a button and watch the program/app race around the screen laying down the lines.
I do it.
The app doesn’t choose the colors, their placement, the thickness of line, or shading.
It doesn’t decide the composition.
It doesn’t do anything except give me the tools to draw what I want.

How is that different than an artist working in any other medium?

The only difference I can see is it gives me the opportunity to ‘erase’.

I’ve seen artists paint over what they don’t like in a piece.
I’ve seen them decoupage over parts of their works to cover something that displeased them.
I’ve seen them alter the size to ‘remove’ what they perceive as boo boo’s.
They wipe away paint where they don’t want it.
Watercolor artists ‘lift’ off their blunders.
Artists using markers use a colorless blender to fix their misstep …..

So why is it wrong that I can erase something I don’t like?

They say the different tools in an App or program do the work for me.
That the different ‘brushes’ make it too easy.

I don’t see it that way. I see it for what it is. A toolbox at my disposal to create with.
(A nice clean one where I don’t have to get my hands dirty, which plays right into my OCD wheelhouse!)

How is a digital brush that makes a nice fuzzy blob any different than that brush you’ve got that is so old and splayed out it gives you the same looking fuzzy blob?

I’ve noticed when I mention a piece I’ve done is digital there seems to be an unspoken judgment that it doesn’t really count. Whether or not the art I create on my Tablet (digitally) is REALLY art.

Maybe I’m being defensive and oversensitive.

I’d like to hear your opinions.


  1. I agree with everything you say! And I believe times are changing. I remember a few years ago when I started with digital art and photo manipulations, people had the idea that apps did it all. I encouraged them to let their own pc's do the same since it's so easy.
    They shut up.

    Nowadays it's different, I think people have respect for artists like you who do what they want to. Others do only what they can.

    In my last exhibition I has also photo manipulations hanging on the wall and I sold them all. I think the same would happen if I'd put digital drawings on the walls.

    Let's erase, undo and be happy. Yes, we can!!

  2. You're quite right. Your digital app is just another tool in your toolbox. I think those types of comments are from ignorance. Most people don't understand what it takes to create art. They don't realize how much preparation is involved or all the decisions (materials, color, shading, texture, etc.) that goes into creating a piece. Next time, offer the person the chance to see what the program or machine can magically create for them.

  3. I think it counts...especially as I've tried different digital programs and can't seem to understand the rules - hence I fail miserably! I take my hat off to you Robin, you produce such great drawings, ignore those who infer it doesn't count because IT DOES COUNT, 'COS I SAID SO. ...hope they all heard me ;)

  4. Art is whatever pours out of your brain. Doesn't matter what the final piece is. Paper, wood, bronze, glass, cloth, digital, etc. Do whatever makes you happy!!

  5. Digital art is just as difficult as any other form of art. You take the art tools and then create. Creations come from you, not an app. I love your digital art.... keep creating it..... keep sharing it.... and know that you are an artist! Some people will always say 'oh I could do that' (I have heard that about my creations many many times) sometimes I just smile, and sometimes I say go and do it then. I taught a book making class last winter and remember a few people saying 'oh now I see why you charge so much for a handmade book - you don't even make minimum wage though!' Mostly I will tell you to just ignore those uneducated comments and continue doing what you do - Lots of us LOVE what you make!'


I appreciate your comments!