What is digital art? Where is it headed in the future?

What is digital art? Where is it headed in the future?

I don’t think it escapes anyone that digital art is going to be dominant from now on.

If it was something that was already seen coming, with the latest events of the pandemic and other issues that push for less physical interaction, it seems clear that this is going to be the path of art.

The artists will have to reconvert or they will end up in a museum like the dinosaurs.

Well, let’s not be so exaggerated, because there will be a transition and it seems that for a while there will continue to be a lot of business and art with traditional forms, but it is true that the trend is there.

I am going to tell you everything about this type of art that has been going strong, as well as the consequences that it has in the world of making money, even if that sounds bad in a subject like art.

Let’s go there.

table of contents shows 

Digital art definition

Digital art is made using technological media of a computer type that in turn is embodied in digital technology media, mainly the computer.

What’s more, if you want me to tell you something, I think I could also define it as art that belongs to the virtual world.

The latter has important implications.

In any case, art itself is rather abstract and comes to express what the artist feels, and that can be seen on a “surface”. In this case, the surface is the digital world, before it was the physical world.

The digital artist uses media such as the computer, with which he shapes his work.

The traditional used other means, such as a brush and a canvas.

In other words, the only thing that has changed is the media.

Or that is what it would seem at first glance.

But in reality, something else has changed. Something much more intimate and that touches the very essence of the art concept.

What should I talk about?

From the fact that digital art is something that is done rather with a series of mathematical codes that the computer with which we work enables us.

Traditional art has nothing to do with those mathematical codes that in today’s world are known as programming.

Therefore, modern digital artists are more like programmers, although it doesn’t have to be strictly necessary.

This has a brutal consequence: digital art can be replicated exactly.

It would only be enough to know the programming code behind the digital work itself.

This is something we can call the “digital art replica effect”.

Yes, I know that in theory and with the encryption and security models this can be considered almost impossible, but the possibility still exists.

Traditional art, on the other hand, is impossible to be copied perfectly, since it is something that does not depend on algorithms made with ones and zeros.

For example, a DaVinci painting cannot be copied identically. You can try to copy it, but it will never be the same.

The opposite occurs in the digital world.

That is why it is something that seems important to me and that shows that the virtual world is something in which the copy phenomenon predominates. Apparently, infinite variations can be made with a code, but infinite copies of it can also be made, that is the key.

Well, where do I want to go with it?

Well, in a certain way, the transition from physical to digital art supposes a kind of change of degree. It’s like going from a 3D art to a 2D one, for making an allegory.

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The latter gives rise to the fact that the new artists in the digital world are perhaps more technical than artistic, which is curious.

Many traditional painters feel lost in the online world, as they hardly know how to use a computer, and the most they can hope for is to create a profile on a specialized website and try to sell their physical works.

I am going to give you a couple of examples of digital art so that you can see the issue of the “copy” or “replica” feature.

digital art examples

1 YouTube video

Yes, a Youtube video is a digital work of art.

It is because to make the video a digital type of technological equipment is necessary, and the expression of said art is in that medium, that is, on a screen that we all see with our computer or mobile.

Seen in this way, there is no difference with cinema, but it is for that same reason that cinema is also digital art.

Well, a work of digital art can be a Rubius video on one of its channels.

It is a unique video in the sense that to create it, Rubius had to do it himself, talking about a game or any other subject. That’s something only he can do.

What happens is that the recording of said video on a computer disk is done through a file.

If we look closely, we can copy that file as many times as we want.

Just right-click and click copy.

Then right-click again on the screen and “paste”.

And so we have the Rubius video twice identically on the same medium.

We can do this to infinity or almost, in theory.

A painting by Dalí cannot be copied like that. You can try to replicate it, but it won’t be identical.

That is what I mean by the “replica effect” or copy of digital art.

2 digital drawing

This type of art consists of making a drawing using technological elements such as a table and an electronic brush with which we can shape a drawing that is reflected on the screen.

This is very similar to the ancient art of painting a picture, but there is still the question of the replica since all those movements of the brush have numerical coordinates that are recorded in the computer, and for this reason, it is something that is an obstacle to be replicated.

Origin of digital art

In theory, it was born with the development of computers and their animation applications back in the 50s and 60s of the 20th century. In theory, the father of this art is Charles “Chuck” Csuri, back in 1965, when he began his computer animation work.

However, from my point of view, I think we would have to go further back, nothing less than the birth of cinema, music, and its analog technology to begin to see what was to come with the digital phenomenon. Although it is necessary to differentiate between one concept and another. I mean:

  • The analog system is continuous
  • The digital system is discontinuous

This is so because the digital is embodied in the form of pixels, or other words in the form of zeros and ones.

For example, a live song is analog and continuous, so it can be recorded on classic tapes.

While digital music has to be embodied in a binary way.

This binary concept and its implementation in the virtual plane is what creates that possibility that I mentioned before, the “replica effect”.

To see the difference in this effect, it is enough to remember the old tapes when they were recorded from one to the other, and how the second one had a lower quality than the first. This is remembered by people of a certain age, not by a teenager.

types of digital art

1 Algorithmic or Fractal Art

This is an art that requires the use of mathematics, something that connoisseurs of the fractal concept know well.

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This first example already shows us what I mentioned at the beginning of the article, that is, the world of digital art is very suitable for programmers and those who handle mathematicians well.

