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Experimenting with unique elements that are alien to art – instead of sticking to what’s conventional – works wonders and can even lead to new art forms. Digital art is one of the examples that the modern world has appreciated. Artists increasingly depend on modern technology to create works of art, thus expanding the space to channel their creativity. Nowadays, digital art is used in many fields and can be seen in plain sight as well. But what is digital art?

What is digital art?


It is an art that relies on digital technology in the process of creation or presentation, in other simpler words, a fusion of art and technology. Digital art has found its way into the multimedia format as it can be viewed in many ways such as television, computers, and social media. It is also part of a broader term called new media art, which relates to works of art created with new media technologies. But it can also be very complex when it involves multiple types of technology – think about the art of computer-generated algorithms.

Artists are no longer limited by the limited capacity of the supply of conventional art like painting and canvas. The only limit is their imagination.

History of digital art

Digital artwork by Frieder Nake | Source:

The history of digital art is closely linked to the first computer ever made, called the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), which was created in the 1940s for military use. This later inspired the birth of digital art.

In the 1960s, several museums began to organize exhibitions exploring works of art produced using computers. German artist and mathematician Frieder Nake created a computer algorithm that pioneered digitally constructed art. It involved creating a series of shapes that ultimately became a work of art.

First form of digital art | Source:

But the first true digital art was created in 1967 by Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon. They created a pixelated image of a nude woman from the actual photograph and named her Computer Nude (Studies in Perception I). Since then, artists have continued to explore the possibility of a digital medium to create exceptional works of art.

Next is San Francisco-based Industrial Light and Magic, a visual effects company that sparked a technological revolution in digital art. They pioneered digital media, manipulating video, audio, and graphics to create a beautiful, photorealistic digital image during the era.

Fast forwarding into the 1980s, the term digital art became widely used to classify works of art, and this was around the same time that the Paint program was created by computer engineers.


Digital art has developed considerably with the emergence of the Internet. For starters, it makes art more accessible to both artists and viewers. It also creates a vast platform for artists to explore digital art and use it as a means to publish their creativity and interact with their audiences.

Digital art forms

Typography Digital Art | Source:

In 2D formats, digital art manifests itself in images made only with computer technology or altered to some extent by technology. Some of the examples are vector art, WRAP, line art, low poly art, flat design, typography, manipulation art, silhouette, illustration art, and caricature .


Meanwhile, 3D shapes will give a sense of depth to the artwork by creating images with geometric shapes, polygons or NURBS curves. Some of the examples will be visual effects like CGI which sometimes incorporate more than one shape to result in a spectacular project like digital installation art, animation, video games and many more. Digital works of art are famous among mainstream media, advertisers and filmmakers.

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