Stepping back from the edge

I was doing a sight survey of all the digital graphics on the web. There are droves of pros and pro-want-a-bees racing toward the cutting edge of graphics. This is driven by mostly the film and game markets.

Computer realism has developed to the point that real-life-looking animation has turned 2D cartooning into just another genre. Go to any movie, you judge. Soon there will be actors who only exist virtually, they will be copyrighted personas.

The mix of human and animation is getting old school, remember Roger Rabbit and what about Hellboy? Look at games these days. They keep getting more life like every year. Look for immersion simulations of every description. Are we trying to develop a halo-deck aka Star Trek or be digitized onto the game grid like in Tron?

Well, this virtual-reality stuff is exciting, it is a vibrant and highly skilled industry. I am sure many art schools are bending over to train creative folks to do all this stuff…… ……… “Oh, shall I be a doctor or an 3D animation specialist when I grow up?” No matter what, the smell of blood on the cutting edge is sooooooooo attractive.

I take a deep breath and step back from the edge. Maybe my older inner man is talking. I am not one to be fighting to decide which cliff we all jump from. Oh computers are wonderful things, but for some applications you don’t need a “Beowulf cluster”, server farm or a graphics card more powerful than the motherboard itself.

You don’t need a doctorate or even a BS in graphic art, programming or a carnal knowledge of gaming. And you won’t be shunned or banished for not using Photoshop or Illustrator. It is rumored the $10,000 military spec screwdriver doesn’t perform any better at turning a screw than my $10 Home Depot original. And how much specialized physical therapy do you need to twist your wrist, or click the mouse?

So I ask all you resourceful folk of the entrepreneurial mind set, what can you do with the technology you have now? Then, what’s become of the art world if galleries, museums, interior designers, etc. only accept as art, art from certified art school graduates? What if good art comes from people who are not trained professionals or from folks who are not full time artist?

There is a lot of room in the world for every person to create art, but as to making a living off that art, that’s another question. That involves other people seeing value in your work. Art production is one thing, marketing and selling is another. For sure artist have to be personable enough to deal with people and skillful enough to create a marketable product.

My last word to you diverse digital adventurers is the two “N’s”, Niche and Name. Even if you are well trained to do everything, most likely there is a niche that well suits your creations. Be it a wide berth or a narrow specialty, that niche becomes synonymous with your name. Folks will see your name and know what to expect of your work and your reputation, if it precedes you .

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