Print and Digital: Art is Beautiful Both Ways

Like most of you, I grew up surrounded by magazines. My mother subscribed to pretty much all the “home” magazines of her time, and as soon as one arrived, she would sit down and turn the glossy pages looking for a new way to accessorize the living room or turn ground beef into a hearty meal. Then it was my turn to pore over the latest hairstyles, get excited about holiday craft projects, andmost of alltear out and play with the Betsy McCall cutouts.

digital collage
Digital collage by Jenn Mason.

When the teacher asked the class to bring in old magazines to cut up for poster projects, I was always the first to raise my hand. Not just because I knew we had a huge stash (my mom rarely threw the magazines out), but because I loved cutting up the pages to create fruit bowl still-lifes for a nutrition chart or animal food-chain diagrams for science class.

Back then, there was no scanner, no home computer, no digital art. Everything was cut-and-pasteliterally.

I still love to cut and paste papers; I find it very relaxing and meditative. But I can’t imagine going back to life without tools for digital media design.

I marvel at the works of great photographers like Ansel Adams, but I’ll never give up my smart phone with digital camera that allows me to take a picture and share it with friends and family moments later.

I adore searching for unusual found papers, but I’m grateful to be able to scan and use them again and again in a digital photo collage.

Capturing the perfect moment with the camera is a thrill. But altering photos gives me the flexibility to use the same image different ways and achieve unique effects.

When the new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine is plopped on my desk, I still get a shiver of excitement. But I also marvel at the digital art tutorials inside and want to give those techniques a try. And when I want to look up a particular article or technique, I usually refer to the digital version on my computer.

The point is, digital and print can coexist. You don’t have to abandon one for the other. So I recommend you give Cloth Paper Scissors digital issues a try. Digital editions are convenient, economical, and they don’t take up shelf (or basket, or table, or floor) space.

P.S. What about you? What has the digital revolution done for your life? What thrills you about print? Discuss below.

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