Digital Art 101 | Techniques, Tools, Protection, and Monetization

What is Digital Art?

Put simply Digital Art is Art that’s created digitally… Shocking! We know.

Understanding digital art is like exploring a vast palette of endless possibilities, where artists wield digital brushes instead of traditional ones, creating masterpieces on virtual canvases with the precision and innovation that modern technology enables.

In this guide, we’ll give you the full rundown on digital artwork along with the tools you’ll need and how to best protect and monetise your digital artworks.

Digital Art Definition

Digital art, formerly known as computer art or new media art, encompasses creations made using software, computers, or electronic devices. It includes a wide range of media such as animations, photographs, illustrations, videos, and digital paintings.

The Digital Art 101 Breakdown.

Digital Artwork Explained.

In today’s artistic landscape, digital art represents a remarkable fusion of innovation and creativity driven by technology. Unlike traditional art forms reliant on physical mediums like paint or clay, digital art harnesses the power of computers and specialized software to craft breathtaking visual experiences.

Tools and Techniques:

Gone are the days of brushes and canvas; digital artists now wield digital tablets and software such as Adobe Photoshop or Apple’s Procreate. These tools empower artists to paint, illustrate, sculpt in 3D, or manipulate photographs with unparalleled precision and flexibility.

Creativity Unleashed:

Digital art spans a diverse array of styles and techniques, from intricate digital paintings to lifelike 3D models and vibrant digital collages. Artists can experiment endlessly, refining their work effortlessly and exploring new artistic frontiers without the constraints of traditional materials.

Sharing and Accessibility:

One of digital art’s most thrilling facets is its accessibility and ease of sharing. Artists can effortlessly showcase their creations online, reach global audiences, and even sell digital copies or prints with unprecedented ease.

Blending Tradition and Innovation:

Some artists seamlessly blend traditional techniques with digital tools, creating hybrid artworks that fuse the best of both worlds. Digital art continually pushes the boundaries of artistic expression, fostering the emergence of new forms and styles.

Impact on Artistic Expression:

Beyond mere aesthetics, digital art challenges conventions and expands the horizons of artistic expression. It enables artists to craft immersive experiences, interactive installations, and even digital performances that redefine how audiences engage with art.

In essence, digital art transcends being merely a medium; it’s a dynamic playground where creativity flourishes without limits. Empowering artists to create, share, and inspire in ways previously unimaginable, exploring the world of digital art opens up boundless artistic possibilities for both creators and enthusiasts alike.

Digital Artwork Explained

The Different Types of Digital Art.

Here are some of the most recognizable types of digital art, along with their corresponding paid and free software options to help you begin or enhance your skills in any digital art form you choose!

Digital Painting:

  • Adobe Photoshop: Industry-standard for digital painting and photo manipulation.
  • Corel Painter: Known for its realistic brushes and emulation of traditional media.
  • Procreate: Popular on iPad for its natural drawing experience and extensive brush library.
  • Krita: Free and open-source software designed for digital painting.

Vector Illustration:

  • Adobe Illustrator: Industry-standard for creating vector graphics, logos, and illustrations.
  • Inkscape: Free and open-source vector graphics editor with similar capabilities to Illustrator.

3D Modeling and Rendering:

  • Autodesk Maya: Widely used for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering.
  • Cinema 4D: Popular for its user-friendly interface and powerful 3D tools.
  • Blender: Free and open-source software for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering.

Photo Manipulation:

  • Adobe Photoshop: Dominant software for editing and enhancing photographs.
  • Adobe Lightroom: For organizing, editing, and enhancing digital photographs.
  • GIMP Free and open-source alternative to Photoshop for photo manipulation and editing.

Pixel Art:

  • Aseprite: Popular tool for creating pixel art and animations.
  • Piskel: Free online tool for creating pixel art and animations.

Typography Design:

  • Adobe Illustrator: Suitable for designing custom typography and vector-based lettering.
  • Inkscape: Can also be used for typography design, as it supports vector graphics.
  • Glyphs Mini: Free version of Glyphs for basic font editing.

Generative Art:

  • Processing: Programming language and IDE used for creating generative art through code.
  • Blender: Besides 3D modeling, Blender can be used for procedural and generative art.
  • Unity: Game development platform that can also be used for creating interactive generative art.

