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Why Artists & Graphic Designers are Shifting to Digital



The classic image of an artist is someone putting pencil, brush, or charcoal to paper and creating something beautiful out of nothing. It’s an image that’s persisted for hundreds and hundreds of years but is beginning to shift in the digital age.

Today, many artists and graphic designers are creating most of their work digitally, without the use of ink, paint, or any other physical materials. While it might seem sad that we’re beginning to lose our connection to physical art mediums, it makes sense in the context of our modern world.

Here’s why some artists are stepping away from the easel and up to the screen.

To Many, Online Ads Are the Future of Design

We spend so much time online these days that it would be strange if we didn’t think about how designers’ work will change as we move toward the future of design. Truth is, we’ve already seen the tipping point from print to digital in the world of advertising, and the imbalance is only going to favor online ads as we move forward.

Because of this, it makes sense for artists and designers to have a “digital-first” approach when it comes to creating their work. Something that is designed and optimized for the screen is going to look better online than art that is designed for print and then converted into a digital format.

Today’s graphic designers and artists are looking ahead to the future. In a few years, it will be more valuable overall to be able to work in digital than physical mediums. Artists who learn these skills now will be at the cutting edge of tomorrow’s design standards.

Digital Art Provides Expanding Opportunities & Careers

As our world shifts online, we’re seeing new opportunities for people who create visual art. Just a few decades ago, for instance, the video game industry was very small. Today, demand has exploded and technology has improved to allow for enhanced visual effects and realistic artwork in games.

Video game development can be an extremely satisfying and interesting career for artists. Character and environment art roles allow for expansive creativity that culminates in a finished product thousands will enjoy. This is just one of many expanding opportunities for artists and designers in the digital age—the demand for visual content just keeps growing and changing.

Opportunity to Expand Portfolio & Skillset

Building a portfolio is a grueling process. Ideally, it’s best for designers to get their feet wet on real projects, but that can be difficult, especially when working in print. Digital design makes it easier for designers not only to create sample projects for a portfolio but also to expand their skillsets.

Digital design offers a lot more flexibility and allows designers to experiment with different types of projects, which can be great for building skills and landing gigs. Today’s designers create everything from ads to infographics to interactive content—all of which require different skills.

Digital is Growing at a Much Faster Rate Than Print

One of the biggest reasons that artists and designers are shifting to digital is simple demand. It’s a lot easier to get hired if you understand how to use digital tools and design for the web, simply because there are more of these projects every day. With digital marketing growing much faster than print, designers who don’t shift are going to have a harder time finding work in the near future.

Artists can also benefit from shifting online, due to the visibility factor. Even if they aren’t working a traditional job, it’s easier for an artist to support themselves online than it would be if they worked solely with paints or inks. Not only is it easier to share art online to a large audience using the internet, but it’s also cheaper to sell digital art than it is to create and ship prints or to sell physical paintings.

Obviously, many artists and designers don’t work solely online. Some do a mix of print and digital content and some enjoy using paints and pencils to create their work. But for those who want to make a living with their art and design skills, it’s hard to ignore the truth: the world is becoming more digital each day, and artists need to grow and change with it.










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