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Old 10-08-2019, 04:12 PM
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theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Mixed Media -- not!

I hope this post is not misread to be a "dis" or "shade" on someone - it's categorically NOt. This is a rant in general and a call for action for artists to protect their brand - whatever it is.

I'm seeing a lot of people that create digital images and refer to their image as "Mixed Media".

You CAN, of course, take a digital photo of a mixed media artwork and make prints etc. It's understood that the "print" is not mixed media, but that it is a digital photograph of a physical object made out of various materials..

My issue is with "arteests" that take digital photos and run them thru filters, scribble on them etc. and call the resulting image _" mixed media". The image was made with pixels, not paint and chalk and ink, etc. It was made completely with pixels and is not mixed with anything.

There has to be a PHYSICAL object made of various mediums for a work to be "mixed media". A digital image of a house is not a house. A digital image of a physical artwork - altered to no longer resemble the original artwork - is not a mixed media piece. - it is digital artwork.

Imo it is the responsibility of artists of every field to protect their brand. I'm a painter and I know what is involved in making a painting - the training, hard work - angst - expense - everything that goes into making it. The resulting canvas is a painting - that is my "brand". It's not a sculpture, or origami, or a digital image - it's a painting. Even if the subject of the painting is a sculpture or an origami - the result is NOT mixed media but a painting.

If you are a digital artist, you know what is involved in making your "brand", the training, long hours, hard work, expense - etc. The result is a digital image. That you took a photo of "X" and altered it to on longer look like "X" does not make your image "X".

I could go on, but I'd like to hear what you have to say--
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:56 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

I entirely agree.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:19 AM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Lots of illustrators make line drawings on paper, then scan them and color them digitally. Perhaps such images are mixed media?

Don't know, don't particularly care.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:17 AM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvds
Lots of illustrators make line drawings on paper, then scan them and color them digitally. Perhaps such images are mixed media?

Don't know, don't particularly care.
IMO they're not. The final product does not consist of multiple mediums. If you take clay and mold it into a figure, make a mold, then cast it in bronze. the final piece of art is a bronze sculpture - not a mixed media piece made of clay, ceramic and bronze. In the case of the illustration, I would simply call it an "illlustration". That's what it is. I think most people understand that like a sculpture, an illustration goes thru a number of processes to get to the final product.

I'm not a nazi taxonomist trying to out the odd illustrator or artist. I'm not trying to go to the edge and argue minutia. But I am concerned with artists who have galleries filled with "paintings" and "mixed media" and sell hundreds of prints that are actually digital images.

I have an online gallery of my paintings that I painstakingly made to ensure they look as much like the paintings as possible. And I've also started an online store to sell prints. So I'm re-photographing the paintings to make print-worthy files. Some of the paintings I made a long time ago, and I now see things I would have done differently. SO as I was preparing the file I couldn't help myself from making those changes digitally, and once I started I saw more things that needed to be changed. When I finished the file looked more like a distant cousin of the painting than a reproduction of it. So what to call it? It's NOT a print of a painting. It's NOT mixed media? So I call it a "Poster" as opposed to calling it a print. So in my online store I will have prints = that are accurate reproductions of my paintings, and Posters that have some digital shenanigans. I have no mixed media.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:16 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

I totally agree with you.

I am neither enthusiastic with true, "mixed media", nor with "digital art".

And, photos of either are merely photos, and not "art" at all, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:34 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Some of my pieces were true mixed media, if you consider lapidary to be a medium. These pieces were made with wood, semi-precious stones, Japanese mulberry paper, and paint.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:40 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theBongolian
IMO they're not. The final product does not consist of multiple mediums. If you take clay and mold it into a figure, make a mold, then cast it in bronze. the final piece of art is a bronze sculpture - not a mixed media piece made of clay, ceramic and bronze. In the case of the illustration, I would simply call it an "illlustration". That's what it is. I think most people understand that like a sculpture, an illustration goes thru a number of processes to get to the final product.

