Jun 06/13
By John Laird

Throwback Thursday: Digital Options for Vintage Methods

I think it's safe to say, creative types often look to the past for inspiration. Back in the day, artists, designers, and photographers applied various techniques and employed a slew of instruments for their craft. Whether it be oil painting, developing film in a dark room or setting moveable metal type by hand, these techniques required artistic expertise that took years to master. With technological advances available today, those same techniques can now be easily emulated on a digital device, replicating a specific craftsmanship from the past, while evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Digital illustration is a perfect example of an artistry gone digital. Along with top-tier digital drawing products made by Wacom , there are also dozens of affordable drawing programs available for your iPad or preferred electronic tablet. With apps like Procreate, SketchBook Pro, Paper, and Ink, an artist now has an unlimited number of pages or on-screen space to sketch, paint, trace, airbrush, choose colors, blend with layers, or erase—the possibilities are endless. And with integrated sharing options, there's no need to fire up your scanner—simply email sketches to a colleague or backup artwork to a cloud-based storage solution like Google Drive. Ten One Design has even developed a pressure sensitive stylus that works with a tablet through bluetooth connectivity, giving users a tactile experience similar to drawing on paper with a number of mediums.

Also, since most all on-the-go devices (including tablets) have cameras built in, photography is another creative skill being practiced and stylistically imitated through digital means. Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic allow users to create effects once only achieved by shooting analog, with specific camera models, film or by utilizing dark room techniques. Retouching capabilities are also available on tablet devices using Photoshop Touch. With 8mm Vintage Camera, you can even achieve a retro look with video. And with sharing options on all these apps, it's easy to post work to the internet or share with your adoring fans.

Whether or not you're embracing the tools of the digital boom, you can still reflect on methods from the past and decide how they influence our artistic expression today.

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