types of art students

Digital Arts vs Traditional Arts: How are they different?

Art is a constant part of our civilization and existence. It is a medium of expression and a way to preserve history. Over time, different types of art evolved and existed. While there will always be a debate on which kind of art is better—modern or traditional, or, now, digital or traditional—every art student must develop their skills in both forms. But what sets digital arts and traditional arts apart? This article delves into their differences, and covers top tips for Filipino students.

Traditional and digital arts defined

Traditional arts have existed for centuries. It forms a part of a group’s culture and identity. The principles and skills of traditional art are passed down from one generation to another and developed over time. Its forms include painting, film, theater, puppetry, music, architecture, sculpture, and drawing.

Digital art, on the other hand, is any kind of art made using computers and other screen devices. This kind of art allows manipulation of the artwork through editing applications to polish imperfections, enhance images, or add elements to it. Digital art includes digital photographs, videos, digital paintings, animation, and illustrations.

Digital arts and traditional arts: To each their own

While both have clear differences, they are equally important in learning the principles of arts and design. Knowing traditional techniques like sketching, painting, and even sculpting will better train your hand-eye coordination and reflexes. While learning more about digital arts, will open you to more possibilities and opportunities as a multimedia artist. That’s why it’s essential that every modern art student understands the contrasts between them to aid their growth as an artist. Know more about them here:

Traditional arts

types of art students

When working on traditional art, you’ll notice the following differences:

1. It’s more physical

While working on traditional art, you get to experience its development. You can smell the different materials, hear how your medium interacts with your canvas, and also how the environment around you reacts to your work. For example, when you step into a pottery studio, you can immediately smell the scent of earth and fire and hear the potter’s wheel as it turns. You’re directly and physically connected to your art. Some traditional artists would even claim that all their artworks contain their fingerprint as their hands physically shape their pieces.

2. It costs more

Although some softwares can cost a lot of money, it doesn’t match the cost of working repeatedly on traditional arts. For example, sculpting costs a lot if you take in the price of the clay, paint, glaze, and the time it takes to fire your piece in the kiln. And even when you have your finished product, there’s no assurance that it will turn out well. 

What if, after going through multiple steps to complete your art, you discover that in the end, you don’t like it? A minor mistake; a crooked line, a color that isn’t in the right hue, or just something that seems off to you. Would you decide to repeat your work in pursuit of perfection? In the case that you would, you’d have to start from scratch again, which will cost you time, money, and materials. It seems like perfection comes at a cost, no?

Of course, all of this influences the price at which you sell your work as well, considering that you have to cover your expenses!

3. Handle with care

Traditional art requires more care with maintenance and transportation. Since it only exists in the physical world, it can deteriorate or even get destroyed if not handled properly. A painting can get molds when placed in a humid environment, a wooden sculpture can be eaten by termites, and a sculpture can easily shatter with one wrong move. This can also increase your artwork’s value since it’s something that cannot be re-made or replaced once destroyed or damaged.

4. It’s exclusive

Digital art can be viewed in more ways than traditional art. If you want to see and experience something traditional, you have to go to where it is and view it in person. And while you can now look at digital copies of traditional artworks or even replicas, it doesn’t live up to the experience of seeing the original piece in real life As opposed to digital art where you can view it on various digital platforms and devices.

Digital arts

types of art students

Digital arts on the other hand, delivers the following: 

1. Convenience

With digital art, you don’t have to buy multiple art materials or get lost in a sea of canvases as often happens with traditional art. Instead, all you need to do is turn on your device and application to start working.  The apps contain all the tools that you need. Plus, modern tech makes it easier to organize your workspace and allows you to pick up where you left off with ease.Although you may need to buy subscriptions for some apps, CIIT provides these apps and tools for students.

2. Easy sharing

Before, sharing one’s art meant participating in art showcases or exhibits which normally required either money, reputation, or networks to succeed. Although that didn’t stop the likes of Van Gogh or Vicente Manansala, it’s really much easier to share your work today with social media, emails, and other digital mediums. All you have to do is to export your art and upload it to the many social platforms like Deviantart, Dribble, or Behance among many other channels. Some platforms don’t even require multiple steps, they can let you upload directly after you finish your work! 

3. Quick fix

The best thing about digital art is that you can fix errors in a snap. You can undo your mistakes and change colors with a single button and without any trace. After all the editing, your work looks good as new. Imagine the horrors of making a minute mistake that can destroy your whole work! With traditional art, months or years are spent perfecting every detail with as much care and focus as possible to prevent mistakes and only then just showing it off in public.

4. More room for exploration

Digital art allows you to explore different techniques in creating an artwork. You can experiment with tones, shadows, highlights, backgrounds, and types of brushes without the limitations of traditional art. Just simply download any new tool, app, or program—and you can explore as much as you want. Unlike in traditional art where you have to spend days sourcing for materials and learning how to manipulate the new medium. Soon, you’ll find your own technique to use in your succeeding artworks.

Hone Your Art Skills into Perfection in CIIT

types of art students

Despite its differences, traditional arts and digital arts can help artists explore and fine tune their skills. You don’t have to choose between the two, you can work on both skills and constantly improve from every artwork you make. 

If you plan to pursue your passion for the arts, CIIT Philippines provides a nurturing space for your creative skills. As a leading institution that combines art and tech into a relevant industry-based curriculum, you will gain in-depth experiences and knowledge on how to learn design and other aspects of art. Become a CIITzen and experience a collaborative community that supports your every endeavor and nurtures your professional growth–so you can soon be a leading multimedia artist in the Philippines! Explore our coursework here.