Saturday, November 7, 2009

Live painting from 11-6-09 First Friday

Hey there! I did some live digital painting at a show last night for First Friday here in Vegas. I usually try to do live painting every First Friday at the Bunkhouse after 10pm. Its a good way to get shit done while drinking a beer and listening to live bands! cant beat that right? Better then pandora sometimes... anyway check it out just in case you didnt see it happening live... Took me about 2 hours. I will be finishing this later... I have a lot of unfinished pieces that i need to finish and get into the catalog. I just have so many new ideas in my sketchbook that i want to get to. Might have to do more digital painting.... which comes to my next concern...

*(que intro music for a special edition of "Biggs Rant of the day")*

To digital or not to digital.... that is the question. This subject has been eating away at my brain for years. About a quarter of my work has been done digitally...meaning using photoshop or Painter with my wacom and painting on the computer as opposed to traditional painting (ie. real paint with brush on canvas.) so... Is it acceptable by most? Does it matter if I paint digitally or traditionally? Dont get my wrong, I love painting traditionally... its been a passion of mine since birth! but... I do think i draw better then i paint. And I do love and embrace technology. So I kinda like just being able to scan in a really nice drawing ive done and then digitally paint it all bad ass. Sometimes I think i lose a lot of the creative essence when I paint something traditionally... My idea just comes out and I draw it up first on paper... And I still take a good amount of time painting either way... so I guess my real question is... Do people value a digital painting less then a traditional? or can they consider it equal. I obviously cant sell an "original" digital painting because there is no original... but i can do large format, limited edition, beautiful giclee print that I can sell for a good amount and still keep the value pretty good and limit the prints so that it has more value. This can go on and on... endless conversations over tea and greenery...chewing the fat for days! but I just want to know peoples opinions. Sometimes I just think I can "do it better" digitally... but im torn because I dont want people to take it at less value because it wasnt done by "hand"... I do agree it take more skill to do things traditionally. I can paint pretty good i think... but sometimes its nice to have more control over your colors and saturation and every little thing i want in every detail. And I can still make it look like it was done traditionally. Some people cant tell with some of my work....they dont even know... And I dont think it matters..... Blah! ef this... Heres what I did last night.... The tortoise and the hair.... digital painting done live at a show in 2 hours.


  1. BAD ASS!!! Wish I was in there to watch it, in the makes. In response to your rant... I think you should mix it up. If you find that more money is made with less time, then chose that method... but don't forget your roots. The value of an original painting never goes away, and will be worth more when you are dead and gone... otherwise, who gives a fuck. If it looks as good (or better) then a painting that was done via traditional methods, and it took up less time... then you'd be making more profit vs time spent, with less materials spent. The only difference is not having the original to sell (or keep)...

  2. From a gallerist point of view, it is harder to sell digital art. Not because the quality isn't there, not because to a seriously skilled aritist, digital is just another mediumm, but because E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E is doing it. Mike, I know you are an artist, you are mastering several mediums, acrylic, digital is just another medium to you. But Deviant Art is full of "artists" who are only artists because the technology does half the work for them.

    I have the same complaint with photography. I love good photography. But everyone with a "smart" camera is making pretty pictures and call themselves "artists'. So photography is a tough sell. As a gallerist, it can be hard to sell something, no matter how creative or how well executed it is, that can be produced by ultimately hitting a "print" button.

    It's not fair and it's okay for a gallerist to have to work to sell his/her artists. But sometimes the time it takes to defend a process eats up the time it takes for someone to fall in love with the piece.

    So...I'm not a bit of help to you am I?

  3. I understand the gallery point of view. I thought about that too. Some pieces need to be done traditionally. I usually mix it up because im obsessed with everything about art. Acrylic, airbrush, watercolor, oils, digital, pencil, charcoal, sculpture, whatever....ive done it all and I just cant figure what i like best. I would like to be good at all mediums. Im not great at watercolor but its actually really fun once you get used to it. And ive come quite fond of prismacolor markers. I even like mixed mediums. I think my favorite thing to do as of now is acrylics with oils on top. Always comes out pretty cool. Now my next concern is size. Whats a good size to stick to? small, medium, or large. I think Ill stick to standard sizes like 18X24 and 16X20 and such just so its easier to frame it. And I love painting on illustration board now. So much better then canvas. Im babbling on about really nerdy art stuff. I like these conversations...i love conversing with other artists and people who like art. We should have tea together soon. yes yes... im tired...go to bed

  4. The number one problem with digital art is that many people including the artists themselves are failing to understand the medium. The key to all art forms is understanding the core principle that art is about adapting and provoking changes in society. Since digital art is a new medium it has to be addressed as so in all stages of its development from the creation of the piece to how it is displayed and sold. Its common sense that you can not take something that is so radically new and still use older practices alone of distributing it in hopes of making a profit.

    New art forms need new business models and that in itself is what draws animosity among the art world of traditional and contemporary. Cause if you change the art world..many will find themselves out of a job unless they also evolve, plain and simple. Its what the impressionists did and its what photography has done in many stages of our history.

    I want to share a tip with you bro since you know I have loved your work and I have embraced digital art just as much as you. Stop worrying about impressing the fine art world as we have known it by playing their game. Use new media and the new business it creates for your work since you will make a lot more money and satisfaction in your efforts.

    We are in the age of short attention span theater where you can kill your self doing 24 digital paintings, blow the cash getting the giclee prints, and not make a simple dime. Or you can do as I am planning by doing the same 24 digital paintings and pay a couple of dollars to print "4" or more posters to throw up at a art show for promotion while having a stack of art books printed using those paintings. Then after your art show you can get them on the shelves! Take them to the book stores and various mass media places where we do have power like Barnes and Noble, amazon, comic book stores, and hell..even get them to the various conventions like dragon con or comic con if you want while still being able to contribute to local art shows and exhibits.

    We as digital artists have to understand that the concept of a "painting" on the wall selling for millions after we are dead and done is still there. But our medium has changed because the times have evolved. A graphic book of paintings or novel is able to produce the same level of respect and impact but the market is as alien to traditionally trained artists as our art form because it is still new in compared to the paint and hang at a show model.

    One of us is a living example of what I am saying in the form of Bobby Chiu. He does digital art and is making it quite well just in art books printed and distributed in online book stores and even on the Iphone. And when he takes a artist commission his clients are hollywood studios as a concept artist for a wide variety of films, ad agencies, and private individuals.

    Nothing has changed technically in the art business, just the media requires us to look at new avenues that support it or else we have hampered its true evolution. If we don't adapt to the social change it creates...then we can pretty much die as a pauper.

  5. i love this conversation! more more more!.... lets hear it for the working artists! Im happy to be a mix of both traditional and digital....its all about the TRADIGITAL! yeah bitches!.... thats the word of the day. TRADIGITAL.... i will most likely be painting mixed medium for a while. My love for both mediums has not swayed at all over this. if anything I embrace the fact that I can do both and still catch peoples eyes when they pass by. The book idea is also a good key point. I have plans for a new book. I have one now but it still needs additions and changes. Its pretty much a catalog right now...but ide like to include sections of sketches and concepts of paintings, photos, and more writing (bio) and such to explain things a little better. So much cool stuff in my head now... im excited. and motivated.... thanks man