Chris Labrooy is a digital artist who has worked with companies including Apple, Nike, Porsche, Time Magazine, and Louis Vuitton. We talked to him about his career and how the internet world has changed how we interact with art.
We live in an electronic age. The emergence of technology in the twenty-first century has profoundly altered the way we think, produce, and consume. And, far from being hidden inside the walls of galleries and institutions, the art world has been experiencing its own revolution.
Creation of digital media
Digital technology has not only increased the possibility of generating new types of art, but it has also altered the way the industry runs. CGI software, Instagram, and virtual auctions have all had an impact on how art is made, advertised, bought, and sold.
“I started playing with digital art in my early twenties,” Chris adds, “but I didn’t get serious until my mid-twenties after leaving the RCA where I studied product design.”
Digital art is the creation of works that are computer produced, scanned, or created using a tablet or mouse. This comprises digitally modified movies and pictures, and in recent years, it has frequently been participatory, allowing the viewer to affect the visuals produced.
This growing intimacy between the work and the audience is a key aspect of what distinguishes digital art.
“I was interested in creating high-end design, art, furniture, and objects in college. But I soon realised that the picture was just as significant as the thing itself — most people only get to see these ultra-rare objects through an image on the internet or in a book or magazine. These notions motivated me to seek digital image-making.”
The old meets the modern
His end work is Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), but while the effect is unique from traditional artistic mediums, the technique is substantially the same.
‘What I do in the digital environment is informed by what I do in the actual world,’ Chris adds. “My art is a computerised representation of reality.” To be convincing, one must have a strong feeling of the physicality of things.
Typically, […] I get an idea and then work on it for several hours until it takes shape as something acceptable. Throughout the production process, I am continually doodling and sketching in addition to generating concepts on the computer.”
“What [initially] drew me to the digital side was the lack of friction in the process.” “I didn’t have to rely on anyone to get everything done, which can get tiring when constructing tangible objects,” he explains. I believe that with digital art, you may potentially explore and test more ideas without having to worry about funds, prototypes, prototype storage, and so on.”
While conventional artists must pay a high price for materials such as paint, canvas, clay, or film, digital artists must pay a different price.
The learning curve with all of the many tools available now is a significant task — my primary outlays are for annual software subscriptions and new computer purchases every few of years.
The greatest expense, however, is one’s own time — there is no difference between physical and digital in this regard. Because of advancements in software and computational power, you can now do significantly more with far less money than you could ten years ago, making it far simpler for anyone to engage in the production of digital artwork, design, and filmmaking.”