I just sometimes wonder... It is great work that you produce, and I admire digi-artists as much as normal, nor do I judge anyone. But out of curiousity: don't you have the feeling to want something physical from your result. I mean, like with drawings and paintings you have the real result in front of you on a painting canvas or a frame or such? But with digi-art you store on your HD. You know what I mean? A sort of touchable...
I have to confess I share those feelings and I agree that "real painting" seems so much more physical and real. However art that is not seen, seems almost pointless to me and this (digital via the internet) is a realistic route to having my art seen. Art needs an audience, it is after all about putting some aesthetic content into the world for people to respond to. So if I painted on canvas only one or two people could see the work I do anyway - unless it was on some permanent display in a gallery, (but lets not kid ourselves) So for me the pleasure is certainly in creating Art but it is as much about getting some sort of response to stuff I create. So you can see why digital does that with more ease than oil or acrylic or pencil. I am also aware of the obvious fact that art and the media artists use evolves anyway and we live in a photoshop rich, digitaly saturated, graphically instant electronic age. Every frame of a great film is in a sense a work of art, as is the totality of the film, yet as you pointed out there is nothing real in any digital format even after thousands of hours of creativity; but would you question the validity of celluloid as an artistic media? Its a very interesting question though. To be honest I suppose if I was not as lazy I would do the work in paint then simply photograph it and upload it digitally.... I probably should.
Not really, others can call it art if an audience is watching it. Like I've said: I respect art in any way with any medium with the same core value. It is the originallity that counts for a part for me. It has its ups and downs, like traditional I guess. With digi-art you can reach unimaginable qualities with a blink of an eye, and even Dylan Cole is one of my favourites, painting months in digi-art. The only thing I wonder how "touchable" the results are as drawing with a pencil gives some kind of feeling, and the work displays more "you" in it; more raw reflection.
Art isn't always visual... it is also the things you DON'T see, but feel, live and inspire and even hear. For movies can also be a form of art, composed as one big huge collaboration. In a case of digital art I think it needs indeed an audience; especially when it comes to movies, but it does not necessarily for traditional. For me not at least... for me it is about getting my emotions down on paper, to forget the troubles of the world and just be myself. To live the creation, to do. I'm not saying that digi-artist can't live the same thing, but it is different. Personally, my drive is not to do it for others/numbers. I've endured too much "friends"-politics while people are too ignorent to respond back, when they say to you how great your art is. Who knows? If you are great in socializing with internet, your art appreciation will be magnified exponentially. It is a status thing and sadly for me that has not much to do with "art".
I appreciate you're beïng open and honest with this and it's a interesting discussion!