Monday, May 3, 2021

Art is Art

I made this post on Facebook here. It was not triggered by anything that has been said to me personally, just based on some things I've noticed lately here and there.

Sometimes I see people refer to traditional art (non-digital) as "hand drawn". But this is not a correct description of what they actually mean.

I mostly draw on a tablet at my computer. I promise you that 100% of everything I draw is "hand drawn".

The term you are looking for is probably "traditional". Which just means you have a preference for things that are not created digitally. Preferences are fine, of course. But I challenge you to look at art with an open mind and I bet you will eventually not care at all if the art you are seeing was created with a wooden pencil or a stylus.

The attached image here is a pencil drawing. It is completely digital and it was drawn by Will Terry's hand. Is there REALLY a meaningful difference between digital and traditional art? I don't believe there is. If there's anything in the world in which I can claim expertise it is this topic.

EDIT: Of course this post is about the experience of seeing art. The experience of creating it is very different and our preferences are really important. Some people need to feel the wooden pencil smashing into their finger flesh or to smell the toxic paint fumes. I always loved it when I had ink stains on my fingers. But for many many reasons I greatly prefer drawing on my tablet and I don't miss traditional drawing much at all. But that's just me. You do you.


  1. Speaking as a consumer of art: the means of production doesn't matter. Only the viewer's experience of the artwork does.

  2. A friend of mine is a sculptor. He spent decades sculpting with clay but lately he's been doing his sculpts with software, 3D printing them, doing additions that he can't work out on the computer and then doing molds for the final sculpture. They're pretty amazing. He is working on turning his most recent sculpture into 3D printed dungeon terrain that looks like a skull cathedral until you dismantle the pieces.