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  • Tara Pawlyk Ms. Gardner Honors English 12 February 20, 2013 Technological Influences on Art Art is around every corner despite how unaware people are of its lingering presence. Living in a society that is technologically fueled, technology has impacted the art field tremendously. Whether that impact is considered harmful or beneficial is an ongoing debate. Although many consider technology to take away from art, it can actually expand the art field by opening up new doors full of possibility. Many agree that digital art and traditional art are not the same. People tend to place a higher value on traditional artwork in comparison to the newer, digitally created, modern artwork. The reason for the higher value is many assume traditional artwork takes more skill. In reality, one does not require more or less skill but rather a different skill set, according to graphic designer Mandy Thornton (Thornton). Any medium whether digital or traditional requires a unique skill set. Painting and sculpting are not the same although both are considered traditional art. The same goes for digital art. Instead of viewing art as digital versus traditional, what should be focused on is each specific medium. Often artists do not use one medium exclusively but rather a combination of multiple mediums. Technology effected mediums, such as photography and digital art, are frequently mixed with traditional mediums such as sketching. For example, many artists sketch out a design with paper and pencil and then scan the image into the computer to be enhanced digitally.Tara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 2 Many see art as old, or traditional, and new, or digital, when art is actually a combination of the two (Maeda). A common way to see the transition from traditional art to digital art is by observing the artistic process. When preparing for a new art piece, every artist begins with an idea. Once the artist has a feel for what he or she wishes to create, a medium is chosen, whether digital or traditional in method. Since the first step of the artistic process is to visualize rather than to create, the two contrasting art forms are actually quite similar. Visual arts focuses on two things: the desire to learn and the desire to produce artwork for others to see (Glassford 3). How artists choose to convey their image does not affect whether or not the piece is visual art. Technology has simply allowed for a greater diversity of media to select from. Technology has introduced many new mediums that can convey an artist’s idea. A large portion of digital art is photography has been made possible by the technological advances in cameras (Salisbury 111). Photographs are uploaded onto a computer to be modified by the artist interacting with the computer. Art itself has also now become interactive. Digital artists have been able to create visual art that is not only appealing to view but reacts to noise by shifting shape (Maeda). What happens is a simple design is created on the computer. This design is then programmed through coding to react to any noise picked up by the computer’s microphone. Digital art also allows the creation of art by using software such as Illustrator or Photoshop in order to create completely original pieces without the mess that can come with traditional art. Artists use computers to simplify art by reducing clutter and manual labor. Computers have made work easier for many illustrators such as Bee Willey by allowing her to “get rid of an area of pure labor” (Salisbury 61). Instead of repeatedly drawing over and over again, theTara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 3 computer allows replication of images. Textures, such as fabrics or wood grain, can be scanned in and digitally placed in whatever spot desired by the artist, which creates a near perfect replication of the desired texture (Salisbury 61). By working so closely with technology, many concepts such as adding texture that were once considered too difficult are now possible. However, computers and technology do not function alone. A skilled professional must know how to put the image on the screen. These professionals are called graphic designers. A graphic designer is an artist that uses technology to create art with a purpose. Graphic arts are simply a “subcategory of visual arts” which includes both traditional and digital mediums such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and computer generated art (Riley 416). The use of new digital mediums allows graphic designers to create art the has a function such as book covers, album covers, and the packaging of consumer goods as well as book illustration and advertising (Gomez-Palacio 273). The use of graphic arts has certainly increased the value of digital art due to the introduction of art with consumerism. The way a product looks on the shelf draws people to the item. Once a customer has been convinced, the person is more likely to purchase the product. When wandering through a book store or music shop, people are drawn to the visual covers. All of these visual attractions to products and items are created by graphic designers. The graphic designer’s job is to bring together all of the artistic elements in order to establish a “coherent, aesthetically pleasing whole” (Salisbury 118). The labels on almost everything people buy are created by graphic designers through the mixing of technology and art to form a digital piece that serves a purpose in society.Tara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 4 Technology contributes to more than just the covers when it comes to books. Within the children’s books industry, illustration is “inextricably linked to developments” in technology used to reproduce documents and graphic material (Salisbury 9). Many illustrators now start with a few sketches which are scanned into the computer to be completed digitally by adding color, texture, and many other elements of design. Technology also makes the very creation and distribution of books possible. Edmund Evans ushered in the “Golden Age” of printing when color printing was developed in 1865 (Salisbury 10). The technological advances in printing have allowed books to be mass produced, color printed, and to add texture to not only the cover but the very pages of the book. Mixed Medium Digital Art Original Photo Sketch Up Digital Piece (Salisbury)Tara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 5 Printing is not the only technology advance to go hand in hand with the art field. Other more contemporary art forms such as tattooing continues to grow as technology is advancing. New tattoo guns are constantly perfecting the art of tattoos by increasing the precision of the needle. Tattoos are nothing more than art that is permanently placed on the body. The tattoo gun started out spasmodic creating rough lines and tearing through the skin. Now, however, the guns allow much smoother lines, less pain, and higher sanitation standards to prevent infections and the spread of disease. Printing advancements now allow the printing of tattoo stencils which are placed on the body as guidelines for the tattoo artist (Newton). This, partnered with advanced tattoo guns, takes tattooing to a whole new level. Instead of artists doing just simple two dimensional drawings, they now introduce shading to create depth both within grayscale and color tattoos. Tattoos now also have increasing detail and exhibit more complex