I should sleep, but I don't really want to sleep and I have some kind of nervous energy. Normally I will write at these times as it tends to calm me (which is what I am doing now), but earlier I decided to try digital painting instead - something I have never done before to any degree and perhaps after my first attempt, probably shouldn't do again.
Now you know why I used the bee image as the entry picture instead of this monstrosity :)
I have an ancient Wacom tablet I was given a million years ago that I haven't used for an eternity and what I did use it for previously was simple vector graphics. I have never been much of a painter at the best of times, color was never my thing and I can't remember the last time I picked up a pencil to draw with intent - but I can see why many people enjoy the digital painting process as it has a low barrier to entry. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of skill and creativity that can be applied, but large areas can be covered quickly and, mistakes can be erased or added in removable layers (this had 2 layers - I don't know how to use them properly). Because of the potential to "redo", it takes a lot of the fear out of it, meaning that perhaps people will attempt for a finish they might not be game to try if they has spent the last 100 hours getting a painting up to that point.
While the opportunity to experiment further is there, I also think that it can mean that a lot of the skill doesn't get developed. I liken it to the amount of photographers who reel off shot after shot for the perfect image, as the cost to do so is close enough to zero that it doesn't matter. I think it would be different if people had to actually print their photos at a lab with significant cost, as they would be far more sparing in clicks.
The lower barrier of entry is great for inclusion, but it doesn't encourage skill development to a high degree as it becomes an "anyone can do it" process and puts a lot of noise into the space. Again, this isn't criticism of artists digital or otherwise, but I think part of what makes art artistic, is the process behind the result, the development of an idea through to the finish - and that includes developing the skillset to achieve the desired results.
Inclusion is a double edged sword as while it is great to have everyone involved, we also value the scarcity of skill and once the results of a skill are obtainable easily, the skill itself is devalued. Again, in photography we see this in the reliance on software and filters to do the job on site and then post processing to clean up and add all kinds of tweaks to polish the image. While this might not be a bad thing, it does change the skills required for the result, with evermore reliance on external tools than personal knowhow and practical ability.
The problem perhaps is that we as the audience prefer the technology aided result over the one where a skilled human with minimal tools did a fantastic job. We love the crispness of the computer aided imagery, we love the level of detail possible through a filter that may be impossible with a hand and brush. What is the point of spending hundreds of hours completing one painting when the audience prefers to share one similar that took only a handful and achieved a finer result?
Perhaps that this lowering of barriers for inclusion is a good thing as more can participate and maybe it is just the change in what we value, but I do feel that we are losing something fundamental to our humanness when we take away the path to being skilled. Most of us dream to have skills available like in the Matrix, where we are only a download away from being able to fly a helicopter or speak a foreign language - but where does the value come from then, where is the competitive advantage when everyone can do the same, what is the point of trying to learn anything when it isn't necessary?
I think that the more we remove the learning curve to obtaining a skill, the more robotic we become, the more homogeneous and, the lower the chance for random events and development. What happens when we all have the same teacher and receive the same lessons in a world where practice and personal development of skill to learn is discouraged through lack of incentive to do so?
What happens when we are reliant on the release of the next update in order to function? With each new feature we gain, we should think about what part of us we are going to lose through disuse.
I am not good at many things, but I am still learning.
[ Gen1: Hive ]