Requiring Simplicity in Digital Art

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, May 30, 2024

Requiring Simplicity in Digital Art

Digital art offers many advantages over traditional creative methods. Without a physical canvas, digital creators can make infinite mistakes, and modify existing content far beyond more established systems. They can also focus on more detail, zooming to individual pixels to modify the building blocks one by one. This level of flexibility can be a double-edged sword for artists, however, where the preferable solution can be a much simpler one. From recognizability to workload, simplicity can be key, and knowing where to find a line of balance is paramount.

Potential Concentrated

The easiest-to-understand examples of streamlined simplicity in artistic creations are often found in broad spaces where many options compete for attention. Online casino games are one such place, where hundreds of titles for games like slots cover every idea and theme imaginable. If you play Big Bass Bonanza on mobile or desktop systems, this concept becomes obvious. This title relies on a simple depiction of fish, and in doing so it lets players easily pick it out from dozens of others in the pack. The game has a target, it knows the confines of its setting, and it concentrates its attention within those bounds.

"PHOTOSHOP-DESIGN" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by AmperMotion

There’s a saying in art that nothing is ever finished, merely abandoned. Though Quote Investigator couldn’t track down the origin, it applies to many parts of the creative process. In the digital space, with no limits of do-overs, this possibility is even more pronounced. Modifications here are easier, and this can lead to more tinkering than is a good idea. All too often the creative process can leave us pondering what one element we’re missing, as we fall down the rabbit hole of new and poorly conceived concepts born of frustration.

Finding Balance

Working with digital art means understanding the goal while also coming to terms with how you feel as an artist. If you’re working on a personal project with no deadline, then digital methods provide opportunities to constantly evolve and explore, where you might be happy with never being finished. When providing professional art as a product, however, things become much more complicated.

Creating art within a set timeframe involves developing a scope and understanding the range of complications you're likely to experience on the way to the end goal. It means understanding when to cut and run, and when to start over when an avenue leads to a dead end. Balance involves pressure to perform and accept failure that can be both rewarding and hurtful, depending on what you take away from the experience.

"Painting is dancing with chaos" (CC BY 2.0) by Shocking Wonder

There are arguments from traditionalists that digital art can never compare to older methods. While this may be true in some ways, we’d argue that digital in itself can introduce challenges the traditional never could, some of which are covered in Rethinking the Future. There’s a need to reign yourself in with digital art, to apply simplicity and limitation in ways that physical art could never understand.

In the digital, you can completely erase a mistake, only to find it's not the mistake that bothered you, driving challenges and doubt. The creative process is never easy, and each medium is filled with pitfalls and complications. While it can be impossible to truly appreciate a medium unless you try it for yourself, we need to open ourselves up to the difficulties each approach represents, to understand not just the art, but the artist behind it.

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