There are many great opportunities for a career in art. I remember my parents doubts when I told them I wanted to be an artist. There doubts came from a common stereotype of artists as "Starving Artists." We have our own "Starving Artist" in the our family tree, my grandmothers brother, my great-uncle, was an artist and he painted most of his life but made very little money. So they had good reason to wonder.
Fortunately, the age of computer graphic has created a geometric expansion in the opportunities for artists. Traditional artists a have a means to show their work to the world through the internet and digital artist have a wide array of paint programs and draw software to create graphics for all kinds of businesses and digital mediums and traditional print.
How the computer changed the outlook for artists.
I was fortunate to be study art at the dawn of the computer graphics revolution. When I was learning art in school, the school did not yet have computers for the art department. My art education, was the old fashioned, pre-computer kind of classes. Since many of the terms and concepts used in graphic design software comes from traditional methods, I can relate them to now from some personal experience.
For instance: The terms Cut and Paste are commonly used in computer graphics and word processing. When I started working computer graphics, cut meant "Take an X-Acto knife and cut the item out of a piece of paper." Paste meant, "Apply glue or wax to the paper and apply it to another piece of paper." Neither of these things would be very good for your computer screen, so if you decide to try the traditional methods, stick to paper.
Since computer graphics was not taught at my local school, i began to teach myself by visiting the local copy and print center. I don't even remember the name of the pale, but it was downtown in Duluth Minnesota. They had a row of Apple Macintosh computers for their customers to use and for a small fee you could get some time on a machine.
Computer Graphics Software and Hardware was in its infancy, but it was never the less amazing to be able to arrange type and images digitally. It was fascinating and the potential opportunities were exciting to me. I knew I had an opportunity to be a part of something of a revolution. I was hooked!
Looking back at the meager capabilities of those early Macs compare to today's Computer Graphics Workstations loaded with software such as Adobe Creative Suite, or Corel Draw and Corel Painter, or 3D Studio Max or Maya, It makes me chuckle that I thought it was so great.
Even funnier was my excitement over the first color image I was able to place in a layout. up until that day, I had only used computers that had black and white screens, or the graphics cars could only handle low quality preview images or even worse, the x-box, not to be confused with today's awesome gaming machines. The x-box was simple that, a box on the scree with an X in it that showed you where your picture would be when you sent your document to print.
To accomplish this miraculous feat of placing a color picture, I was using a 233 MHZ computer with 2MB of Ram running an early version of CorelDraw. I was amazed then and continue to be amazed at what CorelDraw can do.
Over time as graphic design software and hardware capabilities improved, draw programs and paint programs took advantage of the faster processors and memory cards.
Looking at the Internet today and thing back to the way we are able to stream video onto our computers and play them back full screen it, I should be amazed, but it seems like a natural progression, it seems normal and it seems I would not know how to get along without it. All this was just a distant dream. Today it is common for artists to not only draw and paint on the computers, but create motion graphics, videos and computer animations as well. who knows where all this is taking us, but think computer graphic design is here to stay and I know artists will be continue to be an essential part of this highly visual experience.
Well. I suppose you have had enough of my ramblings about my personal journey int the world of the computer arts. Suffice it to say that I have been around and in my 25 pus years of using draw software, paint programs and animation software, I have had the chance to put virtually every major software package in the industry to the test at one time or another.