Mixed Media:

  • Adobe Photoshop: Versatile for combining and manipulating various digital elements.
  • GIMP: Free and open-source software capable of handling mixed media and digital collage.
  • Krita: Also suitable for mixed media due to its extensive brush library and layer capabilities.

While these are among the most popular forms of digital art, there are hundreds of different software options and digital art mediums to explore, such as animation, games, film, and video. Take the time to conduct your own research to find the digital art form and software that best fits your vision!

Hungry NFT collection
© Myne and Yours – Shakarchi Brands, Hungry NFT collection – 2022

Is Digital Art Real Art?

Yes, digital art is definitely real art!

The term “art” encompasses a wide range of creative expressions, and digital art is a significant and legitimate form within this spectrum… it has “art” in the name after all.

Though it might not involve physical materials per say, digital art still requires serious creative skill and as such it shouldn’t be discounted as a reputable form of art. Digital art is like any other art—it’s a medium for creative expression. What matters most is the skill, talent, and passion of the artist.

After all, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

The Benefits of Digital Art.

So why digital art? Well there’s a distinct number of advantages.

Flexibility: Digital art allows you to paint a piece on your Ipad, send it to your computer and build a 3D model of that piece then use that 3D model in a game you’re creating. If you can imagine it and have the skills/knowhow on how to do it, anything is possible when it comes to digital art.

Enhancements: With digital art you can take your traditional art to the next level! As a painter you could use editing softwares to augment a paint stroke you didn’t like, brighten a color or add something entirely new to your original piece.

Accessibility: Digital art allows you to make your art accessible to everyone! From creating a color blind-friendly design to incorporating image alt text, these things can help more people enjoy your work.

$$$: Do you have a laptop or a phone? That’s all you really need to get started with digital art. While some digital software requires a subscription or one-time payment, there are plenty of free alternatives available to start creating your art. Even better, you won’t have to keep buying physical art materials.

Versatility: Want your digital art to look cartoonish, realistic, maybe gothic? Did you want it to move? Or how about interacting with it? With digital art you can do all that and more!

Anywhere, Anytime: Unlike traditional artists who often require a dedicated space like a room or studio to create their art, digital artists have more flexibility. Whether it’s at the park, on the couch, on a plane, or in bed, digital artists can create anything, anytime, anywhere!

Speed: Switch between tools and colors faster than it would take a traditional artist to blink. In addition you won’t have to worry about refilling your palettes—ain’t nobody got time for that!

CTRL-Z: Made a mistake or didn’t like something as much as you thought? Just hit CTRL-Z—enough said!

Left - © Metzican (Digital), Right - © Punk Me Tender, (Traditional)
Left – © Metzican (Digital), Right – © Punk Me Tender, (Traditional)

Digital Art vs Traditional Art.

As digital art has gradually grown in popularity, questions have begun to arise about whether digital art is better than its traditional counterpart.

So, what are the differences, pros, and cons of digital vs. traditional art?

Traditional Art



Tactile Experience: Working with physical materials like paint, charcoal, or clay provides a hands-on experience that many artists find satisfying. Materials and Space: Requires physical materials, which can be expensive, messy, and require storage space.
Unique Results: Each piece is typically unique due to variations in materials, textures, and techniques used. Revision Challenges: Correcting mistakes can be difficult and may require starting over or significant effort.
Timelessness: Traditional artworks often carry a sense of history and craftsmanship that can be valued over generations. Accessibility: Sharing or reproducing traditional artwork can be more challenging and may require specialized equipment.
Skill Development: Learning traditional techniques can build foundational skills in drawing, painting, and sculpture. Durability: Traditional materials may degrade over time, requiring maintenance or restoration.
Physical Presence: Traditional artworks can have a strong physical presence, especially in large or three-dimensional pieces. Transportation Issues: Large or fragile traditional artworks can be difficult to transport safely.

