I have a BFA degree in Visual Communication: Illustration & Graphic Design, which I have used as a platform to build interactive content for the web, along with 3D modeling, animation, sculpture, and "digital hybrid" illustration: combining digital and traditional media into a single work of art, using unconventional output techniques to create archival original art on toned Canson paper for dry media such as Prismacolor pencils and pastels, or Strathmore Series 500 paper mounted on board for wet media such as Oils and Alkyd paints. I've generally been dissatisfied with digital art prints — even with the finest giclée, the colors are never as vibrant as they appear on screen, and the reduced color gamut usually makes printed artwork look lifeless compared to traditional art that is made by hand-mixing high quality pigments on the surface of fine art paper, board, or canvas -- and to top it all off, prints aren't precious compared to original art made with traditional media, even if they are signed and numbered in limited editions. Unfortunately, Digital Art doesn't really have a single "original" to be displayed -- exact copies of the art can be created and sent around the world in an instant. Sure you could reserve your highest resolution / uncompressed version away from the public, or used to print one copy of the digital work and then destroy the "digital plate", but it's an extreme measure against the very purposes of digital media; to archive perfect copies of a work, to use this digital media in the development of artistic process over time, building up a body of work and developing techniques to build upon as one grows as an artist, and to engage others in artistic dialogue in the common era. With a digital file, hundreds of exact copies can be printed, and not a single one is truly the "original". This problem lead me to find the best way to overcome this issue by creating a single output of my digital work onto archival paper, as the foundation of a new process to complete the work as a traditional "original" by working the whole surface with traditional media such as prismacolor pencil on toned paper -- or mounting to masonite using matte medium and a roller, and painting the surface with acrylic / oil paints. Suddenly the work takes on a new life, combining the best that digital media and traditional media have to offer. Perhaps it's the part of me that appreciates fine art in its purest form, perhaps I've seen too many great works of art in person and how they never compare to their printed form in books and posters... perhaps it's the illustrator's lament in seeing a poor reproduction butcher the original art. As time goes by, I find myself appreciating the digital hybrid more and more... why not use all of the tools available to you as an artist? What an exciting time to be alive, to witness all of this come to being.
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