Going Digital: Embracing the Future of Art

For many years I resisted technology when it came to art but the world is evolving too quickly and with a global competition you need to adapt to survive.

My art making practice had always been simple. Acrylic paint and a canvas. I hated oils because of the clean up and the chemicals that I had to use so I always stuck to water based products. That was until I got a job as a digital illustrator.

So why make the change?

I used to think that digital art was cheating. The way you can turn back time with cmnd+z was unfair and so were the brushes and layers available to you though all these drawing softwares. But in all honesty, it requires just as much talent and precision as a regular illustrator with a paint brush and paper.

The main reasons that I decided to move most of my work and business into the digital realm was time, space and money.


For me, moving into to digital art means that I can switch from graphic design to illustration in a second. It has saved me time getting my art ready to send to the printer and the entire drawing process becomes faster with fill options paint brushes at the click of a button and of course the ability to correct mistakes in an instant. The time it takes to learn a new drawing program and all the shortcuts to go with it is well worth your time.


When I was living at home I was driving my parents mad with my giant art desk where I would store my millions of paints, brushes paper and canvasses. These days I still have my big old art desk but the mess is manageable and no longer growing! I have space to include plants and a lamp instead of the piles of failed sketches and discarded canvases.


Having a virtual toolkit on the computer has given me access to all sorts of painting techniques I wouldn't purchase brushes or tools for usually. I am no longer running through sketch book after sketch book and spending money on mediums to make my paint behave in the way I would like it to.

Photoshop illustration

Lets Get Started:

- If you are really serious about this, get yourself a drawing tablet. I cant even begin to tell you how much more you can do with this.

- Next, get familiar with the drawing programs available to you. I mostly use Adobe Illustrator although have dabbled in Photoshop for more realistic illustrations.

- YouTube tutorials are going to be your best friend. Its a big change going from paper and pen to digital.

- Practice, practice, practice!

Having praised the benefits of digital art, I still cherish taking a break from the computer to really connect with my art using a brush and water. It provides a welcome break form the glaring computer screen with millions of unseen memes and videos calling my name. So don't forget the old ways, and embrace the change of the future of art.

Thanks for reading!

Mady Barnett


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