With the non-stop growth of new technologies, the communication trends, and the highly demanding requirements of the nowadays society. It´s evident that a discipline like the "Art" has been changing, evolving, and adapting itself to the modern days. But it truly means that the traditional way of the "Art" itself has changed, or it has been developed to these new requirements too, in one way or another?
It´s true that for an artist nowadays is quite more straightforward to have a digital tablet and paint and draw on the computer. That to have the chance of a studio and get higher costs for materials and space. But, where is the line between passion, goals, self-realization, and even maybe profitability?
As not all that glitters is gold, I will try to bring some light to this topic. I have been talking with two great artists, each one of them high-skilled professionals in their field, Digital Art & Traditional Art, let´s understand for this entrance when I talk about Digital Art (made with digital tools) and Traditional Art (on this case hand, painting and drawing)
In one hand, we have Nacho Puerto a fantastic "Traditional Artist" settled in Spain in my hometown (Castellón, a small city on the Mediterranean shore), with an in-depth knowledge of the traditional arts and with a complete understanding of the nowadays directions of the art, check his work here.
On the other hand, we have Marga F. Donaire a high-skilled "Digital Artist" settled in Tokyo, from Cartagena Spain, with a considerable background having related illustrations even for Blizzard (Heroes of the storm), check her work here.
What made you dedicated to art?
From an early stage of my life, I had an interest in drawing and painting like many other children. Honestly, even at that moment, I knew that my interested in the art was higher than the average, objectively talking I was more skilled for those things. I suppose its something that was always in my life and that surfaced again in adolescence, and it was when I decided to study Fine Arts. The fact that I have dedicated myself professionally is a bunch of situations, some personal, other external. I do not believe in the absolute free will, so I suppose there are many circumstances besides a vocational decision.
I dedicate myself to my art since I have use of memory. I have always felt the need to express my inner world through drawings and paintings.
An art movement that impressed you the most?
I would find myself more comfortable citing directly about some authors that are relevant to me, although it is true that there is always something to highlight in each artistic movement, whether of a plastic or conceptual or narrative nature. Perhaps I would highlight metaphysical painting, not so much because of its plastic appearance but rather because of its philosophical and existentialist characteristics. I always liked that art had that intellectual component. On the other hand, there are other characteristics that attract me from other currents: from romanticism I am interested in their exaltation of the passionate and the concept of death. Of the classics and of contemporary figurative painting, I am more interested in his mastery of technique and purely plastic aspects.
Without no doubts I will say Art nouveau and Impressionism, that for me are the movements that more impressed me from the first time that I experienced them, and I would say that I fell in love with them.
I could quote thousands. Among them are for example Dürer, Goya, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Sorolla, Sargent, etc. Dalí marked me especially. And currently many authors of figurative painting. Especially Benjamin Björklund, an emerging painter and brilliant in my view.
Gustav Klimp, Alphons Mucha, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Contemporaries: Ayami Kojima, Akihito Yoshida, and James Jean are some of my favorites.
A workpiece that you would highlight?
Where do your motivation and inspiration come from?
Inspiration is not frequent and occurs unconsciously, so I do not value it much. The motivation is self-discipline, this aspect I consider fundamental. Although what I feel instead is a drive. Something that I need to express. And as such, anything that happens in my life, that I see in a movie, that I listen to in a song, that interests me at the end of the day, in some way it may end up in the form of a painting.
I used to get inspiration from books, music or movies. Now I guess life experiences are enough for me; you work better on a concept when you have a previous experience.
nowadays, what is your opinion on Traditional Art and Digital Art?
First of all, I would like to do a distinguishing between, "Art" and "the Art market." Both often antagonistic.
Contemporary art, or at least painting, is rediscovering itself after years of conceptual and technical rupture. In that sense, I feel very hopeful. I have never been very fond of performance and installations, or at least not in the context of the Fine Arts. I would not have any qualms about understanding performance in the context of dramatic art, but I still do not understand what links it has with the plastic. Apart from that, figurative painting is experiencing a boom that I know, was necessary. In this sense, digital painting has a great future, and I perceive it as another tool to try to master. It is true that we could talk about the concept of uniqueness as opposed to the traditional work, always unique in essence. But digital painting fulfills its role correctly, and I consider it a fascinating tool for visual artists.
As for the art market, I do not want to expand. Public opinion is not foolish, even if you're going to see it that way. We all know the topics about it, and the truth is that many times they adjust to reality. In fact, I think you have to consider painting outside of these guidelines, apparently taking into account that you have to survive in this world. It is a complex issue. That's why I understand that we have to differentiate it from the concept of Art itself.
I work using traditional and digital tools, so I feel confortable using both. I find interesting to experiment with new techniques.
Let´s talk about some artists, what is your opinion about "El Greco", "El Bosco", and "HR Giger"?
When seeing them together, I see a common nexus between them. In some way, all altered the reality in their pictures of conscious form. With different concerns, language and historical context. But none worked naturalism as an inherent message of his work. Each of them has a rhetorical and plastic universe in which immerse to tell a story. Of the three maybe, I would highlight HR Giger. I could not say precisely why, but it is the one that has most influenced me without doubts.
El Greco: Exceptional artist. Probably too gloomy for my taste, but still exceptional. El Bosco: There are so many details to pay attention to that it is definitely worth dedicating your time looking at his masterpieces. H.R. Giger: His interior designs fascinate me. Absolutely unique.
Do you think that exists a difference between the "Digital Art" and the "Traditional Art", if so, why?
Actually, I do not see the difference except for the concept of uniqueness that Walter Benjamin coined. In the digital world, a work can be reproduced infinitely without any variation. However, in the traditional world, even a series engraving presents inherent differences in the chaos of reality. Except for this feature, I do not see any problem. Also, it is true that digital art exists in a socio-technological context in which reproducibility is a must. Each screen of each user would be, for example, a practically exact reproduction. The truth is that I consider it a just born topic, the internet doesn´t have more than 20 years, and we are entirely used to that.
Everything has its good points and its bad points. For me, digital art is dynamic and much faster to elaborate. But traditional art has the magic of the antique, and it is the kind of thing you can touch or smell. It relaxes me way more and also allows me to work in a completely different way.
The mix of techniques today is quite standard and increasingly used, photo-manipulation, traditional art mixed with digital retouching, digital art using realistic parts, etc. What is your opinion?
Any tool that facilitates, improves or contributes some creative particularity in pictorial praxis is, in my view, something positive for it. In this sense, the possibilities are endless. In fact, I have mixed these techniques many times: using textures or coloring digitally on a previously scanned traditional drawing. The problem will always be in the way of presenting it in reality: if it is an ephemeral and digital work, or on the contrary, you want to print it in physical format, or directly made it.
I think is great. I get bored of doing always the same thing, and novelty stimulates my creativity. There are so many ways that it would be a shame not to be curious enough.
Well, I have to say that was so interesting to see their answers, talk with them, and to be able to understand their points. Honestly, there are some points where I felt a difference between both understandings of the "Art," may be due to their experiences, due to the previous knowledge, due to the current trends, it is your business to make conclusions, not mine. And obviously exists a common point too, that was the interesting thing, where we were able to see that the "Art" is something that's alive and in constant evolution, always. Wider the understanding, wiser knowledge, and better compression of the past/current/future situations, better artistic professionals will come, nowadays and forever. We don´t have to forget from where we came from, and what is going on right now, keep your mind open!