The Pros & Cons Of Both Traditional and Digital Media

Joel Garcia, Staff Writer

Through thick and thin, I’ve found a balance between traditional and digital media. I’ve found quite an interest to see whether or not the difference between both medias are drastically different; through research and current usage, digital media for some majority of individuals are far less wasteful than those who love traditional media.

My current situation with both media is that while I love one, the other just seems less consuming. Digital media programs such as Procreate, Clip Studio Paint, or Photoshop are just a few examples of popular media used in the art community. From my experiences with all of those programs, many of them can be intimidating at first. Both Photoshop and CSP have the same interface while CSP has an altered version of the Photoshop interface. Procreate has a more beginner friendly interface that can be used for both expert or beginner artists of any kind. When it comes to the resources that you use for both media, digital media wins for being less consumable. Brushes can be downloaded and as well as different items could be downloaded to help you draw like 3D models (which can be highly expensive if bought in traditional form).

You could as well use references inside the program rather than struggle using your phone trying to sketch your reference properly on paper. 

There are a multitude of things you could do in programs such as CSP or Procreate; you could do animation or even make 3D objects and texture them just like in Blender.

The cons of digital media is that sometimes price tags with the programs can be pricey. While in traditional media, you would pay for the usual items used for drawings, but surprisingly I found digital media a tad bit more annoying in pricing rather than just picking up items I need from online or in-person. With digital media, pricing on certain programs such as Photoshop is expensive; 20.99 monthly just to use the standard app is very unnecessary and expensive. Photoshop is not my go-to program to use on my IPad or computer, so CSP (starting 4.99 a month) and Procreate (just 9.99 flat with no subscription) are perfect for those who don’t want to worry about cost.

Traditional media has plenty of pros and cons; with traditional media, you could explore different mediums that normally you couldn’t use hands on in digital. Many users do have trouble switching from traditional to digital due to their muscle memory and not having to erase every single time they make a mistake. I found traditional media far more fun than digital because of its process and way of being hands-on. 

The cons of traditional media is quite unpleasant for those who first started out in art. Remembering those dreadful times when a marker or paint color runs out in the middle of blocking in or simply coloring is nothing short of horrific. The phrase I said earlier proclaiming that ‘digital is a lot less consumable’ is an understatement. Art supplies like markers, color pencils, watercolor, and sketchbooks were all equally as expensive if you were to draw constantly. Not to mention the times where your items would break midway into a drawing after putting little to none pressure. With all that in mind, traditional media can be frustrating at times, but it pays off in the end to see your work resonate with the vision that started from your mind.

A lot of artists starting out with art go with traditional as it is the base foundation for most of the artwork that can transition towards digital. My experience first starting out was humbling towards me in the future. The artwork I created starting out was very questionable but resembled my consistency in wanting to learn and get better from the ways I used to draw any facial feature or expression. It wasn’t till freshman year of high school where I found myself immersed into art and finally dedicating most of my time into creating my own characters.

Both digital and traditional mediums all have their own special ways of creating art that both you and your audience can love. All mediums will have their own pros and cons, but it is up to you to figure out what you love and what fits your general preference for art.