I'm not a nazi taxonomist trying to out the odd illustrator or artist. I'm not trying to go to the edge and argue minutia. But I am concerned with artists who have galleries filled with "paintings" and "mixed media" and sell hundreds of prints that are actually digital images.

I have an online gallery of my paintings that I painstakingly made to ensure they look as much like the paintings as possible. And I've also started an online store to sell prints. So I'm re-photographing the paintings to make print-worthy files. Some of the paintings I made a long time ago, and I now see things I would have done differently. SO as I was preparing the file I couldn't help myself from making those changes digitally, and once I started I saw more things that needed to be changed. When I finished the file looked more like a distant cousin of the painting than a reproduction of it. So what to call it? It's NOT a print of a painting. It's NOT mixed media? So I call it a "Poster" as opposed to calling it a print. So in my online store I will have prints = that are accurate reproductions of my paintings, and Posters that have some digital shenanigans. I have no mixed media.




this is the grey area for me - perhaps a better descriptive to 'mixed media' is 'digitally altered'? 'digitally enhanced'?


digital IS a medium and if you scan a painting and alter it digitally how is it not then mixed media?


and where to draw the line - i often sharpen an image digitally for a better online viewing experience, but wouldn't label that multi or digi enhanced ...



new media, new rules, i guess


i dunno, But, when i see a piece that Looks like it's been digitally created and/or altered - i want to know, to confirm, to understand it's construction/effects/techniques



la
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:19 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
this is the grey area for me - perhaps a better descriptive to 'mixed media' is 'digitally altered'? 'digitally enhanced'?
digital IS a medium and if you scan a painting and alter it digitally how is it not then mixed media?
Look at it this way - would you call a photo of a painting mixed media? No it's not a painting or mixed media, it's simply a photo of a painting. If you ran the photo thru a filter is it a digitally enhanced painting? NO, it's a digitally enhanced photo. The painting has not changed - the photo has.

The problem is the people I'm singling out want to drop the "digital" part of any description since "painting" or "mixed media" carries more cache. Imo if the physical object your selling is not made up of a mixture of mediums then it's NOT mixed media.

The "fair ground" description I'm using for photos of paintings that I've digitally enhanced is "Poster". I think it's generally understood that a Poster, like an Illustration, can go thru many permutations and sources before it arrives as the final product. Also I wouldn't link it to the painting or use the title of the source painting as the title of the Poster. It's a new product - a poster.
Quote:
and where to draw the line - i often sharpen an image digitally for a better online viewing experience, but wouldn't label that multi or digi enhanced ...
I agree. The instances that concern me are not the odd one that's "on the line" but the ones that blatantly cross it to deceive - and to enhance perceived value.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:58 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

[q-b: ones that blatantly cross it to deceive - and to enhance perceived value].

how do you tell if one is deception ... naivety ... stupidity ... pomp ... or someone just trying to be honest

again, i dunno ... given the digital age that we're in, with so many artworks being displayed/marketed on line, i think it's a buyer beware thing - ask questions, the right ones, i guess.

la
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:08 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_
how do you tell if one is deception ... naivety ... stupidity ... pomp ... or someone just trying to be honest
waterboard - they always break.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:03 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

Seems a bit of a gray area.
I don't do any digital works so I'm not well informed on that medium, but regarding this --
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBongolian
My issue is with "arteests" that take digital photos and run them thru filters, scribble on them etc. and call the resulting image _" mixed media". The image was made with pixels, not paint and chalk and ink, etc. It was made completely with pixels and is not mixed with anything.
I tend to agree, however, if the person creating these is upfront with how they make the product it's fair.

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Old 10-09-2019, 11:49 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

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Originally Posted by BlueRiderMan
I tend to agree, however, if the person creating these is upfront with how they make the product it's fair.
Of course. Digital art is... art. So why do SOME digital artists not fess up to that and instead stretch credulity to somehow link their work to traditional mediums.

