Does Modern Technology Help or Hinder An Artist?

Categories Articles

This recent decade has witnessed some amazing technological innovation. From the breakthrough of the personal computer at the turn of the century to the invasion of smartphones, out of the 6.9bnn people roaming our dear planet, there are now 1.3bn people worldwide who own a personal computer and 5bn who own a mobile phone. The digital divide is certainly regressing. These are truly extraordinary figures which illustrate the sheer significance of technological development in today’s society. So how is modern technology effecting or indeed affecting ones artistic endeavours?

Indeed our history has blessed us with true artistic masterpieces from the nineteenth century’s impressionist movement and Monet’s awe-inspiring Rue Montorgueil to the wonders of the Renaissance and Da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa.

Undoubtedly such works will forever be held as true masterpieces, sheer creative accomplishment. Such ‘traditional’ art will continue to thrive. There are vital elements of traditional art that technology simply cannot emulate. Reality allows light to fall on works of art as well as exuding from it. When a work of art occupies a physical space, its palpable quality affords it a presence and clout – that which technology struggles to achieve.

But just as Monet used oil paint on canvas, people today are using technologies and their nimble fingertips to make contemporary works of art which are to be admired, engaged and understood in different ways.

On account of these figures, here are two top innovative ways of using technology and the internet for artistic purpose.

Photoshop Software

There are countless varieties of desktop software such as Photoshop which enable professional creativity and artistic ability in an easy to-learn way. The piece of artwork (right) was created entirely with Photoshop Elements.

With the use of data which charts where the most photographed areas of the city are (indicated in red), this aerial view image of London has been transformed to illustrate popular areas of London. The resultant digital image (below right) is original and one of depth, charting London’s unique landscape.

Apps & Smartphones

There is a myriad of artistic and creative apps available through smartphones that enable users to be creative in numerous ways.

Consider the SketchBook Mobile app – this simple user interface proffers over 60 professional painting and drawing tools including pencil, pen and brush, and enables you to create and share whilst on-the-go.

Another innovative app – the iWallFlower – adopts a unique concept in that you can simultaneously create and view ‘emotional’ art within a networked world. The concept is to experience how others around the world are feeling emotionally, as expressed through art on the network.

Plato infamously said that that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. These technological artistic endeavours illustrate that technology has not merely emanated from need but rather that it is bore from our desire to create in new innovative ways.

Art is essentially a creative form which communicates ones ideas and engages one emotionally and intellectually. Moreover, it is a love for the process and the materials used. Technology can help us convert our ideas and can engage us on an emotional level.

If technology was based purely on need then it would not be where it is today. Technology has evolved into a medium of art – it is merely another set of tools in addition to the paintbrush and the canvas.

What’s more, these ‘extra tools’ can support and supplement more ‘traditional’ means of art in new ways. Digital versions can introduce people to their beauty providing a glimpse of the original. Viewing a digital version of the Mona Lisa on your iPad will most certainly arouse your desire to see the piece in person and inspire the artist in you…

This article was written by Paul Dimmock from CultureLabel. Since being founded in 2007, CultureLabel has grown into a respected creative department store for buying unique gifts and affordable art online. All of the pieces available on the site have been curated from selected art and design partners.