Science and Technology : black digital artist where are you?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by rnojonson, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. rnojonson

    rnojonson Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In the digital realm I have met many blacks who are good pc techs, excellent programmers, drafting and design persons and savvy desktop pub and word processing people. What I haven't seen yet is black folks who are into popular computer graphics. Are we stuck in traditional media materials? I wonder because all the sites displaying popular art from black artist tend to be oils or watercolors. I don't have the time or the drive to get into it like I want to, but I've been playing with the GIMP and other free graphic softwares and wonder what other black folk, especially artist are doing digitally. Then so many of us are hung up on making money from anything we put on the computer, we are basically invisible on the "net". Invisibility means no one knows you are there. Get seen first, talk money later.
    I would suggest a few things, if you would bare with me a bit. First is subject matter, don't you think we have seen enough of the usual subject matter? How many versions of mother and child or praying hands or even Harlem Renaissance pictures do we need to repeat? If you are going to perch on the shoulders of ones gone before you, stand up, show us what's in you. Progress the art. Use computer wallpaper and backgrounds and screensavers and slide shows as a forum to promote and display your talents. It is still hard to find black clipart and icons sets with that Afro flavor. We don't need a black operating system, even though Ubuntu Linux is from South Africa (has universal appeal). We need not wait for an invite to enter the fray. We just have to approach this differently. Now, what graphic softwares do you use?
    Where can we see and or sample some of your work? Don't let rappers and poets have all the fun!!
     
  2. lilpea

    lilpea Moderator STAFF

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    Hello rnojonson.....

    Thank u so mush for posting this....i am an old school artist.... can barley get away form my crayons..lol and I'm fairly new to the computer...but have all these ideas I'd like to illustrat..i would appreciate help or tips u wish to share..

    Lilpea
     
  3. soulosophy

    soulosophy Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Greetings,

    Good point!!

    I guess I can semi call myself a digital artist as I enjoy creating art through the digital medium. I haven't done much kind of Afrikan-centred type art though (yet). Perhaps one or two which I have posted on here but have removed for editing.


    You kept that under your many hats Bro LP.

    I use Adobe Photoshop which is excellent for manipulating any image and for creating also. Photoshop is known as a 'paint program' because it uses bitmap or raster graphics which means that images are made up using pixels (little dots). Adobe Photoshop also has scanning ability so people like you Bro Littlepea if you create your artwork by hand and you have a scanner, then you can use Photoshop to scan your artwork and manipulate it anyway you like. Once you scan it then your piece becomes digitised.

    Another graphics software I use is Adobe Illustrator which uses Vector graphics which means it uses geometrical formulas to represent images. This type of software is called 'draw programs. 'Vector created graphics are a lot more smoother and most importantly does not require so much memory.

    These two are the main ones I use for both images for the computer screen or for printing.

    There are a load of different software or programs you can use Bro LP if you do a search aight. Some can be very expensive but some sights allow you to download for a trial version or have free softwares (open source and shareware) depending on what you go for.

    Bro LittlePeace, you can search on the internet and find tutorials on any software if you don't know how to use any of them.

    Peace...!
     
  4. lilpea

    lilpea Moderator STAFF

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    Sister Soul....

    I will most deff. look up thoses tools...thank you so much

    Lilpea
     
  5. rnojonson

    rnojonson Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Just my 2 cents!

    My Sis and Bro,
    Two things have hindered me in my quest for a digital presence. First, moving from pencil to mouse is not that easy, requires a whole different way of thinking. Second, I am too short to reach the top shelf at the software store. I am an avid Linux user, which exposed me to free and open source software. Some folks turned me on to this stuff, said while I was saving my pennies to buy "pro-ware", I could cut my teeth using the same tools and techniques on this free-ware and may find I don't need the pro-ware at all. There are versions of this stuff that runs on Linux and MS Windows. Adobe's Photoshop is the best but the GIMP is wonderful. The main complaint about GIMP has been lack of color separation tools for print-publishing. I think that is being dealt with. Two other fine softwares are Xara Xtreme and Inkscape which have all the Illustrator tools. You can get these and more at http://www.webi.org/. If you do a video search in Google or YouTube, you will find tutorials and tips.
    Hey Sis, I just used Afro-flav as an example, what ever is in you will come out.
     
  6. lilpea

    lilpea Moderator STAFF

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    Great rnojonson....too short?....i going to leave that one alone..lol.....anyway thanks the more tools the better...when i grow up I'll look up your sources too.

    Lilpea
     
  7. Jazzytude

    Jazzytude Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peace and Blessigns

    I am loving this I will pass on to my teens and friends!

    Peace
     
  8. rnojonson

    rnojonson Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    vexing vectors

    I am starting out with simple graphic patterns to get used to the madding array of tools. While I appreciate cut and paste to repeat patterns, they all look so perfectly perfect. Is there a way to introduce irregular flaws to make it look more hand-drawn. I really like those imperfections, they are like a signature. I know Photoshop plug-ins might work in GIMP, I don't know about Inkscape, which I am using for this. Inkscape is a vector graphic app.
     
  9. Metaverse

    Metaverse Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Bro. Jonson, you've made some beautiful points. There are actually a great deal of Black digital artists, however their artwork is not promoted in the same way fine is. I believe in time this will change. It has less to do with the Black digital artists themselves and more to do with the art market.

