The Evolution of Digital Art


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Maayan Shilon, Journalist

When first hearing the term digital art usually the first thing that comes into mind is drawing on an iPad or a computer, which is the most common type of digital art. However digital art is any artistic work shown through technology. There are many types of digital art like dynamic painting, 2D/3D computer graphics, pixel art, digital photography, photo painting, and many more. 

The first term digital art was used in the 1900s. In the 1900s Harold Cohen and his team made a program they called AARON to make a robot create large paintings. This was the first use of the term. Around the 1980s when personal computers came to be, that’s when digital art grew since it started becoming more affordable for people since now they could do it themselves. The first digital art program created that people were able to draw, design, and manipulate objects, was the program called MacPaint which was released by Apple on their first personal computers. Later on, the ability of downloadable videos and photos came and that’s when the manipulation of images became possible.

The era of 1980-1990 was mostly focused on paint programs until the 1990-2006 multimedia era that started where more artists were able to interact with each other and their audience. 

Today, tablets are the most used pieces of technology for digital art. The top devices used for it are the Wacom tablet and the Apple iPad Pro. Now some of the biggest and well-known drawing/art programs are Adobe Photoshop, Procreate and Clip Studio Paint.

“Digital art has grown to the point of being a mega-industry of its own and many artists see a lot of success only ever holding a stylus,” Diana Fitts describes, as a digital artist that uses an iPad to create her work.

Digital art transformed human expressions by enhancing creativity. The new possibilities it gave were now limitless. There have been over 2,517 graduates in digital arts in 2019, and still growing by 13.2% and over 2.2 million people working in the digital arts. It also gave the ability of so many more things to be available like cartoons, comics, and just for people to express themselves in anyway they want. Many jobs now have the option of including digital art. Some like character designer, the concept artist, prop designer, illustrator, storyboard artist, character animator, art director, and effects designer.