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The digital man

Inside the studio of Toyin Omolowo, in Ikeja Lagos, there is a new art style dubbed, ‘Digital Painting,’ which the burgeoning artist is propping to become a brand. Hesays that visual art future lies in this new form which will soon take over art market not only in Nigeria but in the world.
Think of good art work, and for many artists, what still comes to their mind is the usual style of spending a week or two weeks on canvass painting one work. But the modern world does not need such labour of wasting time and energy says Toyin Omolowo, a Lagos-based artist who is an advocate of a new art painting dubbed, digital art.
For Omolowo, digital painting or digital art is the art for the future and those who think otherwise will blame themselves.
     The Yaba College of Technology trained painter has for years experimented with other medium before finally discovering the new form. To produce a good art work any day, he starts the journey by first taking snap photographs of the concept he wants to produce. This does not take him time as he can zoom any concept depending on the inspiration.  The subject of the work will determine how he will go about the photograph. Then, after that, the next level is to return to his studio and that is where the major part of the work is done as he uses his photo shop and corel draw to manipulate the images and produce remarkable works that looks more like hand paintings.
 To demonstrate his zeal, the artist displayed some of his recent images which look like hand-painted works.
 Quite unlike the old ways of brush on the canvas, a digital painting is mostly accomplished by computer manipulation and does not need much labour.
    As curious as this new form appears, Omolowo seems to prefer it because as he reasoned it is the best as the world has gone digital.  His quest to stand out from crowd made him discover this new trend especially having seen that many artists are replicating what others are doing.
He said the new trend has already taken over the art scene in more advanced countries of the world.
   “I started exploring the use of computer; to create good art work and today I can say that I am happy that I have achieved that perfectly,’’ he said.
   Noting that his many years of painting the other way could not have given him the kind of breakthrough he has now. Omolowo said artists should think of studio practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.
     According to him, “Art work are considered digital paintings when created in fashion to non-digital painting using software on a computer platform and digitally out putting the resulting image also later painted on canvas.’’
 Throwing more light on the new art media, the artist said that digital art can be purely computer-generated (such as fractals and algorithmic art) or taken from other sources, such as scanned photograph or an image drawn using vector graphics, software using mouse of graphic tablet or any electronic-system, capable of interpreting an input to create an output which shows seemingly endless intricacies.
 Some of the digital paintings that Omolowo created have been collected. He said though he never earlier but today he is fulfilled using the new style.
“Sometimes when you look at beautiful digital art and compare it with the things drawn from pencil you can feel astonished. So many amazing things can be done with the software. The computer has turned out to be a veritable tool for an artist. It provides a clean workspace, with the freedom to make mistake and adjust wisely,’’ he stated.
 According to him, computer has become a machine for every size, shape and material of canvas, for every color and way of blending. And for this, he asked, “Why should many artists continue to over labour themselves? Every artist needs to get familiar with the concept of digital art.
 “In my opinion, the means of creating are justified by the end. Whether an image is traditional, photo or digital art, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the final image.’’ The artist seems to tell his colleagues.
   Omolowo who studied Art at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, has participated in several group and solo exhibitions within and outside Nigeria. He has received several awards in art, including the prestigious Hyogo International Competition of Paintings, a merit award in Japan. His works are in collection of many private homes and corporate offices in Nigeria and abroad. He is a member of Art zero Group, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) and Surface Design Association (SDA).
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