Although Rwanda is blessed with many artists, digital art is not as exposed as traditional art, however, many artists practice it, such as Johnson Habarugira, a digital illustrator who finds this type of art easy to understand. do and learn.
Digital art is artistic work that uses technology as part of the creative process, such as drawing tablets and computer software.
With painting software, he can draw or illustrate whatever comes to his mind. The artist says he doesn’t worry about making mistakes because even if he fails to draw a sharp line or paint the wrong way, he can undo the changes and even change the overall composition. No matter how many times it erases, the digital canvas stays clean.
The 21-year-old explains that digital art is very profitable in the long run. He doesn’t have to constantly buy drawing materials like pencils, ink pens, paints, etc. because he doesn’t need them, and they are expensive because traditional artists have to keep buying them. .
“I wouldn’t say digital art is cheap, even though the original cost is high, you rarely need to replace items,” he says.
Habarugira says that unlike other types of art like painting which leaves the whole room messy with colors, digital art is easy, all you have to do is save and shut down your computer .
According to him, digital illustration makes it easy for an artist to edit his work, for example he can add any color he wants, be it light or dark, with just a click of the mouse.
“Digital art gives me access to many tools. I can use all kinds of brushes to paint, something that causes my imagination to expand and be creative. I also have all the colors I need but I don’t pay for them, ”he says.
Habarugira points out that digital art saves space because it only takes up hard drive space, but with cloud storage technologies there is unlimited space for you to create as you wish. wish. However, with traditional art, over time the portraits and all the paintings start to come together.
He adds that with digital art you save time because all the tools you want to use are available and the beauty about it is that you don’t need additional editing for online publishing. It cannot be affected by other factors which easily ruin other works of art.
“You can create variety with digital art because there are so many different types of brushes and functions that it would take you forever to try them all. Its originality is not lost because the digital art creation is already stored on a digital device, which makes it easier for artists to share their work in its high quality, ”says the artist.
Habarugira developed a passion for drawing at a young age. In 2013, he became the country’s second winner in a drawing competition on anti-corruption stories. His victory made him believe in himself and move forward, he did not regret the path he chose.
He took online classes at Domestika (a community of creatives) to improve his talent. He presented some of his work in three art exhibitions from 2018 to 2019.
Although the journey is still difficult as many in the region do not understand digital art, he is optimistic that he will one day be among the country’s most famous artists. He also hopes to go global.
In addition to being a digital artist, the youngster is a web developer, animated artist and graphic designer. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Information Technology at the University of Rwanda-Huye.
He can’t wait to open a digital art business after graduating. His models are Swedish photographer and visual artist Erik Johansson, because his art is meant to be real, providing solutions to problems and finding a way to capture the impossible, and Rwandan artist Micah Hirwa whose creativity goes beyond words. .