The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Posts Tagged ‘New Media’

Barack Obama Art Movement

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 19, 2008

As we know, President-Elect Barack Obama will be stepping into office in January 2009.  He is now known as the “wired” president, but did you know he’s an art movement as well?  Most artwork produced that revolves around Barack himself came out during the pre-election period as people wanted to show their support, at the same time promoting him.  But since he has won the election, the “Barack art” keeps on coming.obama-art-22

The Artworks come in all different mediums, but it seems that a lot of the pieces distributed online tend to be from digital art forms.  Coincidence that Barack being “wired” would fuel these digital works?  Probably not, but to me I think it’s an interesting concept.  Why now?  Why didn’t art movements take off before when other American elections were taking place?  Maybe the idea of being “wired” to the youths of the world relates to being “cool” and in touch with what’s really going on.  After all the old, out-of-date presidents prior, why wouldn’t they want to promote and idolize a guy like Barack by creating artworks of him.

obama-21As it stands right now, everything Barack touches turns to gold.  Barack art is selling like there’s no tomorrow.  As many sites online are out to make a buck  by selling these artworks, I would hope that most artists would be doing it just for the sake of showing their appreciation and support.  On the other hand, if the opportunity arose to make some money at it, I’m not sure if I could really blame the artists who make a few dollars at it.  After all, the world has gone “Obama Crazy.”

Hundreds of sites have been popping up that showcase “Barak art,” even sites like the Obama Art report that are specifically dedicated to the art movement.  Another site, Design for Obama, is a free site that shows how graphic designers best support Barack obama. 


So maybe this gave Barack a slight advantage over John McCain’s campaign.  Having attractive, well designed shirts and clothing that McCain seemed to lack.

Not only did the movement take-off online, exhibitions have sprouted all around the world as well.  One American exhibition can be seen here, and another I found interseting is this gallery all the way in Paris, France.



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Art and Science Collide

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 12, 2008


dna_strandThere has always been a connection between art and science, artists and scientists, and alike.  It’s not always easy to find an artist-scientist, but they’ve always been around.  They have been evident throughout the centuries and one that comes to mind would be Leonardo di Vinci.  He was considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time, at the same time being a noted scientist.

Today, people are really starting to tap into this idea of combining art and science.  To push cutting-edge art into the limelight, artists, engineers, etc, are using  the combination of the two fields to produce amazing pieces of work.  In one of my earlier blogs, “Welcome to the New Age of Interactive Art,” I briefly discuss how interactive art is pushing the limits of what is “art” this day in age.  Without the use of physics, mathematics, robotics, engineering, along with an artistic idea, those examples I had shown would never had been created.

With artists becoming aware of sciences and scientists becoming aware of the artistic potential of their abilities, they are defining what people consider, post-modern or contemporary art.  Shannon O’Grady posted a blog titled “Coming Soon to an Orchestra Pit Near You,” which shows a robot named WF-4RIV, who was created and programmed at Waseda University in Japan, to play Flight of the Bumblebees on the flute.  This is a great example of great engineering and a great artistic piece of work. 

With so many exhibitions showcasing work that revolves around the idea of art and science combined, I’m curious to see how artists/scientists will keep trying to raise the bar on this re-defined art form.


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What Ever Happened to CorelDraw?

Posted by Matt Harbottle on November 5, 2008



Back in the 90’s, when someone needed a design made, the program to use was CorelDRAW.  Now a days (this could just be me) rarely do you hear of anyone using the program.  What happened?

When I was taking visual communications class back in High school (in the late-90’s), for the brief unit in graphic design, the only computer program we used was CorelDraw.  At that time the Adobe programs were unheard of, at least at my school.  It makes me wonder why CorelDRAW vanished from schools and replaced with the Adobe suites?

goodcoreldraw61Presumably, when I was in high school we were using Version 6 or 7 at that time and after doing some research online, I’ve come to realize that there has been seven other versions of CorelDRAW since then.  That also includes their latest release of version X4 that was released this year.  To top it off, it seems as though it runs a lower cost than its competitors Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4).  On the other hand, CS4 includes numerous multimedia programs whereas X4 suite does not.  Could this be why it isn’t as popular anymore?

