A Look into the Changing Landscape of the Art World

By Laurence Herfs

Digital art is revolutionizing the art-scene. Until a little over a decade ago, art produced using programs likePhotoshop, Illustrator orPaintshop was unheard of. Now, tablets and screens to draw on have given a new edge to the realm of art and illustration. 

Websites such as Deviantart, Tumblr and Pixivprovide new platforms for this emerging art-form, and many, many youngsters use it gratefully to publish their work. Some would say a little too many people, making it hard to find the real talent amongst the clutter of the thousands of works published every minute. The internet has offered a solution for this through the form of online art galleries, such as eatsleepdraw.org.

This online gallery posts 100% original content submitted by contributors across the globe, but only after a selection procedure. Unlike actual galleries, they do not represent the artists, but they do offer them a place to showcase their art. Although they do not disqualify traditional works, a big chunk of their art is digital. It gives insight in what is called ‘emergent art’and a look at what the art scene will look like if these artists manage to break through into actual galleries.

The art-world experienced a boom after the crisis hit in 2008, yet traders wonder about the cultural relevance of these contemporary pieces. Will they have any value whatsoever 10 years from now? Investing in contemporary art is a gamble. One may wonder what this emergence of talented digital artists will mean; they all compete for popularity and a fan base over social media, yet there is only room for so many in the material world of money and jobs.

Breaking through online does not mean a steady career for digital artists. Although eatsleepdraw.org is the largest user submitted blog on Tumblr, and these types of websites have large amounts of faithful followers, digital artists have yet to acquire the respect of the established art market. After all, that is still mostly taking place at auctions and art fairs outside in the physical world.

The digital art landscape is still scary and unstable. Nobody knows what this revolutionary new medium will do and if it will acquire a strong enough basis to survive. Yet for the surfing-along kind of art lover, online art communities are a pleasure for the eye and a nice way to procrastinatefor a while. There are some really great things out there waiting for you.

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