Digital art vs. classical art

The First 5000 Days

Before we begin, we would like to provide a definition of digital art and traditional art. Digital art, also known as digital painting, encompasses all digital illustration techniques using software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and others to create artwork that can later be printed on paper, canvas, or other mediums. Digital art has been developing since the 1960s and is widely used in various artistic professions such as illustration, concept design, advertising, comics, motion videos, and graphic design.

On the other hand, traditional painting is an art form created using tangible materials such as paint, brushes, and various support materials like linen or synthetic canvas, wooden frames, tracing paper, graphite pencils, easels, palettes, carrying cases, colored pencils, spray paint, paint pots, detachable supports, rollers, and drawing paper. The artist creates their artwork in their studio alone, without the need for a team to assist them.

Impact of COVID-19 on Art COVID-19 has disrupted the art market, favoring the digital art market as it prevented the public from visiting art galleries and exhibitions by painters worldwide for over two years. This has accelerated the shift from physical to digital platforms, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and online art sales websites.

NFT Art With the emergence of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), digital art is experiencing an unstoppable boom through international platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, Mintable, and Nifty Gateway. These platforms allow the buying and selling of NFT art, certifying the authenticity of the unique creation through blockchain technology.

Advantages of Digital Art Digital artists require minimal material investment, as a computer or tablet equipped with software and a stylus are sufficient to create their artwork. They can quickly modify or retouch their images if needed. Additionally, their equipment is easily transportable and reusable, with long-term backup capabilities. Once the artwork is completed, it can be printed on canvas, either outsourced to a professional printer or done at home if the artist has suitable printing equipment.

There are two scenarios for selling digital artwork. The first is selling the artwork in digital format, with the buyer responsible for printing and framing the piece. In this case, multiple copies can be sold at lower prices, and the authenticity of the artwork may not be guaranteed. The second scenario is selling the artwork already printed and framed by the creator while retaining the source file. The buyer incurs additional costs for printing, framing, and transportation.

What about Traditional Painting? Traditional paintings still hold their value as they directly materialize an original creation. The act of painting and drawing traditionally provides a strong and direct pleasure for both the artist and the buyer. Creating a beautiful image on a screen using a graphics tablet does not necessarily make someone a great painter. Traditional painting requires more material investment and the time needed to complete a piece can be substantial. These factors directly impact the selling price, making the artist’s creations less accessible to the general public and limited to a wealthier minority.

Impact of Digital Art on Moroccan Art Internet access and the emergence of online purchasing have led to the proliferation of thousands of online art sales websites worldwide, such as AliExpress, Amazon, and other Moroccan sites. The observed trend is that selling prices are very affordable, with merchants offering prices ranging from 400 to 2000 Moroccan Dirhams (MAD) depending on the size, canvas type, frame, and even claiming to be the work of a “well-known” artist without mentioning their name or signature. The prominence of Islamic art with Quranic verses is highly appreciated by the Arab and Moroccan community. However, many artists feel that the artistic quality is lacking in the printed artworks, and they do not see any artistic value in them.

The purchasing power of the majority of Moroccans to budget for wall decoration in their apartments, houses, or even villas remains limited when it comes to original paintings. This explains why they turn to digitally printed artworks, sometimes compromising on the quality of the artwork to decorate their living rooms.

Consciousness and artistic education from childhood are virtually absent in most Moroccan families, which negatively impacts the appreciation of the work of artists and leads to a decline in art and creativity. According to some Moroccan painters, this has unfavorably affected their income, exacerbated further by the ongoing health crisis since 2019. The lack of strong government initiatives to intervene through subsidy and support programs for the Moroccan artistic community has worsened the situation.

In conclusion, digital art and traditional painting have distinct characteristics and impacts on the art market. Digital art has gained momentum, especially with the rise of NFTs and the accessibility of online platforms, while traditional painting remains a cherished and valued form of artistic expression. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital platforms, but it is essential to recognize the importance of preserving traditional art and supporting artists in both domains.

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