    I know Black artists that started out doing computer graphics that actually gave it up and went into fine arts. Why? Because Black painters make more money per painting. Digital art does not share the same money earning potential, unless you have a substantial amount of clients. A Black painter- if he/she is good can make $3,000 for a piece that took him 15 minutes to paint.

    Like most Black Artists I started out with crayons too, I enjoyed illustration- but never enjoyed painting that much. However the paintings I did managed to create in high school and art school earned me allot of interest. I also went to school of computer arts.

    Creating on the computer has never been difficult for me. I can do the same thing with a mouse that I can with a pen or pencil. However I've learned that a computer based drawing pad and pen will add more freestyle flexibility to your work.

    The bulk of Black digital Artists work with publishing companies. We work with magazine, recording labels etc. Basically any Black magazine you pick up on the newsstand has Black digital Artists working for them. For example a great deal of my work every week are photographs I have to re-touch for different publishing houses and Independent Photographers. A great deal of art and creativity goes into re-touching, so indeed retouching is a digital art.

    Digital Artists work on movie posters, book covers etc. Digital illustrators design Shirts, and fashion prints. There are some Black animators in Disney, as well as those who work with video game companies.

    There is a clear reason why most Black digital Artists are not out in the forefront like most fine Artists, because the nature of their work usually involves working in conjunction with advertising firms and media companies.
    For the very few digital Artists that manage to sell their "prints" outright on canvas or glossy paper, it's easy for them to drown in the overall Black artistic market. Creating art on the computer is still looked at as "play play" by most African people, even though painting by number, or painting by using a projector which most Black Artists do, - for me is "play play" but- who said Art consumers really knew anything about art?

    There is a great deal of open source software online for those willing to get into digital art. I found "inkscape" which is a vector based program like illustrator to be so close to abode's $900-$1,200 program that it is worth it to learn inkscape before shelling out the money for Illustrator.

    But here's an inside tip for Digital Artists. The strange thing is that most Artists beat themselves over the head trying to come up with subject matter that people will buy, when in the end most people are purchasing art that will match that sofa, love seat, wall or drapes. Knowing this is an advantage for digital artists. Get into interior design. A Digital Artist can create work that matches anything in the house with the right color matching systems. The new revolution for Artists is "custom custom custom" everyone wants it custom made just for them.

    A simple photograph of your Client's living room where the digital art will go should be inspiration enough color wise. And then do your magic from there. You'd be surprised what people will purchase as long as it matches their decor. Next invest your "eye" into looking at very unique ways to frame your pieces. This is an area where I see allot of Artists and Digital Artists failing terribly. I've seen some of the worst art in the world framed in some of the most royal and fancy frames sell for over a million dollars. I would say the frame must complement the art, it is the base for your creation and should be as intriguing.

    Now- don't go scribbling something in photoshop adding some filters to it and call it art. There are well over 3 million photoshop Artists in America alone, which are all basically people who own the software that have played around with it enough to call themselves "photoshop artists." I try to tell all Digital Artists try to move away from certain styles and looks other Artists in your same field will be able to recognize and see how you did it. I think Black artists have gotten too hung up on photoshop actually- especially those who work for magazines. A good Digital Artist should always keep other Artists guessing. I'm always studying new techniques in digital art, and so far there are only a handful of Digital Artists that I admire for their technique, unfortunately most of them are Asian.

    The trick is, being a "digital artist" doesn't mean you create everything on the computer, it just means the final piece is digital. Some of the best Artists know how to incorporate different mediums into their work. Who said digital is always the best? Most photographers that have given up their film cameras for digital cameras will be surprised to know that a scanned film photograph is usually 75-85% better than a digital photo. A trained photographer will still get better images from a 3-4 megapixel camera than and untrained "picture taker" with an $8,000 digital camera.

    The skill is in the mind of the artist, not the machine.
     
  10. rnojonson

    rnojonson Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    talent, training, subject matter and the market

    MetaSaience, I certainly appreciate your insite and advice, thanks loads. I started drawing houses in high school, learned perspective and rendering on my own. Got a scholarship to go to college through a work study program in architecture. I've have always loved interior design and think the market is there also. I once did a large acrylic painting, was delivering it to a friend, before I crossed the parking lot I got a couple large offers to buy it. That was very exciting. Never had the quality time to develop the fine art skills, way to many irons in the fire. Spent my formative years as an electrical draftsman. These days my intent is to recapture some of that missing creative urge and challenge. I am impressed by a lot of what I see in the popular media but not enough to want it. It's like rap and grunge and rock are all tasteless noise to me, I've been so spoiled by jazz. I'm not saying art today is not excellent stuff, it's just not what is glued in my mind's eye. It is so funny what you say about what most blacks think about computer art. When you do stuff in any media and chance selling a number of copies of the original, most likely it will be a giclee print (archival quality inks printed on heavy paper). How would they know it's digital, photo or a print of an oil painting anyway? Basically they just like what they see. I really think the canvas is clean and they don't know what it's all about because I haven't showed them yet. At the present I don't need to make sustainable bucks so I can afford to be experimental and not have to produce a large body of work. Again I appreciate the insite.

    Jamesfrmphilly, that is interesting!
     
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