A digital artist works on a tablet in this staged photograph. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Ever since digitized art was introduced to the fine arts industry, it was criticized for not requiring the artist to hold an actual pencil or brush.

Those in favour of the art method, such as third-year St. Thomas University student Gabriela Buraglia, argues that digital art requires the same amount of time and effort that traditional art does — they are merely using different tools.

“When [people] look at art, they think of it as the traditional ways of painting, drawing, sculpting or whatnot. But I find that [digital art is] just the modern technology of how to make art except you’re doing it through art programs on your computer,” she said. 

Gabriela started creating art in elementary school. As she grew older, she discovered more about fine arts and began to dabble in the different areas of drawing and painting. 

“For someone like me, who is very imaginative and always has ideas in my head, I can put it onto a canvas or a sheet of paper and showcase it … I enjoy bringing ideas to life,” she said.

Gabriela Buraglia, a third-year fine arts student at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., is seen in this photograph from October 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Gabriela dabbled in digital art and, while she enjoyed the experience, decided that she still prefers traditional art since she is the most comfortable with it. But her experience helped her develop a deeper admiration for digital artists. 

“[Digital artists] mastered how to use modern age technology for art,” said Gabriela. “I’ve seen a lot of digital art in my days and there are a lot of really nice things out there. I really think they’re very talented. I wish I could do some of the things that I’ve seen done over the years.”

First-year STU student, Sophia Catherine Buraglia said digital art can be just as complex as traditional art.

“Digital artists require just as much thought, skill, time and effort as traditional artists in order to create a unique piece,” said Sophia Catherine. “Artist tools must be learned and mastered regardless of medium. In this case for digital artists, their tools are simply digitized.”

They said the common argument against digital art is that the artist is “cheating” for utilizing digital tools such as stamps and previously-made backgrounds, but they said art maintains its individuality as long as it is something the artist created.

Sophia Catherine said digital art is used in all types of modern media to help create concept art, graphic art and animation for things such as Star Wars, Nintendo and Dungeons and Dragons

When they tried the art for themselves, they were surprised to find it more difficult than they were expecting.

“[Digital artists] are absolutely as talented as traditional [artists],” said Sophia Catherine. “The one thing that’s a little more anxiety-inducing is … I’m worried about the file getting corrupted or losing my save.”