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  • Writer's pictureBrett Gifford

Merging Mediums

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

My Journey from Digital Art to the Tangible World of Analog


In my decade and a half ensconced within the digital realm, the world was one of precision, with pixels, vectors, and software forming the trinity of my creative expression. However, a shift began to unfurl in the tapestry of my artistic journey. I felt the pull towards analog art, which, in essence, encompasses everything tangible and palpable — from the delicate dance of charcoal on paper, the lush strokes of oil on canvas, to the gritty feel of sand infused in paint.


Somethings not quite right by Brett Gifford


From Pixels to Paint


Transitioning from the structured world of digital to the tangible world of analog has been akin to learning a new language. Instead of relying on software precision, I've been experimenting with the raw unpredictability of physical mediums, reveling in the tactile sensations and organic outcomes.


The feel of a brush or pencil against canvas or paper is profoundly different from the click of a mouse or the touch of a stylus on a tablet. Each brushstroke in the analog world is unique, shaped by the pressure of the hand, the viscosity of the paint, and the texture of the canvas. There's a certain magic in watching colors blend on a palette, quite unlike choosing a color from a digital swatch. The smells of oils, the graininess of pastels, the unpredictability of watercolors bleeding into each other, these are experiences the digital realm can't replicate.


In digital art, control is paramount. Layers can be tweaked, colors adjusted, and compositions changed with just a few clicks. While this offers incredible flexibility, it sometimes lacks the spontaneity that analog provides. There's a thrill in not knowing precisely how a particular shade of blue might interact with a touch of yellow until they merge on the canvas. This sense of surprise, the moments of eureka, the occasional 'happy accidents' - they breathe life into the process.


Moreover, the physical space in which analog art is created becomes a sanctum of ideas and inspirations. Surrounded by tubes of paint, jars of brushes, pencils, sketchbooks, and canvases in various stages of completion, an artist is immersed in a world of tangible creativity. It's a space where time slows down, where each moment is savored, and every creation is a sensory journey.


Awful Thing by Brett Gifford


Digital and Analog: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Though they may seem disparate, the realms of digital and analog are bound by the golden threads of artistic principles. The bridges between them are many, and the contrasts are what make them harmoniously coexist.

  • Precision vs. Intuition: Digital art offers an orchestration of control. Each pixel, obedient and malleable. In contrast, analog revels in its wild spirit. The way watercolor might flow capriciously, taking with it a speck of color to an unplanned destination, is a testament to its raw and unpredictable beauty.

  • Instant vs. Evolutionary: The digital canvas is a realm of immediacy. A misclick? Simply undo. The analog world, however, thrives in its evolutionary pace. Layers of paint drying, awaiting the next, or a sketch evolving with each passing hour. It’s a dance of patience and progress.

  • Boundless vs. Bounded: The digital realm offers a playground limited only by software capabilities. It’s an infinite horizon. Meanwhile, analog, with its physical materials and boundaries, challenges the artist to innovate within set confines, often leading to profound creativity.

Why Analog Now?


The current epoch, with its relentless digital pulse, makes the allure of analog ever more potent. Analog demands presence. Each stroke of the brush, each smear of pastel, is a meditation, a moment captured in perpetuity. It’s less about the rapid culmination and more about savoring the journey. The scent of fresh paint, the texture of canvas, the faint sound of pencil on paper — these are the symphonies and fragrances of the analog world, grounding us in a sensory experience. As I journey through both worlds, I'm constantly reminded that it's not just about the medium, but the stories we choose to tell through them.



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