Art in the Digital Age

Internet based media- from art or poetry to web-comics and other developing forms- has definitely become a huge phenomenon in recent years. I wanted to open up a discussion about the importance of these kinds of publishing platforms because we’re going to be reading Emily Carroll’s “Through the Woods” soon. 

Carroll originally gained some recognition when her comic “His Face All Red” went viral around Halloween in 2010. It gained major success and went viral, bringing about her move to printed works. She still does most of her art digitally first, and the story progresses from there.

Copyright: Emily Carroll One of her illustrations
Copyright: Emily Carroll
One of her illustrations

So why do we care about this stuff? In the year of 2015 how do we find balance and beauty in the differences between digital and printed media? 

Being in this class has brought me more awareness of just how vast the kind of new material that can be brought to the table now; the idea of so many people being seen and given recognition for their talent in ways that didn’t exist before. Take for example the internet poets, or the spoken word poets, who can go viral now in the age and importance of Youtube and other social media outlets like Tumblr. The same thing happens for artists as well, many people are capable of getting their work out there and people can share it.

This sort of diffusion of work allows for more audience interpretation and theories, as well as wider demand for different kinds of illustration or writing or comic book/graphic novels. So, an audience gets to experience art in a whole new way, and artists have wider appeal and following in ways that never existed before.

I think it is important to realize that art is extremely influential in this age of technology and the expansion of different forms of digital art versus traditional art. Digitalized art and cartooning has definitely become seen as a more serious art form in the growth of graphic novels and comic book styles. This sort of digital art can present itself like Emily Carroll’s work, or more in a real image photo-shopped to be something else, which provides for a lot of newer approaches besides painting or sculpture and other traditional methods.

And example of photoshop
And example of photoshop

How does one consume this work organically and in different ways than other art, whether writing, or comics, etc? I think the answer lies in our ability to adapt and adopt new styles as they grow and intrigue us, along with the ready availability that the internet and digital media provides. These new styles, like a web comic, can give a more quick weekly update than many comics without the consumer having to spend too much money and time seeking out something that keeps them up late thinking about it.

Digital media also gives more precise and potentially more colorful portraits and more modern storytelling, which for many millennials is a great unifier. We can interact with our own consumption of art and see the story and the artist much more closely. Like this interview I found with Emily Carroll, and also to tie back to one of my great loves, spoken word poetry giving art a new advantage with all of the technology we have now.