Digital Art



Versatility: Digital tools offer a wide range of brushes, colors, and effects that can be easily adjusted and modified. Learning Curve: Mastering digital tools and software can be complex and require technical knowledge.
Efficiency: Mistakes can be corrected quickly, and artwork can be saved and duplicated effortlessly. Lack of Tangibility: Some artists miss the tactile experience and physicality of traditional materials.
Shareability: Digital artwork can be easily shared online and reproduced in various formats without loss of quality. Dependence on Technology: Software and hardware updates can impact workflow and file compatibility.
Cost-effective: Initial investment in digital tools can be high, but ongoing costs for materials are minimal. Exploitative: Digital art can be easily exploited, stolen, and used without an artist’s consent.
Integration: Digital art can incorporate multimedia elements like sound, animation, and interactive features. Permanence Concerns: Digital files can be vulnerable to loss or corruption without proper backups.

How To Make Digital Art.

That is a massive question with an even more extensive answer, and it really depends on the type of digital art you want to create.

Are you interested in digital painting on your iPad with Procreate? How about designing a 3D model in Maya? Or perhaps enhancing your photographs in Adobe Lightroom?

We recommend researching your chosen digital art form and the accompanying software. YouTube is an excellent source of free, step-by-step guides, offering tutorials from beginner to advanced levels on virtually every topic. One thing we can tell you is that with a bit of talent, hard work, creativity, and imagination, you can create anything!

© Marwan Shakarchi (Myne & Yours)
© Marwan Shakarchi (Myne & Yours)

How Difficult is Digital Artistry?

The difficulty of digital artistry varies widely depending on several factors, including your prior experience with art, the specific digital medium you choose, and the complexity of the projects you undertake. Here’s a breakdown of the different aspects that influence how challenging digital artistry can be:

Prior Art Experience:

  • Beginner Artists: If you’re new to art altogether, digital artistry can be challenging as you’ll need to learn both art fundamentals (like anatomy, color theory, and perspective) and the technical aspects of digital tools.
  • Experienced Traditional Artists: Transitioning from traditional to digital art can be easier since you already understand art principles, but you’ll need to adapt to new tools and techniques.

Type of Digital Art:

  • Digital Painting: Involves using software to create artworks that resemble traditional painting. Mastering brush settings, layers, and blending modes can be complex.
  • 3D Modeling: Requires understanding 3D software, modeling techniques, texturing, and rendering, which can be highly technical.
  • Photo Editing: Enhancing and manipulating photos using software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom can range from simple adjustments to complex composites.
  • Animation: Combining artistic skills with knowledge of animation principles and software, which can be quite challenging.

Software Proficiency:

  • Learning Curve: Each software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, Blender, Maya) has its own interface and tools. Becoming proficient takes time and practice.
  • Technical Issues: Navigating software bugs, compatibility issues, and hardware limitations can add to the challenge.

Creativity and Imagination:

  • Concept Development: Coming up with original ideas and concepts can be challenging but is crucial for creating compelling artwork.
  • Execution: Translating your ideas into finished pieces requires both technical skill and creative vision.

But there’s hope!

To overcome the challenges of digital artistry, focus on education and practice. Use online tutorials on platforms like YouTube and Skillshare. Regular practice is also crucial, so dedicate time daily or weekly. You can also join online communities like DeviantArt or Reddit for support and feedback, and follow digital artists on social media for tips and inspiration. Taking formal courses at art schools or online can additionally accelerate your skill development but ultimately continuously learning, practicing, and experimenting are key to helping you navigate the complexities of digital art and grow as an artist.

How To Make Money From Digital Art.

Whether you’re just starting out or already immersed in the world of digital art, there are countless avenues to explore and enhance your skills.

Maybe you’re looking to freelance your skills out to clients?

  • Low End: $20-$50 per hour
  • Average: $50-$100 per hour
  • High End: $100-$200+ per hour (for highly experienced artists or specialized projects)

How about selling your prints?

  • Low End: $5-$20 per print sale
  • Average: $20-$50 per print sale
  • High End: $50-$100+ per print sale (for large or limited edition prints)


  • Low End: $10-$100 per NFT sale
  • Average: $100-$1,000 per NFT sale
  • High End: $1,000-$10,000+ per NFT sale (for popular or rare digital assets)

Or maybe you’re looking to become an artistic social media influencer!

