Crossing the digital divide

For artists with a traditional background, there has in recent times been an extra incentive to go digital while retaining that crafted look. It all stems from the economic climate and the need to keep clients’ costs down.

Digital work can reduce the need for expensive printing equipment somewhat, says Eoin Ryan, while Mathis Rekowski notes that if you can get to grips with Photoshop, it is “the perfect tool for creating everything you can imagine with little expense”.

Illustrators now face much tighter deadlines, too, so it’s hard to overlook the ease with which edits can be made digitally. As Ben Newman says, “Everything has to happen so quickly that it’s much harder for an illustrator to work solely by hand.”

Finnish illustrator and graphic designer Pietari Posti (pposti.com) has a style that brings to mind fabric prints. It’s a look he has brought to fields ranging from publishing to homeware and, not surprisingly, apparel. Now he is a digital convert, too. “I always end up polishing my artwork on the computer before sending it over [to the client] electronically, so why not work digitally?”

Pietari workflow includes collecting random images and bookmarking them with tools like FFFFOUND!. He also combines pen-and-ink sketching with use of his Wacom Cintiq tablet to “force ideas to come out eventually”.