Can we speak open and honestly here --

I think it's because SOME digital art can be made quickly and easily with little or no training. Producing work that would be difficult to impossible for traditional artists to make. The same way you can pick up a cell phone push a button and make a photo that even the most advanced photographers would have a hard time matching a few decades ago.

So the thinking goes IF THIS image were made traditionally it would take an artist with maximum skill and experience (if at all) to make. Therefore if I attach this image in some way to traditional image-making I will reap the respect, money, etc. that a traditional artist would get had he made it the old fashion way.

So that has the effect of RAISING the bar for traditional artists, since most can't match what can be done digitally - and LOWERING the bar for digital artists - since they can get away with basic digital skills without putting in the hard work, time, effort to learn the more advanced digital techniques.

I hope it's understood that I know some digital manipulation of paintings and photos requires an exceedingly high skill level - all the more reason they should not have to use "mixed media" to leverage the "respect" their work deserves.

And sadly this is taking a toll on "real" mixed media artists since the term "mixed media" has become toxic by misappropriation. In a similar way that "self-employed" is taken to mean "unemployed".
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:21 AM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

I am totally chagrined by the use of digital "art" and calling it "art". Hearing it called "Mixed Media" would cause me to see red.

Since I'm here, hidden a bit, I don't even feel that those utilizing the computer to enhance a photo, print it out, use tracing paper to apply the "work" to a support and then fill in the lines with paint or ink or pastel. This what I called "coloring". If people do this then be honest about it. I don't care what it's called as long as they explain the steps and don't mislead those observing.

I may not be the best artist but I practice daily to improve my skills. What once appeared to be a cartoon can now pass as a dog or a giraffe. If you started by coloring and are still coloring then I don't see any attempt to improve skills.

But, as I've noticed, people will call many things art. It is okay that we don't have to agree on what IS or IS NOT art but to agree that "borrowing" shapes and tracing them is not drawing!

If you print out a picture, apply wax, paint, ink, charcoal, and glitter then this may be your mixed media or it may be what's on the floor of a classroom. But all words are only words until we have a mutual agreement of what the words mean to us. We alone are responsible for our feelings regarding the words. Often it's not worth the battle unless there is a big pay check involved!

(Hitting post without rereading. I may be slightly incoherent.)

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Old 10-10-2019, 09:40 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

I don't understand why people get mad about anything when it comes to art, or feel they own, or need to protect a "brand," or speak for other expert artist's opinions. Who cares if part of ones process is digital? That is a legitimate media now. It has been for sometime. If you are mixing it with another media (of any kind), it is mixed media.

As for tracing (whether one does that from a digital means, a lightbox, a projector, a previous drawing, or a photograph, you'd be surprised at how many "incredible," well-respected artists have done this to get their realism exactly correct. Namely, Normal Rockwell, to name but only one. Most illustrators have been doing it for centuries.

I'm probably an idiot for poking my head back in here only to get pounced on again, but sometimes I feel like I can't stop myself from throwing my unpopular opinions out there. I worked very hard to improve my skills too. I didn't learn by tracing, and I'm sure neither did Normal Rockwell. I have no doubt he out draws me under a table, but it's not a big deal to overlay your sketches however you see fit. There are no art police. Just plenty of judgement.

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Old 10-10-2019, 10:03 PM
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Re: Mixed Media -- not!

I suppose the Casting Chapel ceiling is mere "coloring" then. After all it, and many frescos of the time, was produced by transferring an image and then applying color to that transferred image. I guess we shouldn't call it art.

As for digital art, I have seen digital art that is clearly digital art. It makes no pretense at being anything else. Some of it is quite good. Some includes collaged photographs and manipulated images, as well as color fields etc. I have also seen digital painting with brush textures etc, such that having ordered a poster print of one such image I had to ask the artist what medium he used. He was honest and told me it was digital, he also paints with traditional media and scanned some of his brush textures from his traditional paintings. I definitely have more respect for the integrity of digital artists wh call their work 'digital" and don't try to obfuscate that.
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