techniques. The new technology has created another expansion in the art field through the tattoo industry. Tattoo enhancement is not the only form of art expansion due to new technology developments. One thing many people do not consider is the duplication of original, traditional pieces. Many have taken an artistic piece and created duplicates to be passed off as originals. By doing so, they are able to fetch a higher price than what the duplicate is worth. Technology has helped to end the piracy of traditional artwork by advancing the authentication process. Authenticators take a picture of the artwork in question which is then uploaded into specific “Computer Image Processing” programs (Irwin). The program then analyzes the brush strokes through depth, angle, size, and pattern. After an analysis, each section of the painting is assigned a number based on the contrast of brush strokes in each area (Irwin). The numbers throughoutTara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 6 the original paintings make them near impossible to replicate the painting and still maintain the same numbers. By using this new technology, phony art is obvious therefore protecting the value of the true masterpieces of the art field. Traditional art also meshes with the use of technology through art restoration. Like any other field, professionals as well as historians still stick to the roots of art. Original works of art considered to be masterpieces today such as the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci are restored so they can be studied and cherished for generations to come. By taking extremely high resolution photos of the works professionals are able to zoom in and analyze every element of the piece for replication. Once replicated, the image now appears as it did when it was originally created, allowing people to better study and analyze the artist’s techniques and overall artwork. Art restoration is not only used in masterpieces but also in modern day works such as photography. Many people find old photographs or writings that have faded over the years or are damaged. These can often be restored digitally and reprinted to create an almost identical copy for the customer. Another use of technology is actually adding color to old black and white photographs. Now people are able to enjoy these images of old family members and bring back a piece of heritage. While technology’s hand in art mediums has certainly helped to preserve the old, it has also helped to create the new. Technology has done something absolutely astonishing with the creation of cartoons and movies. Many never realize that cartoons and movies are simply art that has been brought to life. Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney, was the first cartoon to air with sound, displaying the “long-term potential for this kind of entertainment” (Finch 58). Later came Snow White, alsoTara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 7 by Walt Disney, which was the first full length animated film in color (Kaufman 10). Disney then continued to dominate yet again with the release of Toy Story, the first computer-generated imagery (CGI) film. Many wonder what movies and art have to do with each other to begin with, unaware that the combination of technology and art is why movies such as these are even possible. Whether the movie is cartoon animation or CGI animation, both start with the same traditional sketches. Every frame in a movie or cartoon must have a frame containing cells which are several small boxes. Each cell is made up of the desired images. These images are sketched out in the traditional art fashion with pencil and paper. They are then re-sketched, inked, and painted on the cells (Finch 54). Movies also have story boards which are compiled sketches of various movie scenes. The production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought “remarkable artistic growth” by taking all the rough sketches and making them move and interact with each other (Kaufman 27). Throughout the movie process, these sketches are then brought to life by recreating the sketches digitally. The technology making CGI animation possible has furthered the growth of the art field by once again allowing another realm of possibility. Disney has been the “top dog” ushering in new animation mediums, but even Disney has resisted technology at some points along the way. John Lasseter, former employee of Disney, was actually fired for “trying to push Disney into this new world of computer animation” (Finch 350). Disney later however realized the potential in furthering the use of technology in art and eventually partnered with Pixar to specialize in CGI animation. Glen Keane, an animator, acknowledges the benefits in technology when pointingTara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 8 out that the classic style of Disney hand-drawn animation is a product of technological limitations that Pixar has done away with (Finch 355). Art even has a role in the special effects of movies by turning imagination into visual representations beyond belief. George Lucas, producer of the Star Wars Trilogy, used the same CGI technology Disney originally rejected to make his films possible (Finch 351). Many of the special effects used in movies, even with live actors, are created digitally by graphic designers and animators who have learned to take a simple sketch and enhance it to the point of being part of reality. Rather than taking away for the art field, technology has pushed the art field to new levels never thought to be possible by unlocking limitless possibilities. Whether directly creating art or aiding in the expansion of previous techniques, technology has opened many new doors. The technology era is effecting the world across the board and art is just one of the many fields to be expanded. With everything that has become possible so far due to technology, imagine what is still to come.Tara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88
  • Pawlyk 9 Works Cited Finch, Christopher. The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond. New ed. New York, NY: Abrams, 2011. Print. Glassford, Carl. Pen and Ink. Volume 6. Tustin, CA: Foster Art Service, 1985. Print. Gomez-Palacio, Bryony, and Armin Vit. Graphic Design Referenced. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers, 2009. Print. Irwin, Dean: Art Authentication. Dir. Dean Irwin. PBS, 2 July 2008. NOVA Beta. Web. 3 Mar. 2013. Kaufman, J.B. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Education of Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Film. San Francisco, CA: The Walt Disney Family Foundation Press, 2012. Print. Maeda, John: How Art, Technology, and Design Inform Creative Leaders. Perf. John Maeda. June 2012. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. Newton, . Hildbrandt presents the brand new Thermal Express Tattoo Stencil Printer and Copier. 2012. HIldbrant. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Riley, Kevin. “Graphic Arts.” Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure in America. Ed. Gary S. Cross. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004. 416-417. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. Salisbury, Martin. Illustrating Children’s Books: Creating Pictures for Publication. First ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2004. Print. Thornton, Mandy. Personal Interview. 17 February. 2013.Tara Pawlyk Friday, April 19, 2013 1:21:06 PM ET 04:0c:ce:d3:10:88