  • Low End: $100-$500 per month (from ads or sponsorships)
  • Average: $500-$2,000 per month
  • High End: $2,000-$10,000+ per month (for influencers with large followings and engagement)

While these ranges are approximations and can vary based on your skill level, market demand, geographic location, etc. Successful digital artists often combine multiple income streams to maximize earnings and build a sustainable career in the digital art industry. Additionally there are dozens of other ways to monetize your digital art, from games design, comics and graphic novels, merchandise, licensing and even teaching, your earning potential as a digital artist is virtually endless!

Want to learn how to make these numbers a reality? Learn how to do it here!

© Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) Digital Artist
© Beeple (Mike Winkelmann)

Beeple, The Most Famous Digital Artist.

“I do it [create digital art] because I genuinely enjoy making it. That’s the driving force behind what I do.” – Beeple

Meet Mike Winkelmann better known as Beeple, he’s a prominent digital artist known for his distinctive style and pioneering work in digital art and NFTs.

One of Beeple’s most famous ongoing projects is his “Everydays,” where he creates and shares a new digital artwork every day. This project started in 2007 and has continued uninterrupted, showcasing Beeple’s dedication to daily creativity and experimentation. In March 2021, Beeple made headlines with the sale of his “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” as an NFT. It was sold at Christie’s auction house for $69.3 million, making Beeple one of the highest-selling artists alive.

If this doesn’t convince you to get started with digital art we’re not sure what will!

How To Make A Passive Income From Your Digital Art.

At Seminal we can help you make the most from your digital art, how do we do it?

Art Licensing!

Art licensing is where artists give permission for their artwork to be used on products like clothing, home goods, stationery and virtually anything else you can think of. In exchange, they get paid royalties or a flat fee. It’s a way for artists to earn money from their creations while businesses get unique designs for their products.

It’s a big opportunity for artists because it allows them to:

  • Earn income from works they’ve already created!
  • Have their art taken to new audiences!
  • And Build their brand!

Seminal is a pioneering platform at the forefront of revolutionizing the art landscape! Acting as the safest platform for artists to embark on their art licensing journey, offering a comprehensive process to the art licensing process that every artist can get behind.

Do you want to learn more about art licensing? Read our explainer article here!

Already convinced? Sign up to Seminal today!


How to Safeguard Your Digital Art.

Congratulations! You’ve created some digital art, or perhaps you’ve been a digital artist for years. Now, the real question is: how do you prevent other people from using your art without your permission?

The answer… Seminal.

Seminal is addressing the rampant infringement that comes with digital art by tackling three key issues:

  • Ambiguity in Ownership: Many instances of infringement occur because it’s unclear who owns or created the artwork.
  • Enforcement Challenges: Without effective detection mechanisms, enforcing your copyright becomes difficult, you might not even know it’s happening.
  • Ease of Unauthorized Use: CTRL-C, CTRL-Z, it’s that easy for someone to take your work.

To combat these problems, Seminal offers innovative solutions:

  • Image Detection: Implementing technology to identify instances of unauthorized use.
  • Global Register: Establishing a centralized database that clearly identifies ownership of images.
  • Licensing Platform: Providing a simple method for artists to license their work, ensuring fair compensation and legal usage.

As the pioneer in global art copyright management software, Seminal is filling a crucial gap in the art industry, providing the infrastructure necessary to protect artists’ intellectual property rights.

Learn more about copyright here!

But how does it work?

Once you’ve uploaded your art to our platform we identify any unlicensed use of your art online, if we detect an instance of infringement we notify you where eventually you’ll be able to action a cease and desist notice through our system with the click of a button… (but we’re not quite there yet). This will save you having to write various emails, making calls and sitting in a courtroom fighting for your art copyright, instead, we do it all for you and completely for free.

It’s never been easier to keep your work safe in the digital realm!

Learn more about Seminal’s offering for artists here!

Summarizing Digital Art.

Digital art is not just a medium but a dynamic playground where creativity knows no bounds. It offers endless possibilities for artistic expression and commercial success, making it a valuable and legitimate form of art. Whether you’re just starting or looking to expand your artistic horizons, the digital art world welcomes you to explore its vast potential. With the right tools, dedication, and a bit of imagination, you can create, share, and inspire in ways previously unimaginable. Embrace the digital canvas and let your creativity flourish without limits.

Join Seminal today and discover how we’re empowering artists to grow their brand, protect their art, and tap into lucrative licensing opportunities worldwide! Experience the benefits for yourself today!

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