As I’m currently in University taking New Media, we only use Adobe CS3 for design classes.  It wasn’t until a few days ago , while talking to a fellow graphic designer, did I even remember the programs existence. “What ever happened to that?”  This could very well be because of my own neglect, but do you blame me?  The hype is always about Photoshop and Illustrator

goodcorel_x4With X4, it has similar features that the new CS4 has.  It features bitmap-to-vector conversion, vector illustration, photo editing, and so on, which are also featured in CS4.  One new feature that CS4 includes, that surprisingly is also included in X4 that my fellow blogger Rod would be especially fond of, is the raw camera file support. 

So with CorelDRAW’s competitive features, why aren’t more people using the program?  Why isn’t it just as popular as Adobe?  If anyone has any comments or answers to this topic, i would be very interested to hear what you have to say.



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How to Make Mistakes on Purpose

Posted by Matt Harbottle on October 15, 2008

When considering all aspects of graphic design, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts that go along with it.  There are tons of rules and guidelines that an artist should follow to create a successful, structured composition, that will please the viewer.  Apparently that isn’t always the case, according to Laurie Rosenwald.

Laurie is a successful artist, who’s areas of expertise include drawing, graphic design, and typography.  She is also a published author and has taught graphic design at School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, NYU, and Pratt Institute.  She tours the world, teaching a workshop called “How to Make Mistakes on Purpose.”

Rosenwald can be seen as an open-minded, “crazy” artist who is successful at what she does, with a no holds barred attitude, that stirs attention from all around the world.  Her philosophy being, “If you try very hard to create a good thing it will probably be bad.”  So on that note, she tries to promote that an artist should try to make mistakes… on purpose.  Not quite following?  Me either.

I’ve decided to give her crazy antics some consideration and attend her workshop that will be held in Banff, Alberta, on November 20-23.  I’m curious to see how she will lay out the processes of purposely making mistakes.  She emphasizes that anyone can attend and it’s not just for designers.  This is where it begins to worry me.

I hope to not waste a whole weekend of my life to listen to someone tell me how to get into my spiritual mindset and to let go of what I thought I knew about design.  Unfortunately for us skeptics, the outline of the workshop does not exist, for the content “MUST be a SURPRISE.”  Once again, getting worried, but I will still give it a try.

For anyone interested in attending the workshop, visit Laurie’s website for dates.


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I Live For Art

Posted by Matt Harbottle on September 17, 2008

Hello readers of The Digi-cult!  As the same as my fellow blogger 1forfun, I would like to take a few moments to tell you about my interests in the digital world.  I am mattymo12.  My main passion in life would have to be graphic design, or more broadly put, digital art.  For how advanced we have become with computers and technology, it was hard for me to not become excited about being able to create pieces of art on a computer.

My infatuation with art starts off when I was very young.  As a kid, I would spend hours in my room making drawings, paintings, or colorings of anything that interested me.  It wasn’t until around eleven years ago when I was in high school, that my artistic interests took me to another level.  I enrolled in a class named  “Visual Communications.”  Since the day I started that class, my life had changed.  Under the guidance of a teacher named Mr. Dendy, from that day on, I knew I wanted to become a graphic designer, and pursue it as a career.

After years of travelling and working dead end jobs, I decided it was time to head back to school.  To broaden my horizons with other forms of digital art, I applied and started my schooling in a program called New Media.  Currently in my forth year of school, thinking back to before I started, I had no idea the amount of things I would learn, in so many different forms of art.  That being digital or analogue.

The weekly blog that I will be posting every Wednesday will involve things that I find interesting revolving around the world of digital art.  These blogs can include digital artists, art, programs, technology, or even events of digital art.  If anyone would like to submit any art they have created, I would love to include it in my blog.

Until next week Digi-cult readers.

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