2 2D and 3D computer graphics

This type of digital art also uses mathematical models to reflect the realities of the physical world. Realities can be precisely measured and can be reflected with these measures within the programs necessary to do these jobs from home.

A classic application of this type of art is video games.

3 digital photography

It is created with a camera that can be both digital and analog. Then the photos are converted to the binary system with a computer program and thus can be manipulated in infinite ways.

4 digital painting

As we saw in one of the digital art examples, you can use artifacts to draw in 2D format, creating an effect with a “digital brush”.

A classic example of this is the use of Photoshop:


5 Vector drawing

A widely used digital art method that also rests on mathematical concepts. Another world where engineer types dominate.

Each vector of the work of art represents characteristics of color, size, shape, etc. It’s easy to get used to the idea.

A classic program for this is Adobe Illustrator.

6. pixel art

It is a type of art made with raster graphics, that is, with bitmaps or pixel images.

It is also a type of art widely used in video games like Pac-Man or Space Invaders.

Pac-man is a classic of video games and pixels

7 digital collage

It is an art technique that uses the combination of different elements to create a final result. This is well known in traditional art, but the world of computers has created the possibility of making collages much faster and more spectacularly.


8 Integrated digital art

This type of art supposes the use of several of the proposed techniques, in such a way that multidisciplinary work is done, and with this, works of more artistic complexity are created.

9 Digital media art

We could call this the seventh digital art, since here I include the simple creation of videos or any other similar element, even a Twitter post.

Although it is not about drawing or creating those pieces of art by simulating drawing, the truth is that acting, or the word online are also forms of art, just like ancient theater or poetry were.

This type of digital art is also reflected in our computers and has created a whole culture around it. You only need to see the YouTube ecosystem.

How to make money with digital art?

If you have read this entry so far, you will have realized that in the world of digital art, there are a very large number of possibilities to earn money online. Obviously, in the case of digital art, we are dealing with a medium in which it is not necessary to be present in a physical space to do the work, but we can do it from anywhere.

The number of online jobs for digital art specialists is very large.

There are countless companies and entrepreneurs online looking for original work for their projects and startups.

There is also quite a large demand for this type of art in many online circles.

But most spectacular of all is the birth of the NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) phenomenon, the new phenomenon related to the blockchain ecosystem which is beginning to shape what could be the future of a virtual world. With this technology, the possibility of individualizing these works of art is being created, thus creating a market for all digital objects, and their subsequent trade through cryptocurrencies. But this is another story that I will talk about in a specific post on how to make money with NFT tokens.

A good way for us to see the endless possibilities of making money using digital art skills is by looking at some of the software applications that work for it:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC: likely, edit knowledge of Photoshop, likely, you will not lack work.
  • CorelDRAW: one of the classics in the world of digital painters
  • Google Blocks
  • auto draw
  • Corel painter
  • Sketchbook Pro
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Krita
  • ArtRage
  • rebel 3
  • Affinity Designer
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If you have skills in any of this software, you can offer your services on any freelance site (such as Fiverr), but the options to earn money are much broader, even being able to find a job directly with a company that needs artistic talent or even creating your own. own company.

An example of creating a career as a digital artist is the one that I have commented on several times before, that is, being a video streamer, because even if you are not designing or “painting” drawings, you will be making use of the art of performance.

How much does a digital artist earn on average?

Salaries in this sector vary almost infinitely.

An artist who has his own successful company is not the same as an intern who has just started a company or someone who does basic work spontaneously.

To see what can be charged, it is best to see what the labor market is like for this type of work.

For this, we are going to look at those of the two largest economies in the Spanish-speaking world, Spain and Mexico, as well as the US.

Examples of average salaries of digital artists in Spain in 2021:

  • 3D artist: €22,975 per year ( source )
  • Graphic designer: €47,000 per year

Examples of average salaries of digital artists in Mexico in 2022:

  • Average animation professional: $900 per month ( source )
  • Digital Designer: $500 per month

Examples of median salaries for digital artists in the US in 2022:

  • Freelance digital artist: $61,876 per year
  • Employed Digital Artist: $48,567 to $66,450 per year

These ranges are to give you an idea, but again, it will all depend on things like experience or the specific job.

We have jobs and tasks of all kinds, but there is something that I think is worth highlighting, and that is that this new type of artist is something much more valued in the job market than the traditional artist.

Seen in this way, we can say that this modern online society is much more artistic than the previous one, where the artist was always a very residual work.

Although the latter must be qualified because much modern digital art is not art, since as we have seen in this article it is something more technical and based on technology, while previous traditional art was more based on a more organic talent. If you can say so.

In short, in the new digital economy, there are many possibilities for digital artists.

So if you are in this sector I think you will not miss the opportunity to earn money.

Conclusion – Future of Digital Art

Finally, I believe that the skills of digital artists will be increasingly necessary for increasingly complex tasks.

I believe that the virtual world is going to grow dramatically in the next few years and that it will produce exponential growth in the demand for digital artists of all kinds.

This is not going to be only for those who are experts in the use of Photoshop, but in a thousand and one variations of the term art, which can also be of the video or sound type.

As a name, I believe that the world of NFTs, although it may seem silly, is just the beginning of the beginning of the virtual world.

That’s why I think that if you want to start a career to make a profession in the world of digital art, this is the best time ever, even though it may seem like there is a lot of competition.

It gives me the feeling that the demand is going to grow much more than the competition in the coming years.

The future belongs to you, without a doubt.


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