Saturday, December 18, 2010

Digital Arts: Second Life for the Creative Arts

Let me start by saying that the creative are not dead, nor have they been. The second life that I am referring to is not the virtual world second life, although this is pretty cool. You can learn more about this at . Create an avatar and find or create yourself.

I am talking about the creative arts of film (documentary an entertainment) design, drawing, animation, web design, creative writing, music composition and recording, and broadcasting. The list could go on, but you get the picture. The big game changer for these disciplines has been that they are are almost 100% digital today. This means that the product is either entirely produced on a computer, is usually refined on a computer, and probably ends up on a computer when it is distributed.

Talk to a student in communications, art, music, english, or film today an you will find that they spend a great deal of time either in a computer lab, editing suite, or studio. This change was brought about largely by the Internet, although some may disagree. What it has done is take creative work off paper or tape and made digital. The finished work can be shared on social networking sites, personal resume pages, or anywhere other web venue. Distribution is easier and lets the every student publish their work. As an example, my last blog entry (although hardly viral) was read by almost 800 people with no marketing.

So what does mean for students? The creative opportunity is certainly there, as it has been. They can now show their work at little or no cost. The can collaborate with students at their campus or students/friends from anywhere in the world. They are also developing skills which are immediately applicable to the real world. Newspapers, television stations, advertising, and even political campaigns have moved to the web. They all have a message. They are all expressing that message using digital media, but are drawing from the skills of digital filmmakers, musicians, artists, web designers and others with digital skills. At last, an answer to the question "what can you do with a degree in ...." . Take a look at this rather busy page and think about how many messages are presented and what digital technologies are being used, Pepto.

This is all so new that even he students often don't connect what they are doing with the real world. I urge them to look at the web sites they visit, the movies they see, and the newspapers the read. All are actively using creating digital content. Many of the traditonal delivery systems are gone or are leaving the scene at a rapid rate. All are potential employers. There is a whole new world opened to these creative students. The really good news is that you can get in on the ground floor of this renaissance. It's there today. Investigate and pay attention.

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